Instead of the laden refrigerator I showed while waiting for Irene, the weekend visitor from Hell — here are blue skies on Sunday afternoon. The winds are still high — you can tell from the photo — but the rain is ended, and the power is still on, and we are still here. We are very lucky, very little to complain about — aside from a boring day of waiting and eating too much (the chicken salad and egg salad are both sorely depleted). We were in a lucky place. No flooding, although there’s major flooding in our town and region and many places up and down the East coast. No major trees down right around us. We never lost power, although outages are anticipated to last for days for millions of people — No, we have a lot to be grateful for. Not least of which are the messages from three continents bearing thoughts and wishes, every one of which lifted our spirits in the darkest part of the day. For which, a HEARTFELT THANK YOU to all. And to Irene, goodbye and good riddance!
Our hatches are battened, to the extent possible. I’ve prepared power outage fare: chicken soup, chicken salad, egg salad, cheeses, Terra chips. There are blueberries, raspberries, and watermelon chunks. Frank’s Internationally Famous Tuna Salad can be prepared with the turn of a can opener. Water bottles in the fridge, lots of plastic bags filled with water lining the freezer (a wrinkle new to me this storm around). I actually charged my cell phone and it’s got a full battery (if I remember how to use it, the cell phone that is. I got it for emergencies, MY emergencies, and only know how to make a call. Oh, dinosaur!)
Lots of flashlights on hand, and it isn’t winter, if anything it’s hot and muggy. Losing power in the winter in farther Western Massachusetts was no joke, let me tell you (said she, shivering under two down comforters that time).
A few miles west of us, the eastern slopes of the Berkshires are now estimated to receive the full brunt of Irene’s rain, anywhere from 4 to 10 inches. (Rather a large anywhere, I’d say.) Which means here on the plain we’re probably going to see a whole bunch of water. Two good paperback mysteries, always Jane Austen on hand (did you know that Winston Churchill, for one, used to read Jane Austen in the bomb shelters? I can relate to that), and a big book of double crostics.
All you outside the penumbra of Hurricane Irene — as the Quakers say, please Hold us in the Light. And all who are on this ride along with us — be well, be safe, stay dry.
The sun returns on Monday and, God willing and the creek don’t rise, so will we.