Gotham Intermezzo II
28 August 2011

When I told Kathleen that I was going to right the table, she sighed, “Well, if you’re sure that we’re not going to have any more high winds…” I groaned. “Whatever winds we’re going to have, my dear, they’re not going to be hurricane winds.” Irene had long since been downgraded to tropical storm status. What was puzzling was its complete dissipation. As the eye crossed over Brooklyn, our local weather became understandably calm. But that never really changed afterward. What happened to the rest of that huge mass of wind and rain?

The balcony floor is drying up rapidly. As soon as I get the hutch back up on the dresser, all the extra glass- and china-ware that I store in it (all of it having been run through the dishwasher yesterday) can take leave of the dining table, which will be convenient. I’ve already started taking the potted plants back out to the étagères, which I weighted down with bricks. Soon, everything will be back and in place, and I will have only one little problem: water, water everywhere.

There are the bottles of Deer Park and Poland Spring meant for drinking, and the gallons of some cheaper stuff that I kept in my bathroom. There are various household vessels, ranging from a humongous lobster pot to a wine carafe, filled nearly to the brim with water. There’s even a stovetop teakettle ready to go. Because we’re by no means through the hurricane season yet, I’m going to find a place for the store-bought water. As to the rest — my hope is to conserve it for watering plants. Given the reduced number of plants (I threw away anything the least bit scraggly), we’ll see how long that lasts.

Power was cut to Fire Island at 6 PM yesterday. That means that I’m in for a treat when I get out to the (presumably undamaged) house in the next few days. The prospect of cleaning out the refrigerator tempers, if only slightly, my rejoicing at seeing the last of Irene.

I took great comfort throughout the ordeal from Andrew Thompson’s history of the reign of George II. I wouldn’t want to have to live in the 1740s, but I never tire of dreaming about them.