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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Friday's storm was a humdinger, 12 hours of winds gusting to 55 mph, continuous rain, heavy surf (indeed, waves broke the length and breadth of the cove, not just on shore), little sleep (it started at midnight), water leaking in at the French doors, and a tree falling literally an inch off the corner of the house. By noon the wind abated and the rain stopped and I went out to look at the damage.

There wasn't any. The tree had falled as precisely as if directed, missing the propane tanks and the window and the shingles. A few small branches brushed the house, as a tease. It did fall squarely on the ornamental evergreen at that corner, bending its double top completely over. But it was not snapped and when I delimbed the tree and freed the squashee, I just bent the tops back into shape. Try that with a house.

Just another scary storm coming out of the east, off the water (he said calmly), so big that it was still blowing, now out of the north, and showering until Saturday afternoon. They seem to be increasing in frequency the last few years, at least in our short experience since 1995. Old-timers will scoff, I'm sure.

The force of the sea was seen most vividly on Crockett's Beach. It is a rocky beach, with stones ranging in size from baseballs to basketballs. In the wake of the storm these stones were winnowed, in peaks and valleys, like rows of potato hills. I've never seen anything like it; the surf had re-created itself, frozen in hundreds of tons of rocks.

The second-best thing about a big storm is the beautiful weather that follows, re-vivifying all the brain cells you lost in those hours of anxiety. The best thing is that you stand in awe of nature.

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