Hurricanes and Other Thoughts

Along with so many others on the east coast, I spent the weekend with Hurricane Irene. We live just one short block away from the mandatory evacuation zone. And while I questioned whether there are such specific paths of destruction, whether devastation has such distinct borders, we decided to stay put and wait it out.

We bought flashlights, bottled water and other non-perishables. We stocked the wine fridge. I filled my bathtub with water because The Weather Channel said I should. The city emptied. Public transportation shut down. And we had no other choice but to stay put or rely on our feet to get us anywhere. We sat. We watched. We waited.

She came late on Saturday and we heard the wind, the rain. The windows shook. The branches and leaves slapped the windows. I heard sirens about every hour. In the darkness, I never knew what brought the authorities. And when I woke up…all was well.

The city hoped for the best and prepared for the worst. We were lucky to experience minimal damage. I know that others in the path of Irene are not so lucky. They are still without power. Trees have been uprooted. I know that people have lost their lives.

My parents are still sitting in the dark. I have family on Long Island who are wading through floods, who will have to repair their homes. But they are safe. They are okay.

When I was four years old, Hurricane Gloria came through Long Island. It was especially memorable for my family because a tree fell on our house. The whole side of the house was damaged but we were all fine.

When the storm had calmed my Dad took me outside, put me on my tricycle and set me down next to the massive fallen tree. He made me pose for a photograph, made me put my hand to my mouth as if I had knocked over the tree with my tricycle: Oops!

He thinks this is a funny story. He still tells it. He likes to think the picture made everyone laugh.

He always tells me things can be replaced. People can not. I always try to remember that.

I hope that everyone in the path of Irene is safe. My thoughts are with you.

15 thoughts on “Hurricanes and Other Thoughts

  1. SO glad you are o.k., Melissa!! My thoughts have been with my blogging friends in the East as well as my 2 brothers who live back there too…sending love your way!


  2. Glad you didn't have any damage, and the storm wasn't as bad as it could have been. I think that photo would be funny, too. You should scan it and put it on your site. lol

    I've been through many hurricanes, some worse than other's, but we never suffered too badly because we are inland.


  3. Glad you're safe. It sounds like Irene proved herself strong. But I understand how you feel. I felt the same way about the devastating tornadoes in AL earlier this year. There was a loads of damage, but people's lives were were most important.


  4. Glad you're okay! We made out pretty good in southeastern PA, too — disregarding some flooded roads and lots of people without power. However, it wasn't quite the apocalypse that the TV was reporting … although I really didn't expect it would be.


  5. Hi Melissa, I am visiting from the Campaign and I'm glad to hear that NYC didn't take the beating it was prepared for. (I lived there for 15 years, the last two in Park Slope.) Your story of the photo your Dad took — bad little biker knocks over tree — is hilarious. You should post that photo on your blog. I look forward to reading more of your posts. You have an entertaining, thoughtful voice.


  6. I keep hearing news reports that, while the storm is bad, it's far better than everyone was expecting. That makes me very happy. I'd hate to see the same type of devastation that rocked our nation when Katrina hit the south.

    I'm glad you're safe πŸ™‚


  7. hi miss melissa! for sure i was worried bout you and your family. im just real happy youre ok. its way sad for those ones that lost some one or lost their house.
    …hugs from lenny


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