When I was a small child in the early '50's, we had a neighbor living on a road that ran parallel with our farm. As the crow flies, she was probably a quarter mile away. Irene and Charles had no children of their own, so naturally Irene gravitated toward other people's children at church every Sunday morning and I was one of those who was the object of her attention. Our church family was just that - a family.
The song, Irene, Goodnight played by the Weavers was being played on the radio a lot back then and since we didn't own a TV, the radio was our connection to the outside world - giving us a glimpse of life outside of our little farming community. You'll find on this link several versions of the song. Just click the highlighted text and you'll hear the original versions. The one I remember was sung by The Weavers in about 1952. I was fascinated with the song because I thought it was about our Irene and every night before I went to bed, I would stand out in back yard belting it out hoping that our neighbor could hear it. She would stand outside and try to hear me singing it and on still, clear nights, my voice carried through the woods and down the valley and landed at her doorsteps. I think I was about four years old at the time.
As most of you know, Irene was the storm that was weaving a pathway of destruction on it's journey through the Atlantic. As she approached the North Carolina beaches, she weakened instead of strenthened as had been projected. Our place was spared - we had a leak or two, but those things can be fixed. I know that she's not been quite so kind in some of the places she's visited today, but she has lost some of her force and maybe by the time she moves northward, she'll show a little mercy there too. I didn't realize so many of my blogging friends would be affected by her, but after reading some of the posts, I found that quite a few of you have been on pins and needles this week also. Remember to keep all those in the path of the storm in your prayers - even as far away as Boston will feel the effects.
When I first heard that Hurricane Irene would be heading our way, I couldn't help but go back a few years and think about a little girl singing to the top of her lungs to someone she could not see. So I belted out a tune for the storm Irene, who except for a projected path map was just as invisible to me as the real Irene was so many years ago. I told her "goodnight Irene, goodnight - I don't want to see you my dreams". My voice is no longer a child's voice and is screechy, scratchy and a little off tune. But maybe she listened - just as our neighbor listened so many years ago.
|Waves as they bash a pier in Nags Head on the Outer Banks of North Carolina|