We have a power line resting on the roof of our 10’-by-12’ clubhouse, compliments of Irene. This same line also sags in a perilous smile above our driveway. The consensus of power people is that this line is not live and will probably remain so for the duration of its sway. The “probably” is troubling me. So I will let the professionals deal with its rehanging. But this being Chappy, there will be no quick fix or easy resolution. This particular power line is privately owned. By whom, you ask? Ah, there lies the rub.

Over the many years since its inception, this private line has been joined and abandoned by families past and present. Untangling ownership is like unraveling the strands of a balled-up set of iPod earphones. Time was that there was one unlucky soul who served as the unofficial secretary of the power line association (their spring flings to Maui were awesome). That person was Roger Heywood. A winter storm would pass through corridors of barely-cleared creosoted poles, upsetting crows and cables. Moments later, Rudy Valle would be rudely interrupted on Roger’s record player, and the first candle would hardly be lit and smoking before Roger would be writing and smoking. “Dear F., the power line is down . . .” And so on down the list in his notebook marked “G.D. Power Line.” Yes, Roger would write a letter to each member on the list. A letter. Hand-written.

Nobody has since stepped up to fill Roger’s size thirteens. And why would they? Gone are the days of graceful correspondence, replaced by terse e-mails and unanswered voice mails. These days, the one most immediately affected foots the bill, and then attempts to track down the other responsible parties.

This quality of Chappy — this lack of discernable infrastructure — is one of its lesser charms. Yes, there is something quaint about a lack of formal government of any sort. But the cuteness wears off quickly in the absence of Roger Heywoods. Quaint only works with guidance and authority. We have neither. Just an observation, not a complaint. And I am certainly not stepping up to fill good ole Roger’s vacant seat.

The salt marsh behind our home on North Neck, not surprisingly, flooded during Irene. The water never threatened to breach the road to the north, but came close. I considered wandering down the hill in Sanooks and board shorts and floating above the salt marsh grasses below, like a hawk above the treetops. But I lack the chutzpah gene to act with any regularity on these impulses. So I watched the water from above, dry but missing out.

My friend Ralph the cormorant (named because of his resemblance to Ralph Macchio in the first Karate Kid movie, perched on his pole) has returned to our outhaul post after a two-day hiatus during Irene. He seems to have made nonfriends with two terns in the interim. The terns are upset with Ralph’s perching, bothering him with swoops and peeps during his tenure on the piling. I’m not sure whether it is the post that is at issue, or Ralph, but the serene days of drying wings in the salt air seem to be over.

Peter Wells issued the following about the Chappy Ferry: A reminder that whenever the ferry can not operate there is always a plan B in place. Always call 911 when you have an emergency, 508-693-1212 from a cell phone. During Hurricane Irene, the ferry was restricted to emergency operation by the U.S. Coast Guard. However, the ferry was standing by and ready to go if weather conditions permitted. The harbor master’s patrol boat was standing by in Caleb’s Pond as a backup in case the tidal surge flooded the road to the ferry.

There were five EMTs and seven first responders (all residents by the way) on Chappy during the storm and we even had our own ambulance. Keep in mind that during the height of a real hurricane, you might have to wait to be transported to town and even then you likely are in for a rough ride. Frail or ill individuals should not remain on Chappy during a hurricane.

Someday we will have to face real hurricane conditions and preparing for Irene was good practice. Check the town’s Web site during these situations for weather warnings and information about the opening of shelters. Keep an eye on Katia!