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We got very, very lucky, and Irene decided not to wreak too much havoc here. Three tree limbs fell just shy of our garage, and we got a little water in our basement. That’s it. (The above photo is just the pile of smaller branches we pruned. We’ll be taking a chainsaw to the tree limbs later this week.)

Not so lucky? My family in Connecticut, who still don’t have power. And my mother and sister are responsible for my incorrigible 90-year-old grandmother, who refused to put in her hearing aids and kept defiantly standing near windows and trying to go outside amidst the storm. Several hours after the power went out, my uncle got around to bringing over a generator, but my grandmother has been complaining that they’re using it to power the lights; she only wants it used to keep her freezer going. Her freezer, clearly on loan from the set of an Albert Brooks movie, is filled with nothing but frozen cheese and chicken. I guess when the apocalypse arrives, cheese and chicken will become our new currency.

My heart goes out to those who fared worse than we did. Best wishes for easy cleanup, dry basements, hot showers, and manageable (if not fully appreciative) loved ones.