Well, it has been three days since Hurricane Irene blew through the Northeast. My family and I made it through without losing power and potable water; we had only a few small branches come down in the backyard, along with what seemed like a ton of leaf litter; and we sustained no wind damage whatsoever. Clearly, we were blessed. However, after seeing the flash flood damage in Vermont and considering the long-term struggles it will create for the residents there, I feel guilty at how minimally affected my family and I have been by this unexpected weather event.
As many people in the surrounding towns are still without utilities and the local schools have delayed opening, the area restaurants are filled with families who are eating out. At first I didn't think much of this but as I watched people (while I myself was enjoying some time off from cooking), I noticed that large parties were dining together and that the level of conversation was loud and animated. Greetings and farewells, likewise, were very affectionate, with hugs and kisses begin exchanged sans reservation as people came and went. It seems that the void created by a lack of electricity and extracurriculuar activities has freed up a lot of time for friends and family to reconnect in a very old-fashioned, community-oriented, face-to-face way. What a blessing! Hopefully, we can all remember to continue this behavior when life returns to normal.
Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.