Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
Sandy. A kind and pleasant name considering the perfect storm it was supposed to describe. While we were skeptics, we were not so brazen as to overlook precautions. While others were stocking up on batteries and bottled water, our top priority was securing the cabin’s new roof.
The paneling was affixed a week or so ago, and the tarpaper tacked into place shortly thereafter. The last step was to secure the metal roofing. This was daunting for our lack of experience and naiveté in the whole ordeal. We were apprentices without a teacher. Nonetheless, it finally came down to it. With two days until Hurricane Sandy’s much hyped arrival, it was go-time.
Assembling the right tools and developing our system required the usual process of hiccups and frustrations as we slowly lumbered, intellectually, to an understanding of the process. Isn’t everything easier if someone else says what to do, eliminates the mishaps, and provides the best in tools and equipment? Well, that was certainly not the case. Thank goodness we like the learning process – there’s been no shortage of that.
Once we got going, however, the job proved to be easy enough. Simple directions and some practice led us to a job completed. With fourteen panels on and the ridge cap in place, we breathed a sigh of relief.
Two days later and Sandy was imminent. As the winds gathered strength and rain approached, the sound of trees snapping on the surrounding hillsides couldn’t be ignored. We put in the southern and northern windows, and finished paneling the southern eves as rain began to shower. It was an effort to do as much as possible, to keep progressing until the last workable moment. I suppose it stems from my own irrational but desirable logic: the greater the effort made, the less the storm damage should be. Naturally.
Nevertheless, the storm did arrive promptly at the dinner hour. Rain and wind obliterated the brief bursts of blue sky that had dotted the afternoon. Despite the full moon, the night was dark. The long wait loomed before us – would our little home be okay come daybreak?
Of course it would. It must. And yet? The question lingered long without needing to be spoken. We slept, to quell the questions and anticipation of the morning.
We awoke to a gray sunrise and the remnants of a not-so-bad storm. Our small house had made it just fine.
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