It is a gorgeous, sunny day here in Nyack. Rob and I are feeling very lucky after Hurricane Irene.
I did a lot of fretting and hand-wringing and not-sleeping on Saturday night as the wind and rain picked up. Why sleep when you can sit up in bed, tense and worrying, exhausting yourself before disaster has even struck?
A tree fell across the street from us into the road around 10 pm and my heart started racing. As our friend Josie noted: “Experiencing a storm as a home-owner is a completely different feeling.” So true. I felt very vulnerable. We love all the old trees around our home, but we had no idea if they could withstand hurricane or even tropical storm type winds. In one irrational (or extremely rational?) moment, I suggested that we just chop all of them down.
I did fall asleep for a few short hours. In the mean time, no trees fell into the house, the basement stayed dry, and miraculously, our power never went out, though it flickered several times and many around us lost it (and as of this post are still waiting for it to be restored.)
One of the crazy sky tube/sun tunnel skylights that we have in our bathroom leaked, but didn’t do any significant damage.
(This thing will probably get its own post some time in the future – it is a metal tube that basically amplifies the sunlight by at least 1000 times.)
The weird thing is that the wind really picked up here at about 4 pm on Sunday after the storm had supposedly subsided. At this point, our trees started bending like rubber. Most of them got insta-pruned: twigs, branches and leaves were flying all around. This is a fraction of what fell down. (We are tackling the clean-up in stages):
And this slender but super tall tree (which is about 3 times higher than our house) was swaying back and forth as if he was at an 8th grade dance:
Our friend Steve noticed that every time it swayed, the earth around it bulged, as if the roots were trying to break free. I thought for sure that it was going to fall. I wondered if we could go out and stabilize it somehow, maybe by leaning something heavy such as a couch, or a big pile of rocks up against it, but I settled on a little mental telepathy: “hold tight, or at least fall away from the house.”
After the wind died down, we took a drive around Nyack and, sure enough, saw trees down across power lines and evidence that lots of felled trees had already been cleaned up. We are really feeling for the folks on North Midland who now have a huge tree bisecting their garage.
In light of all this, it does surprise me how resilient nature can be. For example, how did these little flowers in our front garden (are they roses? they just appeared last week) manage to withstand all that pounding rain? They only lost a few petals.
This blew onto our driveway from somewhere above – how did it manage to stay intact?
And I was proud of this outcropping of mushrooms in our front yard:
This mushroom is fine, too:
In all, we are thankful that it wasn’t any worse and glad that our first hurricane here is behind us. Thanks to Steve and Josie for keeping us company this weekend and helping us to batten down the so-called hatches.
For those who experienced significant damage, my heart goes out to you. I hope order will be restored to your lives soon.
Finally, to those who think that this storm was blown out of proportion by the government and the media: I for one, prefer that the government over-react rather than under-react in times of pending natural disaster. As I must have said about 54,000 times this weekend: Better safe than sorry.
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