Something like four days before the Big Storm That Changed Everything, I had this whole post planned about the natural beauty of Westchester County and the attendant problem of nearly running into deer on a regular basis.
Which is to say, even on the good days... life in the country means living on the edge of natural disaster.
But the storm came, and apparently I decided to take a week off to recover. Actually, as one might guess, work simply took over my life - my store was 150% of the past week's sales this week, no joke. The combination of power failure, which affected our two nearest sister stores as well as every surrounding town and village, along with our ability to actually keep pace (somewhat) with increased demand, made for a crazy week.
And we also lost Halloween somewhere along the way.
A week later, things are getting back to normal, sort of. Unlike Connecticut, our power problems seem to be pretty well addressed, and while some went as long as 5 days without power, the sense that things were moving, sometimes slowly, was apparent. It was also clear, as people ventured out and traveled around, that the extent of the damage was almost like nothing we'd seen in a long, long time, if ever. And frankly, we thought the damage from Irene was pretty bad. This was, if anything, worse.
More than the hurricane, I think, this snowstorm in October will be hard to explain to people who didn't experience it - even the hardiest among us - me included - who like winter and live to overcome the occasional hardship, were caught way off guard on the severity and intensity of tis storm. As I was driving - before I fell into that ditch - I had a greater than usual sense of driving in a completely new landscape, like landing on the moon or something. The day before, it was sunny and the trees lined the road in brilliant fall colors. And suddenly we were in a white out, and the trees were falling on the road.
A week later, the trees, having made their point, returned to standing upright. It's nearly as jarring, now, to drive in the expected fall landscape of rolling hills in fall's riot of colors. Like nothing ever happened, except for those last few piles of unmelted snow by the road. And those last dangling tree branches. And those 100,000+ people in CT still in the dark. I don't know about everybody else, but after the last couple of years, I've stopped seeing the trees as benign, silent presences. More than the deer, I think the trees want to remind us to tone down our hubris, remember that nature can go against us, that even the safest looking objects can hold untold dangers.
Or something. I'm telling ya... we've been having a rough week out here.
Last night, I dreamt I was in an office building, on a fairly high floor, when out a window, I saw two tornadoes touch down. Just your average post storm apocalyptic nightmare. But after I woke up with a start, I drank a little water... and went back to it, to try and plan a better escape route. Hey... you never know.