« | Archives | »

A Storm’s Wake

August '11

I’m writing this month’s newsletter on my iPad, ensconced in a comfortable recliner at a friend’s house where I’ve decamped for Hurricane Irene after a mandatory evacuation. The electricity is out –  probably the result of a downed telephone pole – and my iPad has only 48% of its power left. Once it drains, I’ll stop writing and switch to reading the Annie Proulx book I grabbed as I left my house. Meanwhile the wind howls and the trees are probably weeping at losing so many leaves before they turn to autumn reds and golds.

My fingers are crossed that “the surge” at high tide this morning only flooded my basement and didn’t reach the main floor. In my current state of limbo, or not-knowing, however, I am content. I’ll undoubtedly go into adrenaline mode upon my return when the storm is over. But it will be fruitless, because there are better ways to accomplish whatever needs doing. Meanwhile I can enjoy a most leisurely day, reading books, chatting with friends and sipping steaming coffee heated over a sterno can by my most clever hostess at this port in the storm.

… It’s three days later. I’ve returned home and joy of joys, my electricity also came back with a very big bang this morning. In the days ahead I’ll have to move hundreds of items back to their original location, but the house and I have suffered no damage except for some spoiled food and the loss of some good work time.

I must admit to a certain weariness after three days of coping with no hot water and electricity, but the fascinating memories of visiting Beavertail Light with my hosting friends, where we felt the  power of the wind, watched the roiling sea, and sniffed the exhilarating air will always be with me.  So maybe disruptions to our lives where we have to recalibrate all our activities can be beneficial.  At the very least, they can certainly prepare us for those larger transitions that life requires of all of us.

If you live in the path of Hurricane Irene, I dearly hope that you were spared any serious repercussions. I’d love to hear your hurricane stories about what happened, how you coped and what you learned. I myself am gradually putting my house back in order – it’s going to take a while!

Do enjoy these last days of summer!

P.S. As a former academic, the new year always begins for me in September.  To celebrate, as a special for all my newsletter subscribers, during the month of September, I’m offering my 30/30 Consult for FREE. To take advantage of this opportunity, simply contact me with your request and we’ll set up a time to talk.


  1. Victoria Baldasarre said on September 1, 2011:

    Hello Bonnie,
    So happy to hear that you are safe after the storm. I have friends in Exeter that were also without power for quite some time. Here’s to a swift return to your home and normal routine.
    In Bedford, NH, we were prepared for the worst and ended up getting lots of rain and tropical winds. Thankfully, no damage.

    I’ve been reflecting on this wonderful summer and especially the 2 weeks I had in Vermont at the Green Mountain at Fox Run retreat in Ludlow. Hurricane Irene and subsequent flooding has devastated this area of southern Vermont including Ludlow and the Woodstock/Queechee area. It was very difficult to watch as news reports showed floods wiping out the same areas where we had hiked just a few short weeks before. I truly feel blessed to have escaped with just a few branches in the yard.

    I share your excitement about September as well. I just started a faculty position at Mass General’s Institute of Health Professions in the nursing department. Excited to be starting another new chapter.

    Hoping your cleanup is easy and swift. Sending you lots of postivie energy,


  2. Bonnie said on September 1, 2011:

    Thank you, Victoria for your very kind wishes!

    Hurricane Irene has taught me how much I value that “normal routine” of mine. I too have been thinking about the folks in southern Vermont and hoping for an easy recovery for all of them.

    Congratulations on your new faculty position at Mass General’s Institute of Health Professions! I wish you the very best as you write this new chapter for your life.


  3. Roberta Taylor said on September 3, 2011:

    I’m glad your little cottage was not washed away with the storm. We survived in good shape, with only a 6 hour power outage, and a slightly bedraggled garden. Let me know when you are coming this way.


  4. Bonnie said on September 3, 2011:

    Hi Roberta!

    So glad to hear you fared well and that you were only out of electricity for 6 hours. I must admit I was not happy when the electricity went out again yesterday, but I did enjoy a lovely grilled shrimp Caesar salad purchased at a local seafood restaurant, so I didn’t have to open my just restocked refrigerator. Happily, the power is back on today, so “normal routine” here I come!

    Hope your garden is soon back to its beautiful self,

Leave a comment