the past week has just been a surreal experience – not one that you would ever think could/would happen to you and then when it does it’s weird how you shift into ‘survival mode’ – aka just get through the day and wait for the next – keeping in your mind that it won’t last forever
when we heard that sandy was on it’s way i don’t think that anyone imagined it to be as life altering as it ended up being
deej wanted to make sure that we were well prepared for power loss so monday night she hoarded as many candles, flashlights, & batteries as her little heart (and credit card) could handle – she also brought back the extra tank of gas from our barbeque in greenport
sunday night i got the emergency emails & texts saying that the campus i work for in brooklyn was closed on monday due to the storm
monday morning i got up and out of bed as early as i could – i wanted to get in a good workout just in case i was stuck inside for the next 24 hours – by the time i left the gym at around 8AM the sky was eerie and there was little drizzle – ate breakfast, and then did the best thing i could have done – went out and bought as much ice to pack the coolers as i possibly could
i tried to do as much cooking as i could for the early part of monday – for just in case purposes – i didn’t get too far because around 1PM we lost our power.
and that was that.
there wasn’t much to do after we lost power so we all just kind of sat around for the next couple of hours – waiting and waiting and waiting.
when it started to get dark – we lit all of the candles in the house and assembled our well ‘lantern lit’ house. we had moved the BBQ into the garage and that became our ‘cooking station’ for the next 24 hours.
monday night we ate a pretty decent meal – chicken on the barbie with roasted brussel sprouts, a salad & baked sweet potatoes – don’t ever challenge my BBQ skills after this past week. van, deej, jenna, jack, grammy & i all ate candle lit at the dining room table – it was actually a first after a million years.
when in doubt – play monopoly.
i remember sitting on the toilet (in my bathroom) looking out my window at the trees – they were flying a million miles an hour and some of the electric boxes out our windows were sparking – fact of the matter is we had no idea what other people were going through - none.
eventually everyone went to bed.
- the day after deej & i went for a walk around town to survey the land – lots of down trees & power lines – etc – it looked like a war zone – later tuesday afternoon we went for a drive – because there was nothing else to do – street lights were out – it was crazy – we drove down south in our town – where it’s closer to the water – we saw houses burnt to the ground, boats in backyards, people pumping out there houses – it was scary & sad
- we still had no idea what was going on outside of our town – no power, no 3G cell service – literally you had no way to get in touch with people
- food wise: i cooked eggs on the barbeque every morning for breakfast – luckily i also had sweet potato muffins and baked oatmeal that i had frozen – so i had to use them up before they defrosted – we boiled water on the barbeque too – the BBQ was our lifesaver- honestly we ate better the last four days then we had in a while – everything was done on the barbeque and it was surf & turf almost every night just to prevent the food from going bad – there was also lots of wine – i mean lots
- the thing about food during these times is you really just don’t care – it doesn’t matter what food you get in at what time – where it’s from – i just felt grateful that i had ice, coolers & a house to go home to – it really makes you think about reevaluating priorities – like really
- there was also lots of tuna in styrofoam cups & rice cakes on office carpet
still no idea about the outside world…
- by tuesday afternoon the town that my dad’s shoestore is in had power – their town has their own electricity so they were up & running – it was like nothing i’ve ever seen – people were in panic mode – there were more people in rockville centre then anywhere – lines for coffee were 100 people long -i almost fought someone for the last 6 bags of ice at 7-11. they ran out of cups at 9:30AM – new yorkers love their coffee
- people were charging their phones anywhere there was an outlet – it was at these ‘outlets’ that you really started to learn the horrors
- people had no homes, their things were gone – their lives – literally washed away. i mean i don’t have to tell you – you were all watching it – but to hear it and to know the people living it – i felt lucky.
- from tuesday night on i didn’t complain once. well i mean i complained ‘where is there 3G service’ but we didn’t have power or heat – some people didn’t have water – a lot of people didn’t have a home – they were homeless.
- wednesday-thursday it was driving back and forth from the next town over to our house – to charge our phones – watch television in my mom’s office – use their keurig & conference room to eat chinese food – this was when i really started to see what people had been through
- wednesday night was the hardest night emotionally – we drove my sister back to the city – she had electricity on the upper east side – this is when she called her roommate who lived in long beach – she was crying – they lost everything – the front of their house – ripped off – totally exposed – when they went to clean up and get what they could – they found family pictures leading up to their destroyed home
- wednesday night deej & i also waited on an hour long line for gas in queens – this was great because 1. we got gas and 2. queens had 3G service – i was like a kid in a candy shop on the internet for a few hours and gas was getting scarce so this was a winning combination
- thursday – still no power. by this point i had joined a local gym for a month – since my normal gym is down south close to the water and who knows when it would be back in action – work was still cancelled and i had my first bratty moment of the week. my hair was dirty – i couldn’t blow dry it – i was sick of barbequing everything and food lines were insane – not to mention my lack of coffee – after a hot shower & a self attitude adjustment i spent the rest of the day at deej’s office where i caught up on the news – after watching the news for 3 hours i vowed i would complain no more
stalking LIPA trucks…
- thursday night – on our way home from the office – planning another candlelit barbeque dinner we had a glimmer of hope for power – there were LIPA trucks all around all day and all i could dream of was heat – we rolled up to the house just as jack texted us that power just came on
that’s how happy i was. the power was back – no more coolers, no more ice fights, no more frozen bathroom flashlight runs, no more 12,000 people lines for coffee – but we were also out of cable & internet until at least sunday – still with shotty cell service
i was no longer taking things for granted – a warm bed, a warm house, electricity, hot water – the phone, the internet, cable – it didn’t seem to matter.
what sandy really taught me is to take nothing for granted – i mean nothing – because people i know lost everything in one night – like everything – the house they grew up in – their clothes, pictures, memories – literally washed away. we kept saying the whole week how lucky we were to have just lost power. now it’s time to rebuild & help out.
i also want to thank you guys for ALL of your prayers, well wishes & thoughts this week – please send them to the families in the tristate area –they need as much support as possible now.
as always thank you for reading & staying with me!
love to love you <3