So many people in the path of Irene. Most of my family lives in that path on the South Shore of Boston, Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard but they’re safe, thankfully. Those that live in coastal areas have evacuated to higher, safer ground. They’ve done what’s needed, they’re prepared and now it’s just the wait.
But how do you evacuate a beloved beach house? The beach house of my friend Sandy is in a very vulnerable area prone to flooding and has endured many hurricaines and major storms in it’s 125 years— Hurricane Carol in ‘54, the blizzard of ‘78, Gloria in ‘85, and Bob in ‘91.
It’s a beach house that has seen several generations of children grow up in this family. Cousins and grandchildren come each summer weekend with their parents to spend a day at the beach with their aunts, uncles and friends—boogey boarding in the waves, building sand castles and finding shells and seagull feathers to show the adults, later standing excitedly in line for snow cones. Their pictures adorn the walls of the beach house and tell the story of it’s history and theirs.
It’s not a fancy beach house, the walls are not insulated and there’s no central heat. There’s also no insuance. It’s just too cost prohibitive to insure an 1885 building that’s only used for 3 months in summer and located in a flood zone but like a cat, the beach house seems to have nine lives and survives. Even an anonymous arson attempt that destroyed the building next door and sent burning sparks onto it’s roof failed to destroy it.
I’m just praying it’s still got a few more of those lives left.