Batten Down the Hatches

The winds are blowing strongly through our woods tonight as a Nor’easter blasts its way south. It sounds at times as if a train is coming through the forest. The lights flicker occasionally and even went off briefly earlier in the evening. We have a big generator that will kick on if the power goes off and stays off. We got it not long before Super Storm Sandy came through and knocked out the power grid for almost three weeks. It was such a sweet sound to hear that generator start up and know that we would have water from our well, toilets that would flush and food that wouldn’t spoil!

I am reminded this evening of another Nor’easter I rode out in Manchester, Mass about nine years ago. After my father died, my mother remarried a childhood friend and relocated to his home beside the Atlantic Ocean in Manchester by the Sea. I decided to visit them for Valentine’s Day, only to find out the night before that her new husband had passed away quite suddenly. My sister was there comforting our mother and let me know that I was needed.

All the people who had been caring for my mother and her husband had been summarily fired by his adult children. This included the person doing the cooking as well. My sister let me know that a big Nor’easter was headed directly for Manchester the following day that would bring freezing rain and snow to the area. By the time I got there, everyone had scattered except for my sister.

We decided to ride out the storm with our mom and pack up all her things while the winds were raging. We had to buy food to prepare when we discovered there was nothing in the kitchen and wondered if the cook had taken everything with her when she left!

I remember sitting in the kitchen looking out the window at the roiling ocean waves pounding the shoreline, listening to the sleet and freezing rain hitting the sides of the house and wondering about life and death. Wondering at the brevity of my mom’s second marriage. Wondering how my mom would handle the sorrow of another husband’s passing.

There were so many lessons during that stormy weekend for me! The first was that it is so important to live each moment to its highest potential. (That’s actually my definition of love.) We don’t know what is coming down the pike in our direction so we’d better stay open for anything and everything. Life can end so quickly! Happiness and joy are food for the soul. You’re never too old for love and love is love is love.

When a Nor’easter hits, batten down the hatches and ride it out! The sun will come out tomorrow!