During the Hurricane:
- I Panic During An Emergency. At the height of the storm, a gigantic oak tree fell on our neighbor’s house and exposed their entire master bedroom to our view. I can honestly say that was probably one of the most terrifying accidents I have ever witnessed. Instead of comforting my kids or springing to action, this is what I said: “Omigod. Look at their house. We have to help them!” I repeated that phrase over and over, pacing the house, crying. My husband raced to his cell phone and called 911. At the time, I remember thinking to myself that was a smart move, and yet I don’t think I would have thought of it myself. And then I did what any rational 47-year old woman would do: I called my Mom(my) and Dad(dy). I told them what happened and started to sob. My mother offered to drive the 25 miles to our house mid-hurricane to comfort me. Another (ir)rational intention. Clearly, I am her daughter.
- Sleeping in a basement is more comfortable than I thought it would be. Especially if I know I’m going to wake up un-harmed.
During the Aftermath:
- I WILL wait on a hour long line at the only open Dunkin Donuts for miles, in order to get my daily iced tea.
- I WON’T wait on an hour-long gas line even if my car is close to empty.
- I can easily fall asleep to the sound of chugging generators in our neighborhood, but when the machines awaken me, I turn resentful that our generator is broken.
- My kids can survive without electronics, but I cannot. Each day post-storm as I would use my phone and watch the charge deplete, I’d become edgy and nervous, not knowing when or where I’d be able to charge it up again. I am definitely not cut out to be Amish.
- Having all of our food spoil was a happy day for me. That meant we had to eat out for every meal. That is the equivalent to someone telling me I won the lottery. No cooking – woo hoo!
- I can sleep with several layers of clothing, two heavy comforters and a winter hat and still feel cold in an un-heated house.
- I can plow through an entire bag of Kit Kats in one sitting. And yes, that does qualify as a meal.
- I am very needy. I need to know I am loved and that my friends will be there for me in times of crises. I had several friends nearby who did not lose power. Some of them were very generous with their homes, inviting us to use their wi-fi, charge our phones, and even sleep over to stay warm. Then there were the OTHER friends, living it up in their warm, brightly lit houses who did not so much as send an email to ask how we were and if we needed to charge our phones. I am done with those friends now. Done.
As I write this, we are still without power. We escaped to my brother’s house in Boston for a few days, where we are enjoying heat and electronics. Rumor on the street is that power could be out for another week or more. If that’s the case, I’m sure I’ll continue to learn more about myself, and my resilience. Or else you can visit me in my padded cell.
Did you learn anything about yourself during Hurricane Sandy?