My brother Michael drove down to our childhood shore house from Baltimore Thursday just hours before the Hurricane Irene evacuation order. He put some patio furniture in the living room, put other things in the car. Now that the storm is a hundred miles north, I'm thinking about what my other brother, Bobby, and I asked Michael to take away. I didn't even know that I cared about the oversized wooden spoon and fork set on the wall, just as I didn't know Bobby had any interest in the rattan chair with the dark turquoise seat. That chair had more or less receded in my memory, but now that it's been saved, I have to admit it does have a kind of authority and charm. The ideal person for that chair: someone large, smart, and jovial, with thin, sturdy arms and broad back. As far as we know, the house is still standing, un-flooded, as I write this today. But that doesn't mean we all haven't passed through a small loss, for better or for worse. Maybe that's why I'm oddly stirred up right now, and have the urge to walk, walk somewhere fast, in spite of winds still blowing trash around. Is there any place sweeter than a loved place poised on obliteration? That's the story of these photos Michael sent me yesterday, taken the evening--and morning-- before the storm's arrival.