This morning I was driving north on I-75 in Ohio. Going the other way was a convoy of cherry-picker cranes, the kind crews use to repair damaged electrical lines. I think they were being positioned for recovery efforts after Florence hits the East Coast.
On Tuesday morning I was in Michigan eating breakfast at a Best Western motel. I was up very early, and everyone else in the breakfast room was obviously a tradesman: construction site workers and truck drivers, strong men used to going from job to job and working with their hands.
Television screens on the walls played the CNN morning news, and when it ran a segment on Hurricane Florence, the room went silent and every man watched somberly. These men, or their friends and coworkers, might be called on to haul supplies and repair or rebuild the storm’s damage as their next job. They looked grim, not joyful, at the prospect of plentiful work. Those jobs would bring them face to face with loss and grief, and the future might be hard on their hearts as well as their hands.