I live in Waterbury, Vermont. The community was hit particularly hard by Tropical Storm Irene. Our place was without electricity for a couple of days, but many neighbors have it SO much worse. North Main Street is a line of houses with their owners’ ruined possessions on the lawn, the stink of mold coming out of every open window. A thin, shifting layer of brown dust covers everything outside; once the storm passed, the sun came out and quickly baked the mud that had been left on the street. We have our problems, certainly; Suri’s workplace was destroyed and we might have trouble paying some bills until her income gets restored. But mostly I’m grateful that we, our cats, and our property are safe and sound.