Hurricane Earl. We watched you on the news, tracked you online, fretted about you for days. We boarded up windows, moved all the outdoor furniture indoors, warned traveler not to come, even shut our restaurant down in anticiaption of your messy arrival.
The hatches were battened by noon Friday. And then we waited. I took a nap. I saw half the staff headed to the beach for a last minute swim — it was so hot and humid. In the late afternoon, I took a long walk with my mother. Waiting, watching. A gust of air would come and we would say — here you come now. And then nothing. You are such a big tease, Earl.
Finally in the late evening, with guests tucked happily in their air-conditioned rooms, I went to bed with all the windows closed, storms down. I was ready for you, Earl.
And then you never really came. Some rain, a little wind. But there is no flooding, no power outages. Just another sunny day on Cape Cod.
So it was a whole lot of prep, for nothing but a whimper. I am relieved, but also somehow disappointed. I was enjoying the crisis and now that there is no crisis, I feel like an army general who has been stripped of my responsibilities. Now we put everything back, we return to the normal flow of things. We chalk Earl up to a fire drill.
I guess I am glad we never really met Earl, but I was ready for you nonetheless.