I'd imagined that opening the door at the top of the stairs this morning would be like entering a post-apocalyptic world, with the possibility (if not the actuality) of strewn possessions, shards of window-glass and broken ornaments, maybe a huge bough coming through the ceiling, scattering wet leaves on our bed and letting the cold wind blow through the house. Maybe no house at all, just grey open sky and the leaves of a sodden paperback whipping back and forth in the cold breeze.
(Maybe zombies. Having an American house with a basement of the sort that is always spooky in movies used to disconcert me a bit. But last night, the basement was homely and comforting. Also, I'm pretty sure all the crickets down there are dead by now.)
Instead of devastation, of course, there was just the usual debris of a day spent at home with no energy left to clean up at the end. Lego people, cushions, pieces of paper with scribbled notes that must be kept forever, half crayons. A couple of dirty coffee cups, some glasses of half-drunk water, cookie crumbs on countertops. Lovely electric light emanating from the microwave and the stove and the inside of the fridge.
Nothing new, nothing dramatic. Home the way it should be, the way it always is. Lucky us.
It was pretty wild outside last night as Hurricane Sandy made landfall up the coast from us, but we didn't flood, we didn't lose power, and no trees fell on our house - or anywhere nearby that I can see. We've had two extra days of weekend in which to bake and clean and play family games and obsessively refresh Twitter. We'll move ahead into the rest of the week - trick-or-treating tomorrow, Mabel's birthday party on Sunday - refreshed and reinvigorated, if somewhat weighed down with too many cups of tea and oatmeal cookies.
Not everyone gets to be so lucky, and we're thankful.