Monday, August 29, 2011
Very, very lucky
Spouse and I count ourselves extremely lucky. Irene breezed through D.C. and didn't leave a mark on us. I know several thousands more will be without power for a few more days and they have my sympathy. My youngest sister and her family live in Lusby, Maryland, on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay. Irene left many scars in that area. Schools are closed and it will take several more days before power and phone service are restored. Three trees came down on their property. One was a "gift" from a neighbors yard -- a big oak that crushed my nephew's truck. Two more narrowly missed hitting their house and several more, broken and leaning trees will have to be removed. My Mom stayed with my sister and her family through the hurricane because several of her Midwestern kids were concerned her little cottage, close to the Patuxent River would be in danger. As it turned out, she lost a few roofing shingles, but nothing else. Her retirement community lost power briefly during the night, so Mom's feeling very lucky, too. It was an exciting night at my sister's house. Mom/Grammy was glad to be there to help comfort 11 year old Alex who was still unsettled following the earthquake last Tuesday. The two of them decided they were having quite an adventure. As soon after the power went off, they all headed to bed. Alex slept between his mother and grandmother while his Dad and big brother made do in the living room. Several years ago, bro-in-law, Bill, installed a generator, so their refrigerator is still running along with a couple of lights and their neighbor is grateful for a long extension cord running between their houses, providng them with some power. I'm afraid the sound of chain saws and generators will outplay the cicadas for several more days. This hurricane could have been so much worse. Perhaps Mother Nature took pity on us because as Irene made landfall in several places, she weakened. I hope New Yorkers realize how lucky they are to have dodged a bullet this time. Towns and cities farther inland and on up into Maine and Canada were inundated and some may never recover. I thank God for sparing Spouse and me and pray that those who lost loved ones can find peace. Many, many more lost homes and personal belongings that cannot be replaced. I'm taking a lesson from that and gathering photos, letters and other irreplacable possessions into one package that I can grab and run with if necessary. It took an earthquake and hurricane all in one week to finally convince me that life is too precious to waste on stupid stuff like envy, regret, jealousy or pride. It won't be easy, but I'm going to try my best to remember that.