After the Hurricane
I know that many of you are inundated with Hurricane information; the photographs, the news updates, and the information on what to do, and what not to do…..But, as I live in New Jersey, I decided I had to write something.
First of all, I just want to thank people for their concern and offers of help. We are so lucky to have only lost power and a handful of trees, but I admit that the night it happened was one of the scariest I have had in a long time. The noise of branches falling onto our roof became so loud that we actually slept downstairs; once there, we lay on the sofas and watched the sky constantly light up as the transformers exploded all over the county. We were afraid, and we talked about where we would go if we needed to leave the house.
After barely sleeping, we woke to a day that was eerily silent, and we thought for a while that maybe it hadn’t been as bad as it seemed. We got ready, and drove to a nearby friend’s house for coffee. There was another family there, and we all huddled in front of the television, not quite believing that what they were showing was within miles of where we lived. The towns they were naming were all familiar, and we watched for hours, trying to accept the largeness of what had happened, seemingly overnight. Quickly, we heard that areas would be rebuilt, everyone would be taken care of, and it would eventually be okay. I silently wondered if maybe the absence of what we were doing was actually what makes us so resilient in a disaster. If we don’t have time to watch television, or read the newspapers, maybe we don’t know it is quite so bad, and we just move forward, our optimism motivated by a cloud of ignorance.
Trees are down everywhere, and we know that it is just a matter of time before they will be moved, and our electricity is restored. For so many others it isn’t so easy; lines can’t be repaired, and homes may never be replaced. Yes, I am lucky (a nearby friend has loaned us her home to warm up, shower and share meals), but I admit it is also driving me a little crazy. Now that it has been six days, the town is a strange mix of compassion and crankiness – everyone wants to help who they can, but many are tired, and just want things to go back to normal. Once again, we are forced to realize how much we rely on technology, and we are almost embarrassed to admit the comforts that we miss the most (a hot shower and a cup of tea).
I have learned some things over the last week, so I thought I would share them with you: – I can boil water for a cup of tea with 3 votive candles, a metal trivet and a very posh china cup! Put a lid on top, and it heats even quicker. – My street is black as pitch after dark. (No flashlight, no way to find the front door). – My daughter is one of the best people on the planet (maybe I needed a little bit of silence for me to hear that). – The people who are back at work, doing all kinds of Customer Service, should get an award (especially Dana, my Orthodontist’s Receptionist). These people also have no power, and gas restrictions, but they still have to get dressed, look presentable, and put a smile on their face. – Thank goodness for cell phones. Many of my friends and family are far away, so to be able to text has been a godsend for all of us.
With that, I will sign off, and thank my friend for letting me use her laptop (for which I am woefully incompetent at) knowing that I am one of the very lucky one’s who only has to worry about heating up her cup of tea.
For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to: http://www.thebluegiraffe.com/