I am lying in bed with the curtains open. In the seven weeks that we have been here, house and pet sitting in Kent, CT, we have never closed them. We like to wake up with the sun and see the moon and stars on a clear night. A habit from when we lived on our boat Irie for eight years. It is pitch black in the woods. The trees are creaking ever louder, while the wind is increasing. I hear rumble in the distance. Soon, it becomes full on thunder. I am glad the dogs are sleeping deeply. Mark seems to be in dreamland as well. The wind whistles through the barren branches. The wind chimes on the porch sound like church bells. The sky lightens up. It happens in a split second. Then, it is dark again. Why do storms always approach at night? Thunderclaps, lightning, pelting rain. The sky is ablaze now. The roof takes a beating, the trees a slashing, the ground a soaking, the snow a melting. I hope there’s nothing outside that can get harmed. I smile. What could possibly go wrong? We are on land. Our car is parked in the garage.
I snug the covers around me, press my head in my pillow and settle onto the comfortable mattress. The house is stable and strong. I smile again, while I look outside at the raging storm passing overhead. It is the first time we experience a real storm since being off the boat. The initial feeling of panic has eased. We are not bouncing up and down. The wind is not screaming through the rigging. We do not have to take extra precautions. I do not have to go outside to see whether the towels are off the lifelines and the snorkel gear off the trampoline. Or check whether everything is stored and tied off. We do not have to listen to every possible sound to detect whether anything is wrong. “I hope we don’t drag!” “Should we check the anchor again?” “Better keep an eye on the boats around us! Our neighbor is getting awfully close.” “Did you open the drain plug in the dinghy?” “Let’s hope we don’t get hit by lightning!” “Did you put the computers in the oven?” “Are the VHF radio and the GPS on? The anchor alarm?” are statements of the past.
I close my eyes and let the storm rage. No worries. Irie, mon! After reminding myself that vigilance is not needed anymore, my lips curl up again. The worst that can happen is that we lose electricity. Not a biggie. The sounds of the rain and the wind rock me into a deep sleep. It is so easy and comfortable to live in a house…
The following morning, we walk the dogs on the driveway, picking up some fallen branches. We did not lose electricity, and the only damage is a deep rut at the bottom of the driveway. The excess water from all the rain and melting snow had been rerouted, because massive amounts of leafs blocked the gulley alongside. Within ten minutes, we remove some of the leaves with our hands, improvise little dams with rocks and dirt, and reshape the gravel road a bit with our feet. Then, we get on with our day, smiling up at a sunny sky.