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Dear friends and readers,

I saw enough about what was happening in many areas of NYC and upper New Jersey to know the Hurricane Sandy has killed people, destroyed houses, made life hard for whole communities, left a bad mess for many: transformers blowing turning into firestorms, loss of power, things breaking off and flying away from terrific winds, such tons of water as to make rivers where there were streets, and flood the subways, whole boardwalks floating down Atlantic People w/o heat, electricity, water, phone, shelter. Thousands & thousands w/o power in the DC area but out little area of Alexandria is  now back online at 3 p.

This "Frankenstorm" was a very late hurricane wrapped around another wintry system was very fierce with a highly unusual range (it affected a landmass from Connecticut to South Carolina as well as inland), and at one time would have been seen as startling. It's the result of global warming or, better put, climate change.  We talked about it over our early dinner last night (ate early expecting to lose power at any moment) and the Admiral suggested that nothing will be done generally because no large entities can agree: they have different interests. Instead each locality will gradually deal with how these changes in weather, climate, foliage effect them.. He thought we have have been seeing this happen gradually.  

So from this one you'll see higher walls for Boston and NYC an island home (it's made up of several islands and the Bronx is a peninsula jutting out) will raise its walls too -- the latter an island home (bunch of islands) so readily flooded. Apparently the walls were made higher after Hurricane Donna or there was a plan to and then people screamed "Berlin Wall!" and so either this was not done or nothing more has been done since. See We are All from New Orleans Now.  The candidates may not want to talk about climate change or global warming (Romney is just not into disaster relief), but global warming sure spoke to them.

We were relatively lucky on our high hills. We have not yet been flooded. It's the winds that become very strong and this time roaring high by around 7. It was raining sheets of water by 5, and we had around 16 outages from 4 pm on, but each until the 16th or so, lasting only a couple of minutes or two. I did have to turn off my computer which became unhappy; Yvette had to stop watching her cable program as her cable box kept issuing instructions on how to upload it again, but apart from that it was just a very dark night and cold by the morning.  So ours was a quiet hurricane enforced by a lack of electricity.  

We used candles early in the morning (because the clock is perverse at this point, making morning black night until 7), then after showering (our water heater did not go off), Yvette & I drove to a nearby Panera's around 8 and brought home coffee, croissants, juice. The admiral went out a little later to Whole Foods for groceries and when he got back he made a fire in our fireplace.

The first we've had in a long time. The last time was in the mid-1990s when we had a rough cold winter and one week w/o power. Snow and ice prevented us from driving to buy things for a couple of days, and the admiral scrambled eggs for us one night over the fire.  

I took photos towards the ending of this one. It is the first Yvette says she remembers. So we told her about "jewels" and the "black log" and the Admiral went on about the chemistry of what was keeping us warm.:

We were a family party for a change and sat together in the living room reading and talking and eating more or less quietly.
fireinFirep[laceblog.jopg

Izzyreadingbyfireblog 

I took the picture and the Admiral was to the other side so you don't see us.

At first Clary was scared of the fire and kept well away:  

Clarystayingwellawaycattree 
Clary in her cat tree towards the back of out room

But after a while she came onto one of the puffs and stretched out with her back to the fire, luxuriating in the warmth 

The sufferer was poor Ian. What a scared-y cat he is. He stayed one of his pods at the back of the house, the one in Yvette's room, hidden under a table, as far away from the fire as he could get. So you don't get to see him either.
 
To be sure, neither cat was keen on the change in routine  and they sensed something wrong last night.  In my usual bout of reading I saw that Clary got puzzled and began to make troubled sounds. I went back and forth a couple of times and she couldn't find Ian either..  
 
But most of this morning I worked away at rearranging my books and went upstairs. downstairs, and then stayed downstairs for a few hours. Why not? Then I subsided into a book. Last night I had my usual 2 hour bout of reading using a flash light. 
 
At 2 pm Caroline came for a visit and to take Yvette to a hair-dresser and then go out to eat. Caroline and Rob live in Burke, Fairfax, and their set of houses has their electricity underground. It's more recently built. They personally had had trouble with surges of electricity, a leak in a window and their router broke. 
 
Pretty tame stuff. We are even going to Kennedy Center for a recital tonight. After all the Metro is now working and Kennedy Center open. We will drive. We usually take the train.
 
We were lucky. We are glad to have our power back so we can cook and have light and phones working again. 
 
Sylvia 

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