Wednesday, 31 October 2012
We survived the hurricane, but have been without power since Monday. We sat around that night enjoying it at first. Board games, grilling steaks in the wind and rain. It became quite tiresome yesterday, though. Didn't want to grill, because I didn't want to open the freezer, not knowing when power will be back. With 5 kids, board games quickly became battles for supremacy. Kids didn't want to hear how lucky we were to have sustained no damage.
The damage along the Jersey shore and New York is unreal. I'm sure those in the south are saying "welcome to hurricane alley" as they have been through it so many times before.
We prepared the best we could in our home. Brought in what we could. Secured what wouldn't fit inside. When the winds really picked up, I was keeping an eye on the trees through our back door. Then the sky in the not so far off distance turned a greenish-blue. Transformers blowing up. It didn't stop, either. It appeared to be coming from Fort Dix. A few flashes every few minutes for several hours. We could tell at least half the base lost power, as the sky wasn't lit up orange as it usually is from all the lights.
When I saw that, and saw our trees begin to sway, yeah, I got nervous. I got really nervous when I realized I hadn't put away the portable basketball hoop. Thought for sure our camper would be done for, or the cars. It never fell over. We only lost a few twigs and branches from our trees. Amazing, considering the gusts we had. Not sure the actual speeds, but I haven't seen anything like that the 5 years we've been here.
Through it all, though, with no damage, we sat around yesterday, bitching and moaning about no power. Forgetting how easily we got off.
Today, I found out the family we used to rent from when we lived in Staten Island lost it all. A few years ago, their father died. He was a really nice guy. Then, their mother died. She seemed to be as close to a saint as I've ever seen. They cut us a heck of a deal on rent when we moved in 10 years ago. Just married. Wife had two kids, we had one of our own on the way. We had no idea how we were going to make ends meet. I would do what I could around the house to help fix things, and they would just cut our rent a little lower for the work I did. It was like a perfect match. We were helping each other. At the time, the father was battling cancer and bills were adding up. He couldn't do the work and they really couldn't afford a contractor. So I did it for them. They helped us out when I was activated for the wars. Keeping an eye on the family for me, checking in on them regularly.
Their boys inherited the house from their mother when she passed. And we just got word today, it sounds like it's gone. All of it. The older boy is in his mid 20's and I believe the younger one is still in high school, as he wasn't much older than our oldest.
It quickly reminded me to count my blessings and how lucky I am to only have power out. They no longer have the home they grew up in.
I know thousands are now looking for new homes and places to stay, but if you know someone in the NYC metro area with a 2 bedroom for rent, please let me know.