Three houses sat on a beach, waiting. Together they awaited the tide, morning and evening, winter storms and summer sun. Beach houses, vacant for nearly all the year round but for holiday crowds escaping from the city.
We should do something, said one to the others. It might have been the middle house. We deserve better than to be overrun by sandy-footed touristed families who are gone come Labor Day and never give a thought to what happens after they leave.
Another house, probably the one on the south end, said it didn’t mind being empty most of the year – It made for a quiet life on the whole, it said, and it wasn’t in an hurry to change things.
All fine for you on the outer ends, said the first one, who was definitely in the middle. You look out over the shore with nothing to impede your view. I could pass the time well enough if only I had a decent view. But instead I see your clapboard sidings and blind windows turned my way, and I’m the first to notice the faded stain and peeling paint, aren’t I? If I could have a change once in awhile instead of this second-rate view, I might be willing to put up with a few teenage boogie-boarders and overdone hot-dog grillers in the summer.
Well, now, you know we can’t move, the other two told the first house. It’s impossible. We’re houses, we’ve got foundations and all that. Ridiculous. You’ll just have to make the best of it.
All that was true enough. Until Hurricane Sandy hit. This was, after all, the Jersey shore.