Come and Gone

Irene has come and gone for my family. My Mom’s house is on the bay and
we felt safer spending the bulk of the storm up at Joe’s house. He is on the
main road so the wind doesn’t get as bad as at my Mom’s. My Mom is the kind of
person who can’t sit still. She does not like to stay inside. Lying about
watching TV makes her crazy. Storms are not her thing. After almost 24 hours of
storm induced captivity, she couldn’t take it anymore. She decided to head up
to her house to check on the damage. I would say that the storm was still
pretty stormy at that point. She gave me a call from her cell phone when she
got up to the house and said there was a lot of f*cking limbs down and
something about a tree down by the back door. I asked if Joe would take the
walk up with me to the house so that she would not be there by herself and
would have some assistance doing whatever it was she felt had to be done in the
middle of a hurricane therefore lessening her time out in the actual storm.  Joe is such a good sport and put on his boots, grabbed his hacksaw and off we went. My Mom’s road was covered in downed leaves. They lined the street and it made the entire road look surreal, like it led to a fairy garden. The wind was whipping and I was honestly afraid to stop for too long in case a limb decided to come catapulting out of the air towards
us. When we got to my Mom’s house, the difference in the force of the wind was
astonishing. It was downright scary.

My Mom had already cleared the limb that had fallen on the front fence.
She had also propped the fence up with a piece of wood. Can I just remind you
that a hurricane was raging? Why this had to be done right then is kind of beyond
me. One of the neighbor’s trees had shed a giant limb that barely missed
damaging the back of the house. She wanted to clear all of it out. Joe and I
just got to work. He used the hacksaw to make it easier to drag the stuff away
and I took it to the front of the house. When you are doing crazy things it is
sometimes best not to think about it. Of course since we were there we went
down and took a look at the beach. We stood at the top of the bulkhead. The bay
was raging and brown and ugly. The water was about halfway up the ten foot
bulkhead. Joe took a couple of pictures with my camera and I took a video.
Standing there, I could see the news headlines, woman killed by falling branch
while filming bay during storm. Yeah, no one wants to be that person. We
finally did the minimum amount of clean up that made my Mom happy, although I think
that she would have been psyched if we had picked up rakes and stayed a while
longer. Joe and I wanted to walk briskly home amidst the uprooted trees and
strewn limbs. As she walked down the road Mom was picking up the larger limbs
and tossing them into the woods at the side of the road. Then she was yelling
that we weren’t waiting for her. We did not want to wait. We wanted to get back

We actually made it all the way through storm day, Sunday, with the
power, till about 3:00 p.m. Then boom and everything went. We were watching
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (the Johnny Depp version; I hate that
oompa loompa guy) and it was the scene when he goes to find his dad. And that
was that. So began the great social experiment. The good thing was that Joe had
told Mom to crank up the fridge temperature so it would be super duper cold
when we lost power. That was a great suggestion. He also made giant blocks of
ice in large Tupperware containers. The ice takes longer to melt than when it
is in cubes. We put some of these blocks inside of the fridge before it began
cooling down and I think it made all the difference. I got a cold beer out of
that sucker when I got home from work on Monday night. Yes, I was at work
Monday night. It was great because the town of Greenport is not part of the
electric conglomerate LIPA out here and they have their own power supply. They
were up and running really quickly. I was able to charge my phone at the office
and getting away for a while was kind of nice. I was the only one in our crowd who
took a cold shower. Believe me, it is not for the meek. I actually couldn’t
stand under the water. I stood to the side and splashed some on me. For some
reason Joe had hot water without electricity so his was the go to place to get
clean. Unfortunately this discovery was not made till after my awfully cold
bathing experience.

By yesterday, we were all about to kill each other. I felt like we were
in one of Stephen King’s novels, like The Dome, where you are cut off from all
society and sooner or later everyone goes nuts. My whole family was on edge and
snappy with each other. My sister told my son to “go away” when he knocked on
her door one morning. We could not make coffee. Could not cook. Could not
shower. Could not get on the internet. There was no toasting bread. There was
no heating something in the microwave. There was no vacuuming. We could not listen
to NPR on the radio. We had to conserve the laptop charge just in case. Driving
around at night was surreal. Aside from no street lights there was no ambient
light from houses. It was dark, dark, dark. If light sources were all turned
off in the bedroom at night, it was so dark that I could not see my son right
next to me. It was like space mountain dark.

Our power came back at around 7:30 p.m. last night. I was at work but I
think that my family cried with relief when the fan in the main room slowly
began turning again. All in all we have a lot to be grateful for. I am back in
a house which sustained no damage. We have a humming fridge. We have internet. We
have a working washing machine. We have hot showers. We are lucky. There are
still some folks who have not had their power restored. I hope that they get it
back soon. We are lucky. There are some people whose homes were severely
damaged. Places where clean up will go on for a long time. We are lucky. Some
people lost their lives. People who were not doing stupid things like yard
clean up in the middle of a storm or taking video of the wave action outside in
the middle of a hurricane. We are lucky and I am thankful.

About nematomorph

Living like the rich and famous, splitting time between Hawaii and New York.
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2 Responses to Come and Gone

  1. lavagal says:


    Let’s just say YAY! You’re ALIVE!

    • nematomorph says:

      I know but with two dogs and all the leaf detritus the house was crazy. I actually wished I could vacuum. But really we were very lucky. Hardly no rain or damage. And I think I’ve fulfilled my life quota of hurricane. Hawaii should be happy to have me back.

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