The Mast-Head: In the Woods

Our little family of animals and people chugged ahead with life only mildly inconvenienced

   For the kids, our six-day family evacuation to the grandparents’ house off Sag Harbor Road was an adventure. For me and my wife, Lisa, it was a chore. For our three dogs, it was deeply unsettling. The pig was indifferent.
    Our house is home to three dogs over my objections: an aged pug with only three legs, a mixed-breed long-haired lap dog, and a Lab-mix rescue with a black tongue and a skittish disposition. On Sunday, accurately anticipating a power outage, we decamped for higher ground. Lisa loaded the kids and the pig into her Chevy; I took the dogs and a couple of bags of food.
    My in-laws’ house, up a cul-de-sac in the woods, is one of those classic, light-filled East Hampton weekend places that has become a year-round residence. It has a beachy feel — all white-covered couches and pastel touches — not the kind of place a menagerie plus three kids can be left to run unsupervised.
    At least we had a place to go. As the extent of Hurricane Sandy’s effect on the coast became clear, our hearts went out to those left without a warm place to sleep, their clothing, or much else. A group of people from here who went to help in Breezy Point on Tuesday reported scenes of devastation, with little to no help from government at any level.
    As all this went on only a few tens of miles UpIsland, our little family of animals and people chugged ahead with life only mildly inconvenienced. We were lucky, of course, even if the dogs attempted to make a break for it to flee for home any chance they got.
    The pig deserves his own commendation for not giving a hoot about any of it. Leo is his name, and, again, over my objections, he joined the Cranberry Hole Road Rattrays in August. Supposedly, this high-priced porker will stay relatively small; I’ll believe it when I see it. For now, Leo’s feet barely touch the ground; he’s swept along in my older daughter or wife’s arms. And the food he gets — fresh chopped baby spinach, Milk Pail apples, oats, yogurt, diced grapes, nuggets of bananas — is healthier and tastier than the takeout I’ve been eating. Other than complaining when he was sent outside with the dogs to do his business in the swirling wind, he was a fine camper.
    With power out for less than 24 hours at our temporary quarters and no school, the kids were pleased to loll around watching TV or playing with their various electronic devices. After six days, the electricity returned to Cranberry Hole, and we, fatigued, finally went home, after cleaning up the in-laws’ as best we could.
    The dogs were ecstatic. The kids were relieved. And the pig? He just wanted his dinner.