Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Poem for Halloween and Hurricane Pictures

Hallow-E'en, 1914
By Winifred M. Letts

"Why do you wait at your door, woman,
     Alone in the night?"
"I am waiting for one who will come, stranger,
     To show him a light.
He will see me afar on the road
     And be glad at the sight."

"Have you no fear in your heart, woman,
     To stand there alone?
There is comfort for you and kindly content
     Beside the hearthstone."
But she answered, "No rest can I have
     Till I welcome my own."

"Is it far he must travel to-night,
     This man of your heart?"
"Strange lands that I know not and pitiless seas
     Have kept us apart,
And he travels this night to his home
     Without guide, without chart."

"And has he companions to cheer him?"
     "Aye, many," she said.
"The candles are lighted, the hearthstones are swept,
     The fires glow red.
We shall welcome them out of the night—
     Our home-coming dead."


It's hard to believe that Halloween has arrived -- we haven't even carved our pumpkins, we've been so focused on other things, and I've read that trick-or-treating has been postponed in the Hudson Valley while the hurricane cleanup continues. We had rain all day, but in our own neighborhood at least, thankfully there were few indications of how severe the storm was overall. There were a couple of trees down, but nothing like after the derecho in July and nothing like what New Jersey and New York got, plus our neighborhood kept power nearly continuously, though there are people in the region and the state who still don't have it (waves to Rachel). I feel very, very lucky, though older son is complaining that Sandy was a disappointment in College Park!

We had a quiet day with everyone home again -- schools closed, Paul's office closed, several local roads closed so we didn't go anywhere besides Adam's girlfriend's house and the food store (having not bought milk or cheese in case we lost power, we were running low). I walked around to see what the neighborhood looked like after the storm, but it was raining and quite chilly, so I didn't cover the entire area. We watched The Runaways because Paul hadn't seen it. I don't understand why people are freaking out about the Disney-Lucasfilm merger, even (or perhaps particularly) feminists: how could anything Disney did possibly be worse than Attack of the Clones? Best of luck to everyone cleaning up after the storm; here are a few unimpressive photos from right around here:

A tree fell across three of my neighbors' backyards, smashing through several fences.

Even in the worst of the rain on Monday, younger son walked the neighbor's dog.

We had lots of leaves down, green ones as well as autumn ones...

...and impromptu streams forming where we usually have a trickle...

...but apart from backed-up gutters, we were on high enough ground not to have any flooding.

Now we have some completely bare trees and some still gorgeous like this pair.

I am pleased to report that the five-deer family I often see in the neighborhood woods appear to have come through the storm fine.

And most of the Halloween decorations appeared to have survived.

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