A muddy Wasdworth falls at the end of the storm.
The orchard seemed to dodge the bullet despite a few fallen trees.
Thank goodness the great tree at Lyman's survived.
Irene behaved like a gentle giant in Middlefield as most of us came out somewhat unscathed. The kids looked out the windows unimpressed. No cows or roofs passed us by during the height of the storm. The animals paced, but even they were still able to catch a few z's. The historian in me begged to go out into the thick of the storm and photograph it, but I didn't want to become a news story. I worried about the orchard above us as I have come to rely on it to nourish my camera with lovely photos. Luckily, I saw only one felled tree and the apples seemed to be holding on for dear life. After years of everyone mocking our old house, she proved to be made of steel and not timber. Not a creek was made or a leak was dripped. The huge maple in the back yard, although battered kept herself contained. Perhaps after hundreds of years years, the tree had decided it's still not quite her time. For some strange reason our electricity stayed on despite homes above and below us being without. It was a lucky day and I feel for those that weren't. The folks that were battered down at the shoreline today, bring back memories of the late 90's when Chris and I were first married. We lived through a category 5 storm named Hurricane Jorges. We lived in the Caribbean Island of Saba, a tiny place inhabited by less than 1000 people. We knew of the storms approaching doom, but didn't have any of the emergency response like we have here. Back then, a hurricane wasn't something the press obsessed about. My parents panicked as the weather channel said,"thank goodness this little island called Saba is so sparsely populated, because there about to get the direct hit." The storm had winds that came at the island at 160 miles an hour for hours on end. We sat huddled in our neighbors concrete basement as deafening winds howled. You couldn't even hear each other's voices over the raucous noise of trees flying by and metal roofs crashing into the landscape. It felt much like being Dorothy, but rather than being in the spinning house, the world spun around us. We came out of our concrete cave to see devastation like you wouldn't believe. Not a piece of vegetation remained on the normally lush tropical island. The tiny airport fell into the sea. We had no food delivered for almost two weeks because there was no longer a pier. To add to the confusion, we had no cell phones or land lines so we couldn't communicate for days with the mainland. We lived simply before the storm, but after we practically became primitive. All meals came from a can for weeks on end and electricity was not restored for more than 40 days. Chris studied by candlelight for weeks. Showers were taken outdoors with a bucket and to get water for a toilet, we had to hoof it 400 feet to a cistern down steep steps only to turn around and lug it back up. Even the Carib was warm. From this, I learned never to take anything for granted. We realized you can be really happy with very little. As services slowly came back, it became clear that life didn't need to be complicated. No one needs water to come pouring out of a spout in the refrigerator. No one needs a shower head that does a pulsating massage. Dishwasher…not necessary when the tin can can do double duty as a plate. No one even really needs a phone if you think about it. Since then, the only luxury I have come to truly need is the internet. But even that, I may be able to live without if I had to. So as CL and P slowly makes it's rounds, don't sweat it. This is your opportunity to play Swiss Family Robinson. Enjoy the little adventure for what it is. It will become a memory that you can tell your grandkids about and without doubt, the story will get better with time.
Gunther hides after the storm and from the last bits of wind.
Peter pilots a tricky flight in strong winds.
Gunther cat surveys the damage.