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"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Monday, August 29, 2011

Goodnight, Irene

This is the worst of it.

A fallen gutter next to the air conditioning unit we had installed two years ago. The guys set it on a platform to meet with the FEMA flood codes.

Good thing, I'm thinking.

The sea grass came just above where it sits, in the center of the side yard.

This is where the sea grass landed on the back side of the house.

You can see the canal in front of you and judge for yourself how high the water came, Mama.

There are a few roof shingles here and there in the yard so we know we'll have to go up on the roof to replace them.

Thankfully, there was no interior damage.

Well, the water DID come into the Sun Room, but it always does. I left a blanket in front of the glass door and it is soaked. I have it in the washing machine now.

Here's another shot of the front yard, facing the marsh. You can see the fallen gutter peaking out the side corner of the house on your left.

And, you can see the line of the sea grass which means the water rose to just past that level.

Interestingly enough, none of the lights on the electric clocks are blinking, which means we never lost power.

I am absolutely amazed.

We always lose power. All. Ways.

Here's another amazing thing.

The deck furniture is right where I left it. Hadn't moved an inch.

I knew the pink carved stone umbrella holder would stay put. It's a heavy sucker. That baby wasn't going anywhere it really didn't want to go.

And . . . and . . . AND. . . my neighbor's boat and other neighbor's ski-doo are still in place, even though they were ordered to have them out of the water by no later than 5 PM on Saturday.

The head of the HOA (Home Owner's Association) says they will both be fined.

I'm not holding my breath.  Which is fine. Now that it's all over.

I arrived home at about 4 PM today and most of the neighborhood looks just like I left it.

No downed trees. Roof shingles scattered around the street. No broken windows. Every house still standing.

Looks like just another day at the end of summer, doesn't it? Like nothing happened At All while I was gone. Dogs are barking. Gulls are crying. Crickets are chirping. Cooper's Hawks are circling the marshes. White Egrets, Snowy White Egrets with silly yellow feet, White, and, Blue and Green Herons are stalking fish.

Just like normal.

If you hadn't already guessed, I was Really Worried.

Worried Sick, as they say. Really. Sick.

I guess it was the Red Cross Guy - a young, Very Blond, Very Earnest man in his 20s who appeared about 2 PM on Friday, just as I was leaving, to "help" us evacuate.  He just happened to mention that the FEMA folks were scheduled to come by on Wednesday to assess the damage.

I FLIPPED out.  "FEMA?" I roared, "Why don't they just stay down in NOLA and help get people out of trailers and into proper homes? I mean, it's been, what, five years?"

"Yes, ma'am," he said politely. "I guess, after Katrina, everyone is being extra cautious."

"Katrina didn't undo NOLA. That was the shoddy work of the Army Core of Engineers, directed by the racists government bureaucrats who don't give two figs about poor people or poor people of color."

"Yes, ma'am," he said politely, "Is there something I can help you take to your car?"

He was right, of course. I was totally out of line to say what I said at that time. Still, it made me Very Nervous to think "the government" - "Heck of a job, Brownie" FEMA folks - were on this.

So, the questions arise: Did we overreact? Was this good planning or panic? Did we HAVE to evacuate?

Well, I think, if you have to ask the question . . . .

And, you know what? I'm glad for it.

As much as I missed being away from our wee cottage here on Rehoboth Bay, I'm glad we were all out of harm's way - even if that meant some of us took sanctuary in the inland regions of NJ (God help us) where we lost electricity from 3 - 9 AM on Sunday and a few trees fell but, near as I can tell, no one in our neighborhood got hurt.

Meanwhile, there are still hundreds of thousands of people without electricity and it looks like VT - of all places - took the worst hit.

Some of us are saying "Goodnight, Irene," while others of us still live with the nightmare.

It really helped to have all your prayers. No, really. I felt anxious but no where near what I would have felt if I hadn't known that so many of you were keeping so many of us in prayer.

I promise to return the favor when it's your turn.

Mudslides, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, killer bees - I'm your partner in prayer.

Fur sure.


Kirkepiscatoid said...

Looks good enough to share a bourbon on the deck! Wish I could!

Grandmère Mimi said...

Elizabeth, I'm so happy for you and your neighbors. It's amazing that the power did not go off.

Thank you for your kind words about the folks in New Orleans. Today is the 6th anniversary of the FEDERAL FLOOD when the faulty levees breached.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I was going to add this to the post but I'll add it here: I'm sipping on some bourbon right now. Just for medicinal purposes, of course.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Mimi - Well, we lost cable, TV and internet, but then, with Mediacom, that can happen when it's a bright, sunshiny day.

Yes, it wasn't Katrina. It was the ACOE and their shoddy workmanship and racism that did in NOLA. FEMA continues to add insult to injury. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Thanks for your prayers.God knows, you're still in mine.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Elizabeth, it was a month or more before Charter got us back online, although TV service was restored rather quickly. Otherwise, I believe there would have been riots. Me? I wanted the internet.

There's nothing like a sip or two of bourbon for whatever ails you.

it's margaret said...

You were in my prayers --it seems inland areas got harder hit than the coast in many areas --we are still in recovery mode here --honestly --I'd take an earthquake any day!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Mimi - Did I really know you six years ago? I'll have to go into your archives and see what you wrote back then.

Amen to the bourbon. God's medicine for ragged nerves.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Margaret - I don't know. Hurricane? Earthquake? Sort of like Toothache or earache?

I don't know. You tell me.

Bruce said...

Answered prayers indeed! Good news.
Now....where did I put that gin? Bruce+

Grandmère Mimi said...

Elizabeth, I didn't have a blog 6 years ago, but I was commenting around the blogs. When did we meet in New York? I 'knew' you virtually a good while before the meeting. And we kissed on the first date in front of a crowd.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Can you believe that? I've only had a blog since June, 2006 - just before General Convention. You came on the scene about the same time.

I'll never forget our "first date". Or, our first kiss.


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I think it's right here in my pocket, Bruce. MWAH


VERY good news! (I knew you must be home and online from the comment on my blog. DELIGHTED to hear how well you fared in Rehoboth Beach ... :)

JCF said...

TBTG for your escape from destruction, Lizbeth!

Anonymous said...

Really racism on the part of ACOE? Oh please. Congress appropriates money and passes a budget that included plans for construction. Generally, bids come in low to meet the Congressional budget and then Congress pulls back money and the poor civil servants are left trying to make a pig's ear into a silk purse being under funded and behind schedule due to Congress's delays in passing the budget.
Elizabeth, you hit a nerve.
A loyal civil servant

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Susan - I'm delighted and relieved and very grateful. Thanks so much for prayers from you and Louise "way up high" in CO

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

JCF - Thanks for all your prayers, m'dear.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Anonymous - I am making an exception and publishing your comment so that I can respond. Next time, please sign your name.

I suggest you do some reading on institutional forms and manifestations of prejudice. Isn't it interesting how Congress can "find" the money to do what it is they want - even protecting their salaries and substantial benefits (including health care) - while cutting those same benefits to the poor?

I submit to you that if the inhabitants of NOLA were predominantly white, wealthy people, those levies would have been made of gold. Okay, I exaggerate to make my point - which is racism. And, eliteism. And, yes, stupidity. Prejudice destroys brain cells.

the cajun said...

Happy dance for the good news. Folks I've talked to (those with a working brain) also agree with how the situation was handled here and that lives were saved. I totally agree.

It was just Victoria (or Queenie, for short) & me this weekend, baby. And we got through it OK. Good Bourbon would have been icing on the cake.

See you soon? Love to you both.

The Venerable Codger

the cajun said...

PS I get notes from Anonymous even today when I post any item related to Katrina, Levees, and the ACoE. Much the same tripe as I get from posts related to the BP "spill" of last year.

I stopped posting them since they refuse to identify themselves. They still come in, but not as often as in the past.


whiteycat said...

Glad you are OK, Elizabeth. Power here restored after four days out. Had all trees pruned last week right before Irene mad her path north so no tree damage and no house damage ... thanks be to God. A very scary weekend but all is fine. Lost entire contents of refrig and freezer but otherwise no problem.