LETTERS

Watching over us

Posted 8/26/21

To the Editor: Living in the Northeast I have learned a few things. One of them is when there is a storm alert you buy bread, milk, and eggs. (Does everyone make French toast for breakfast?) Gas in the car, propane in the tank, groceries in the fridge,

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LETTERS

Watching over us

Posted

To the Editor:

Living in the Northeast I have learned a few things. One of them is when there is a storm alert you buy bread, milk, and eggs. (Does everyone make French toast for breakfast?)

Gas in the car, propane in the tank, groceries in the fridge, and porch furniture relegated to the garage. Trees in our neighborhood were trimmed in the preceding days in anticipation of the storm.

I have newfound respect and awe for Mother Nature. She is beautiful, but she is fierce. As her progeny Henrí made his approach in the darkness early Sunday morning, the clouds were illuminated by lightning, while trees limbs swayed and bent in the heavy wind.

During a break in the storm, in the distance, a small flame emanated from a jagged branch, embers within glowing. Down the street, a large tree had fallen across the road making it impassable.

The Warwick Fire Department, the City of Warwick, and National Grid all responded in minutes, uniforms quickly drenched, as they assessed the threats and closed parts of the street.

Next to a National Grid van, its lights flashing, an area was cordoned off where live wires were suspended from above.

Into the evening, the lone van and its inhabitant remained like a sentinel, as the rain battered his vehicle. Hours later, a second shift arrived to relieve the first guardian in the mist. I walked between the two vans to offer something warm to eat.

That night the sound of competing generators droned outside, as if I was trapped inside a Formula One race car. I tiptoed around the house like Goldilocks in search of a quieter place to sleep. One room was illuminated like a roadside motel room with a flashing neon sign. I peered out the window in the early morning hours to see the white van still parked in the street, its amber emergency flashers blinking.

But I finally drifted off to sleep, my cat’s purring nearby muffling the din outside, safe in the knowledge someone outside was keeping watch.

Erin O’Brien

Warwick

storm, O'Brien

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