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August 28th, 2011
03:50 PM ET

Letters to the President #951 'The passing storm'

Reporter's Note: The big hurricane is a hurricane no more, and yet my letters to the president roll on.

Dear Mr. President,

Not wanting to tempt fate by speaking too soon, I will nonetheless tell you that the big storm seems to have left little havoc on our front porch. Despite a restless night in which we occasionally heard the trees whipping and ripping in the wind, and a pretty good measure of rain, we awoke to a yard full of leaves and twigs; one or two large branches, and nothing else.

We sorted through all sorts of batteries and flashlights ahead of the front, and had them at the ready all night but, and this is the true miracle, we didn't even lose power! I can not impress upon you enough how strange that is, because as I have noted before, we tend to have electrical outages with dismaying regularity.

As it was, my younger daughter and I passed the evening reading aloud from Walden (summer assignment for school, and let me tell you, that Thoreau is a laugh a minute; I mean, how can anyone spend six pages describing the color of water?) and watching Lost in Translation on DVD. Although, come to think of it, Cape Fear would have also been a good choice.

In any event, we expected to be plunged into the ebony night any moment with a flicker and gasp as our only warning, but it did not happen. The lights dipped slightly a time or two, like the night the Gooch brothers got the chair, but otherwise they glowed on amid the storm as if nothing were amiss. To be honest, if we had not know there was meteorological trouble afoot we would have thought nothing but a somewhat larger than normal cloud front had rolled over.

Still, last time around we lost power for days, so we can sympathize with those who were not so fortunate. Best of luck to all who are trying to get help their way. Call if you can. As best I can tell, our phones are fine too.

Regards,
Tom