Monday, August 29, 2011

Goodnight Irene

Photo source: NASA Goddard Photo
I figure having shared my neurotic fixation on the coming hurricane with you (you’re welcome) I have to write about the actual event, right?

Well, here in my neighborhood, New York City's Upper West Side (UWS)? A nearly non-event.

We live on high ground with solid bedrock underneath, in a brick apartment building built nearly 100 years ago when things were made to last, well, centuries. We’re on a single digit floor, high enough to look at thrashing tree tops, but well below the strong shearing winds. Safe.

The drive to pick up Jake from camp and bring him back to NYC was a bit hairy, with bands of drenching rain coming out of nowhere and then disappearing completely. But it was mostly the tension of having to make it back before the bridges and tunnels closed (most never did) combined with everyone's anxiety, as well as my own, that made it intense.

Really, I've driven through worse thunderstorms. Two so far this summer, in fact.

And while I had called and e-mailed like the crazy woman I was on Thursday campaigning to get Jake's camp to close a day early (it did), I was sad to have to miss the closing ceremony planned for Sunday, which was to have been a lovely family event.

I had been hoping to connect with other local autism families and possibly even make connections with the parents of kids Jake had been particularly drawn to during his week, ever seeking to help him have a true friendship spark.

Also? I love any chance to hang out with special needs / autism parents. We're a big-hearted, tempered-tough breed, usually with a good sense of gallows humor (at least the folks I like to hang with have one).

And I missed that. It was more of a "grab your kid and run before the storm" situation. Packing had clearly been done in a hurry. And since 3 of the 12 kids at camp were named Jacob? Yeah, we have some other kids' T-shirts and I'm sure they've got some of my guy's stuff.

I still haven't completely inventoried what has gone missing yet. But the most important thing - the irreplaceable blue bear? Safe and sound with us.

Others have not been so lucky. My heart goes out to them

I have spoken with friends in the suburbs and the country without power, those whose children were deeply frightened by crashing trees and rising waters.

A blogger you may know - Kelcey of the Mama Bird Diaries - has been flooded out of her home, and for God knows how long. She has young children, it's going to be rough, so go show her some support, here. (And, amazingly, she's kept her sense of humor intact.)

Vermont is in bad shape, having never dreamed, landlocked and deeply northern, that a tropical storm could impact, devastate them so.

Here there are a few trees down, but the sun was shining today and all the world seemed back to business as usual. We were out and about, too. The boys and I treated ourselves to Shake Shack for dinner tonight, and the joint was hopping.

I was pissy about folks complaining, whining about the "big deal about nothing" and feeling that the city shouldn't have shut down.

"I'd rather be over-prepared than under-prepared, wouldn't you?" I asked them, reminding them that there were people who lost lives, places where it wasn't "nothing" at all. (Yeah, I was a bit of a bitch today.)

And now we're back to trying to find ways to fill these last days of summer before back-to-school-ness takes over our lives. We will be getting busy, soon.

There are still mountains of musty smelling camp laundry to be done, bags to be unpacked from all our journeys (including my BlogHer swag bag - what the hell is IN there, anyway?) And summer's curls to be shorn, and school supplies to be hunted and gathered.

We are moving on.

Goodnight, Irene, now fizzling out over the deep blue Northern sea.

Your winds whipped down our street, you rains lashed our windows; and soon you will be a story we tell... where and how we danced with Irene.

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