It’s been six days since Hurricane Sandy hit. Six very long days without power, which means no heat, no light and watching the food in the fridge and freezer slowly disappear. The kids have been off of school for the entire week and we still don’t know when they’re going back. There are gas shortages and soon we won’t have enough for the cars to run. The worst have been the nights with temperatures dipping into the 30’s because it is just so cold, it gets into your bones. Even with a fire going in the fireplace, it isn’t enough to get that internal chill to leave. But even with all this, I consider myself thankful. My house survived the storm and my family is healthy. So many people lost so much. I can’t read the newspaper or watch the news without welling up in tears. I feel guilty being upset or overwhelmed when so many lost so much.
Our neighbors have been great. We’ve been sharing firewood, offers of showers from folks who have hot water (we do), and those who got their generators on have offered us to come over and charge our electronics. It’s amazing how removed you feel from society when you are completely disconnected. No internet, no tv, no phones. We have been living meal to meal, buying things at stores that are slowly getting their power turned on, grabbing food we can grill, driving seven miles away where we know a pizza place is open. We keep saying, it could be worse.
And the moments I have gotten on the internet, little snippets at a library or at work one day, I’ve been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from my family and friends and folks on Twitter and Facebook. I don’t even really know some of the people who’ve reached out with kind words and it’s been so unbelievably nice to hear from everyone. You feel very alone at times, even though rationally you know unfortunately another 400,000+ people are still in this boat with you with not a clear date when it will end. But I do know it will end one day… it could be a week, two weeks, or tomorrow. We just have to hope (and it starts with getting that huge weeping willow off the downed power lines outside)
At the end of the day, this will be a lesson for my kids. They’ll learn they can survive something like this, where things aren’t perfect but with a little perseverance and sacrifice, you can make it through.
Tonight we finally caved and went to my sister in law a few towns over. It’s warm and light and cozy. I am on my computer on the internet, my daughter is watching television. Six days worth of laundry is being done and we just finished eating take-out Chinese food. Life feels just a little bit more normal for tonight. Tomorrow night if the power is still out, we’ll brave it again, but for now we’re good.
One day at a time, right?