Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Sophie, our Siamese, surveys the backyard as both Irene and August wave goodbye. When we took trips, as a family to Old Orchard Beach, Palace Playland, the stretch of kids' amusement rides, was always the prime destination. I loved the ride through the Fun House. I was a bit apprehensive boarding, screaming mid-ride and very relieved seeing the 'light of day' at the end of the tunnel. It was a lot like the ride we took Sunday aboard Hurricane Irene, minus the screaming. Weathermen, these days on 24/7 cable TV, seem to always get things stirred up. Make sure you have available or nearby if needed: bottled water, batteries, sand bags, plywood, sump pumps, extension cords, radio, prepackaged food, important papers in plastic, ample supply of your medication, a prearranged spot for the family to meet and cell phones charged. And probably about 40-50 other things to check off the to do list that I have forgotten. Saturday, we brought in the deck furniture, secured the grill, covered the wood pile, brought in the hanging plants, filled the generator, made extra ice for the freezer, and checked the sump pump connection. The outer bands started impacting us around midnight. When I awoke Sunday morning about 5 AM, the rain was coming down in sheets, buffeted by the wind, mostly at a 45 degree angle. It came in spurts, poured for 20 minutes then a lull for 5 or so, and then it started up again. By noon the rain had ended, and for the next day of so we sat on the porch and watched Irene's gusts put on a show. We lost our power for just 22 hours, got no water in the cellar, and the dying maple on the front lawn survived to live another month. In the big picture of things, 'it was nuttin'. Friends on the East Coast, in New Jersey, New York State, New Hampshire and Vermont had it significantly much worst and are still trying to put their lives back into some semblance of normal. Even our state's Lake's Region and towns in the western mountains are still struggling to dig out of debris. So our home and yard were dealt a pretty weak hand by Irene, but all we could do was play what we had. So for us, this summer storm left with a whimper, and that was just fine with us. For us it was a big sigh of Relief!