Saturday, August 27, 2011

In Search of a Fine Glow

We live where we do presently due in significant part to Hurricane Floyd. We are but a few weeks away from the 12th anniversary of Floyd's visit to New Jersey. He did not spend a lot of time within our borders but he sure packed a lot into his stay while he was here.

In September 1999 we lived 'NTSG on the side of town that is prone to flooding. Our little ranch house on 3rd Street did not have a basement. I do not think that many of the houses in our neighborhood did. Floyd arrived in mid-September on or near the 16th I think. I recall being a bit awestruck when he first appeared. Water is an interesting element. For while it can act all loud and crazy - much like its pals fire and wind - it can also act in an understated, deceptively sinister manner. It arrives with little fanfare but its ingress into your day-to-day is relentless. It comes and it comes and it comes until it has overwhelmed and inundated every person or thing whose path intersects with its own. It does not stop. It does not even slow. It just continues to come.

Floyd came without a lot of noise or ado. His silence was anything but golden. Floyd intruded close to four feet up into the living space of our little ranch house on 3rd Street back in September 1999. Close to $50,000 and several weeks later, our home was restored to order - or at least a resonable facsimile thereof. Restoration came at a price. The cost was not financial but psychic. Rob and Suzanne each spent weeks sleeping in rooms that were only partially habitable. Each was forced to retrieve and put on the clothes they were to wear to school from a dresser located down the hall or on the other side of the house. Life as a suburban refugee. Not for the faint of heart I assure you. If it is true that misery loves company, then she was one happy broad during the Autumn of '99. In our neighborhood she had company as far as the eye could see.

September 1999 marked Floyd's arrival on 3rd Street. July 2000 marked our departure from 3rd Street in favor of the non-flooding side of town. I suspect that had Floyd not left his mark etched on the walls of our home as well as on the lens of Margaret's mind's eye, we would have spent the past dozen years 'NTSG in our little ranch house on 3rd Street. He did. We did not.

While I hope like hell that the weather prognosticators have erred on the side of hysteria, that Aquageddon is not upon us and I shall not need to peruse the classifieds in tomorrow's Ledger in search of a good deal on a team of dolphins to drive me to work on Monday, Floyd taught me a lesson about water that I shall never forget. A lesson that I hope not too many of us on the East Coast are required to learn anew this weekend courtesy of Irene.

Make sure that your hatches are battened down. Be careful and stay safe. I am off to see if I can bum a half dollar off of a rodeo clown.

-AK

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