Ten Things I Learned About Myself During And After A Hurricane - OhBoyMom

Ten Things I Learned About Myself During And After A Hurricane

November 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

During the Hurricane:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

  1. I WILL wait on a hour long line at the only open Dunkin Donuts for miles, in order to get my daily iced tea.
  2. I WON’T wait on an hour-long gas line even if my car is close to empty.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. I can sleep with several layers of clothing, two heavy comforters and a winter hat and still feel cold in an un-heated house.
  7. I can plow through an entire bag of Kit Kats in one sitting. And yes, that does qualify as a meal.
  8. 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?

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly November 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm

So good to know you’re all ok! I had to laugh too Emily because we both know we are way more defendant on our electronics than our children:) LOL

Last year, I decided I was going to cut everyone from my life that did not make me feel good. GOD it felt great and still does. I mean it…I refuse to spend my time or money on anyone who wouldn’t do the same for me or mine. I’m sick of the leaches, you know?


ohboymom November 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Yeah, I’m with you on that Kelly. I’ve definitely learned a lot from my supposed friends during this storm and conversely, realized that others are truly there when I need them.


Janine Huldie November 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Emily, first off I am right there with you, but feel so guilty when I tell people now that we got our power back in only two days time. During those two days, I was a very cranky, bitter person and I am ashamed of how much I complained and missed technology at first. By the second morning I resigned myself to no computers, IPads and IPhones either. But the heat or lack there of was the worst, I cried when I had to just change my clothes and had to expose my feet to the cold tiles in my bathroom. My husband took a cold shower god bless him, because I seriously was going to go down smelling before I did that! We are now the hub for all our family that still is without power. Tonight, the third night we will be hosting showers and dinner for everyone. I am tired and constantly feeling like I am playing catch up with stuff, but it is nothing compared to what others have gone through and still going through. I am thinking of you and your family, Emily and hope your power is on again very soon.


ohboymom November 3, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Thanks so much for your thoughts Janine. It’s the people who reach out (like yourself) who make tolerating this kind of situation so much more bearable. Hope to be permanently back online soon!


Kate Hall November 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Emily, this is a really good post. You’ve helped me picture what it’s like to go through something like this. I would react in panic the same way. I have in much less scary situations.


ohboymom November 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Thanks Kate. Yeah, I knew I wasn’t great in emergencies when my oldest son was 5, he tripped and fell and blood was pouring from his face. I stood there and screamed while my husband sprang to action. Maybe I react that way when I know he is nearby. I hope I would be more resourceful if by myself!


Stacy Harris November 3, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Glad to hear that you are ok, even though you are without electricity. I don’t know how I would have reacted to the storm or if a tree would have smashed my neighbors house. And I love how you will admit to standing in line for your iced tea for an hour but not for gas. I would do the same thing! Glad to hear you are with family. In the case of a disaster, I can’t imagine why anybody wouldn’t open up their hearts and their homes to help those less fortunate!


ohboymom November 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Thanks Stacy and I’m with you on being puzzled about people who are not opening up their hearts and homes. I’ve definitely learned who my true friends are this past week!


Rich Rumple November 3, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Just really glad that you and your family are alive and well. These are all just minor inconveniences, and temporary at that. Hang in there and remember you’re only human, and that Kit Kats need to be eaten in moderation. lol Good to see you still have a smile.


ohboymom November 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Thanks Rich, I really appreciate your support. As long as I have my family and friends (both online and off) along with my bag of chocolate, I’ll keep smiling! :)


Julia November 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm

What did I learn? I love heat. I love regularly scheduled activities for my kids. Everyday of school is a good day. Also, solar panels ROCK! We have a battery back up system for our solar panels and although we don’t have enough daylight hours to run much heat, we have the fridge and freezer running at all times. So, Emily, we can’t join you for all those meals out because I bought out half of Whole Foods stocking up (my own panic mode), but I like to cook anyway. Stay warm everyone!


ohboymom November 4, 2012 at 2:03 am

Yeah, after Jon chatted with Greg the other day about your solar panels, I could almost see his brain calculating that as our next home improvement project. Still hoping power is restored soon…I love heat too.:)


Cari Lorine November 3, 2012 at 11:35 pm

We might be related, Emily. :) I’m with you on most of these, especially the Kit Kat snacking and the eating out (no cooking!). I’m so glad you and your family are okay.


ohboymom November 4, 2012 at 2:02 am

Thanks Cari — glad to hear there’s another kit-kat eating, hating-to-cook person out there like me!


Julie DeNeen November 4, 2012 at 12:34 am

Ugh. You are bringing back memories! LOL…we didn’t have it that bad, but on day three of no power, I was going cuckoo for cocoa puffs. Ashamed to admit it, but its true.


ohboymom November 4, 2012 at 2:01 am

Nothing to be ashamed of Julie — we do what we need to in order to cope!


Roshni November 4, 2012 at 6:35 am

Didn’t know that you were in the line of the storm. Glad everyone is alright! Hang in there!!


ohboymom November 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Thanks – I appreciate it – we’re hangin’ in!


Angie November 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Love this. Perfect Sunday morning read! :) Thank you!


ohboymom November 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Glad you enjoyed it Angie – thanks for reading!


Melanie Chisnall November 4, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Wow, Emily. I wasn’t affected by Sandy, but the news of it travelled across the entire globe, and knowing people who stay on the East coast made it real. Made me think of what’s important in life even more. So glad that you’re okay – even though you’re without power, I would also have celebrated the no cooking and eating out part! ;)


ohboymom November 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Thanks Melanie…you’re so right about Sandy helping us realize what is important in life. The no power issue is an inconvenience, but at least we’re okay…


Cyndi November 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm

When we lost power for 10 days during a snowstorm a couple years back, I thought I was stronger. I like to think of myself as a pretty pioneering person. But three days into it when the average chair in our house was a cool 20 degrees to the touch, it plunged me into the deep recesses of S.A.D. I was mad that we were trapped (my husband had to spend three days chainsawing all the trees that fell on our dirt road so we could get through in his truck), mad that Christmas came and went when we were in the dark, mad that I was going to have company over for the holidays, mad that we had to go to my mother-in-law’s and stay with 12 other people. Oh, I feel your pain. I so feel your pain. I called my mom and dad, too. I cried a lot. I also spent $300 with the electrician so we could plug our barely-working generator into the house by the time the next storm rolled around. I hope your power comes back on soon. I’m thinking of you.


ohboymom November 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Thanks Cyndi, I really appreciate your thoughts. I’m trying to stay strong, but it’s hard, especially when the house is so cold and I’m worried about my kids and their health. Like you, I thought I was stronger too, but I’m clearly not cut out for this type of “adventure.” I know I should feel fortunate that we’re all okay, but I’m so frustrated that it’s hard to look at the bright side. Thanks again!


Aprille November 10, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I loved reading this post. I don’t think I would fare very well without power either! great post though!


ohboymom November 10, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Thanks Aprille! Yes, we don’t realize how reliant we are on power (and heat!) until we lose it…


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