"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Saturday was undoubtedly the most beautiful day of summer. It was clear and pleasant, hardly a cloud in the perfectly blue sky. Difficult as it was to fathom, given the conditions, we knew Hurricane Irene was on her way. The Chap got the chainsaw out and removed some young trees close to the electrical wires and telephone cables. I took planters off the deck railing and brought some garden statues indoors.

Sunday was rainy and windy and everything one expects of a tropical storm--she'd been downgraded by the time she arrived. The Chap intended to go to church, but I dissuaded him. "It's just a bad storm now...who knows what conditions will be like when you're trying to get home?"

We lost electrical power, as expected. Our generator came on automatically, so we had all major appliances, water pump, satellite tv, internet, radio. It wouldn't have surprised us to go quite a long time without electricity, but it was miraculously restored 5 hours later. The winds were fierce. A very large tub on the deck blew over, but the runner beans and morning glories were unscathed. The gale sheared small branches and twigs and lots of leaves from the trees. Ruth and Jewel were fussy about going outside, which was necessary a few times, and when they came back inside they were soaking, we had to towel them off. That's their favourite part of being wet, the toweling!

Monday was as gorgeous at Saturday, perhaps more so, and Irene was like a brief bad dream--for us. By then we knew that there was major flooding, road destruction, and power outages in other parts of our state and in neighbouring Vermont. People on the Seacoast regarded Irene as a non-event, while inland people were--and are still--suffering greatly.

We checked with neighbours near the cottage on Monday and found out electricity had just returned...it was out for about 24 hours. We drove there--oh, my, big trees knocked down along the highway, reminding me of the tornado a few years back--stopping for lobsters at the market. It was a friend's birthday, we'd planned his party by the lake. That plan was unaffected, and we were glad to host him because he'd been without power.

The chaps went swimming. (Water is down to 70 degrees, so I didn't go in!) My chap put the canoe back in the water. We feasted on our friend's fresh tomatoes in a caprese salad.

After the Chap hypnotised the lobsters, we steamed them. The summer feast also included fresh corn on the cob. After the meal we ate a chocolate cake I'd made...first time using the recipe for cake and frosting, and the combination was a triumph.

We returned to the Lodge later that night. Yesterday (Tuesday) it was back to the office for the Chap, and back-to-back meetings for me.

The lake is calling to me, so I'm returning later today. The silence and peace of it is delightful. All the holiday-makers and weekenders have departed (some will return for the Labor Day weekend). Our summer neighbours are still in residence for a few weeks more, and the year-round folks are returning from their own vacations. (People who live on lakes go other places...chance of scene, change of pace!)

As I enjoy these precious days, I can't help but remember that so many people are isolated due to swollen rivers or ruptured roads, and have no lights or any way to get supplies. My heart goes out to them.

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