Wednesday, August 31, 2011


      I know what you must be thinking, dear readers.  FIVE days and NOTHING.  Not even a quick, "Did OK with Irene.  Hope you did as well."  Or the potentially dastardly extreme, "I guess we still have our health but I DO so miss my mind, clothes, furniture, computer.  But the Shelter is LOVELY.  They did an admirable job in so LITTLE time. Dry-ish, steamy (good for the lungs), done in mid Depression Drab but filled with SUCH ebullience, hope and gratitude one feels one has checked in to the Plaza."  No.  All I've been able to muster is sullen silence and can only HOPE I've not dashed any semblance of a kindly relationship we may have been developing pre-Irene.  Please know, too, that you were in my thoughts - wishing only for good fortune while we all toiled in the aftermath of the reign - and floods - of her Majesty.  Rather harsh, I'd say, as royalty goes. 
      And so went the humble little serfs in our little community of family and friends.  When will she arrive?  How fierce will be her mood?  Will our temporizing, meager preparations suffice?  How many pounds of flesh, joules of energy, rays of parsimonious happiness will she exact?  Truly, we were at her mercy.  She knew the powerful fear of the unknown that we harbor quietly whilst scurrying around, good little worker bees, hard-working, hill-building little ants.  All the while, stifling an amused chuckle.  "Chop, chop! Well done, lady (bug) L," she most likely mocked.  "Good work, all of that defrosting, baking, sealing," as I toiled in the kitchen preparing days of meals.  "Cooking up a storm. now, aren't you?  Well, so am I!"  One she knew would tear us apart with the ease of dismantling the wings of our Monarch Butterflies.
      (I may have mentioned - it's been so long - but our home sits on a point of land, a finger reaching for the Lynkhorn Bay.  The house is small, allowing for all manner of flora - conifers and tropicals sharing the same green beds.  And EVER so inviting to the tiniest of crawling and flying fauna - a bug haven, all moist, warm, dotted with yummy human snacks who venture out to plod through and collect, clear, crush the felled post-storm flora.  Clever, too.  "Raining.  Best get inside!" I know you've heard the roach is the oldest of creatures.  Celebrated even.  The brilliant Franz Kafka had one of his heroes meta morph into one while abed.  Obviously smart or they'd be extinct.  Not just another pretty face, the roach.
      And the fleas.  What with their bushes all akimbo, their mossy huts swamped over, they, too were tired, hungry, MORE than willing to 'settle' for a hairless treat out gathering detritus, disturbing their own temporary, hastily erected shelters.  And they REALLY got under my skin - some setting up camp.  Of course we were not only wet but in the dark.  It was SUCH a temptation to grope my way out to the porch at night, to feel SOME relief from the stifling heat, perhaps - secretly - welcome a 'breeze' - which in fact was a stinging gust of wind but I LOVE make-believe, and iced tea in the summer and reading with light.  But there's not time to play "a few of my favorite things" because we're still reeling in Virginia, entrenched and scratching in post Highness Irene labors.)
      She was at her MOST playful - twirling, sliding, jumping - Friday evening and throughout the night.  Two of our children and their children live in the same general vicinity - but a healthy trek away from us - and we stayed in touch with cell phones, taking and giving advice, encouragement, hope, prayers.  To be sure we were all altering the facts some but keeping ole 'fear' at bay was primo.
Normally, that white little dock cannot be seen from here and, in fact one steps directly onto it from solid, dry ground.  Similarly, there is NO water from the dock to the far right of this picture,  The two points are contiguous, neighborly, 'y'all come over for BBQ, heeya?'  And Her Wetness was just getting started when I shutter bugged around the house, still able to see my hand in front of my face.  And it was a darned good thing I COULD see if I do say so my DARNED self because that made it SO much easier to find all of those bright, cheery, STORED-FOR-THE-SUMMER quilts and gracelessly schlep them out to be tucked against shoe moldings and thresholds - which seemed to be multiplying.
      This feat was accomplished JUST in time because we soon heard - and not ones to be fooled, knew the floors moved and windows quickened their rattle - the felling of what surely had to be an extremely old, tall specimen of flora.  Sure enough.  The phone rang - LAST time the land line rang in days - to permit a harbinger-of-doom type of fellow the excited privilege of announcing the crashing of the largest tree on his corner manse property directly on to the power lines - what-would-Helen-Keller-do-time - and then gaily dancing about in the street like a band of lighted serpents.
If  you look VERY closely, on the left - JUST above the yellow metal crane man's equipment -a very tall tree - the house to it's right has two and a half levels - goes STRAIGHT UP. But - if you're a good inspector - notice the ANGLED trying-to-pose-as-a-limb wood, leafy appendage that begins its lean above house-level and to the right, coming to rest on used-to-be-neighboring-tree, standing tall, upright and working very hard to support what is really a massive splinter - hyperbolize that freely - which Irene tickled off during her performance, teasingly balancing it on bro tree before her masterpiece - this being a mere apprentice piece - jete to the corner manse where right en pointe, she twirled the BIG boy into the power line.  Hence our final phone call, the successful debugging of our land line; BLACKOUT.
     ( I so wanted to share the many acts of kindness and caring that folks displayed while we serfed around, collecting huge , sticky pine branches, acorns, pine cones, flotsom and jetsom that had washed ashore from homes - and houses-of-fun from the looks of some of those 'jester-toys' - but what with scrounging around in the evening for Calamine lotion, tweezers, antiseptic solutions, dressings and potables, the seemed to be first a growing fatigue then increased aching and finally a generous dollop of ennui at night.  Just COULDN'T write.  But, the good news is that searching feudal attempt at finding my quill, I forgot to scratch my bug bites.)  
      I trust He held you in the palm of His hand and all is well and so to bed.  Later, Lorane. . . .   
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