Hi my loves. I'm sorry to be away from you for so long but I've been living in the dark hole, better known as New Jersey. Being that I live a half hour from the shore, I thought there was no way this storm could really effect my suburban town as badly as was being predicted. Boy, was I wrong. Thankfully, my family was not effected nearly as badly as thousands throughout New York and New Jersey. My house is standing and dry and our cars are unharmed. If you are able to volunteer or donate to the relief in the area, it would be so greatly appreciated by those who have lost loved ones, homes, cars, and memories. Being that I am now on day eight without power in my home, I have been pretty isolated from the endless news coverage of the storm. It's a pretty surreal feeling being cut off from the rest of society for over a week. It's amazing how much we rely on technology not only for entertainment but for the bare essentials.
In areas of New Jersey, my hometown included, gas is being rationed; allowing people with even license plate numbers to get gas on even dates and vice versa with odd numbers and dates. Gas lines are hours long. If you have the luxury of a generator, most gas stations requiring that you wait outside in the cold and some are even limiting the number of cans they will fill for you. By the way, the last time there was gas rationing in New Jersey, it was 1973.
When we lost power initially on Monday, my house was shelter to my parents, two younger brothers, my grandparents, myself, and of course, my pup, Zoey. Day two added the addition of my aunt and uncle. As the days went on, it became too cold for the family to bare. My grandparents regained power and took my mom and brother with them to the warmth. My aunt and uncle took refuge in a near by hotel that had power restored. My brother returned to college, figuring it was better to be there in the dark than home (I don't blame him, I'd take college in any state, any day!) My dad, Zoey, and I suffered the brunt.
In the beginning, I was so optimistic. Exactly a year ago to the week, a blizzard hit Western Massachusetts. Being that I was up in Amherst at the time, my house lost power for eight days. I toughed out the first two, spent two in a hotel, and was thankfully brought in to the warm household of friends for the remainder of the blackout. I thought that was as bad as it would ever get... and then came eight straight days in a powerless house, six days unable to get to work, gas rationing, and a threatening Nor'easter. Awesome.
Still, I am thankful. Thankful that the worst I have had to deal with is a few cold nights. Thankful that my family is all healthy and safe and able to stay in their own homes which have been largely unharmed. Thankful to the policemen, firemen, first responders, utility workers, volunteers, and politicians that have been working around the clock since Sandy came onto our radar to help as many people as they possibly could. And incredibly thankful that life will return to normal. Soon.
Help your neighbors and stay safe.