Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Post-Irene Thoughts

Every now and then something happens in my life and I react badly. This might pertain to eating a food that I didn't realize would upset my stomach, or hearing about someone's struggle and responding in a way that I later regret. Generally, afterwards, I am overcome with the bewildering thought that maybe I don't know myself very well.

Here is the rub this time. The power in my community went down on Saturday and was restored today - four days later. Hurricane Irene did quite a bit of damage to our county - but by no means as extensive as the damage in the Outer Banks or in New England. Personally, the degree of my discomfort was based entirely on the inconvenience of the power lost, and the sadness at seeing the devastation. Still, packing bags and leaving somewhat abruptly Sunday afternoon to drive a little over an hour to stay at my brother's brought out a level of stress in me that has left me completely surprised. Again, I really don't know myself very well! The only excuse I can think of for this 3-day minor anxiety attack I am experiencing is just the sudden displacement. I'm cranky, snappy, weepy, unfocused and tired! (Some will say that's normal for me!)

I'm praying for peace in my soul and for the anxiety to subside. Meanwhile, I am so proud to be part of a community that comes out for each other. I live in a little beach town that still has Christmas caroling, a bonfire and visit from Santa in the meadow on Meadow Lane, and puts on a 4th of July parade and family beach party. Everyone was out on Sunday helping each other and so much was accomplished. In the greater Southern Maryland area, people have shown the type of small town spirit that you don't often hear about in our world of non-stop cable debates. I'm sad for the loss of so many beautiful trees and the families that still have so much work to do, but I'm proud and grateful for my small beach town life.

Neighbors out clearing yards. Note the "reddish" mass behind the Honda CRV - those are the roots of two trees that fell in the storm. The root mass is about 20 feet high.

The scene on Meadow Lane Sunday, just one house down from mine.

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