Thursday, November 01, 2012

Sandy Aftermath: Count Your Blessings If You Can

"Watsamatta' whichoo?? We got everything we need!"
Years ago I remember our power went out on Thanksgiving because of a hurricane. I forget which year it was, but it was a powerful one. I was only around five years old and all my sisters lived at home. Our turkey was halfway cooked and my dad, being the creative savior through all of this said, "Let's get the gas grill going and cook the turkey in that!" We all didn't know how he would do it in the rain and wind, but lemme' tell ya --- that man cooked the best turkey in our entire lives. I even remember how good it was.  Dad did a lot for us - if not everything. He protected us, provided for us and made sure his family was safe and warm. We never worried about severe storms or the lack of power --- we were with Dad, what could go wrong? His mind worked overtime and with that, I have learned to prepare ahead of time or at least, get creative with what you have on a second's notice. He was a hunter, a fisherman, a guru on heavy equipment and machinery. Although he's not here today with us, he left us with his preparedness. My mom said to me this morning, "If things get really bad, remember, I know how to prepare a deer." (I hate using the word "gut" - don't ask.) Not that I would let her - but I would let her guide me. Dad showed me how to shoot a gun and left me with his rifles. I saw a fat deer on our lawn and said to Madelene, "There is she, our dinner," joking around, but what if we were in a catastrophic event worse than Sandy?

This is next to our driveway. The telephone pole is on the right leaning. We weren't sure if they were live wires or not. 
This was across our driveway. We literally were trapped.
A leaning pole due to the gigantic fir tree that took it down.
Two days before the storm after I filled my entire car with gallons of water and canned foods, I stopped at the gas station with my mom in the car. She asked, "Why are you getting gas, you're practically on full." I said, "Every drop counts - it could mean one mile to safety." She giggled and shook her head. She knows how much of a 'doomsday prepper' I can turn into, but this morning, she realizes how much we needed all those things. We made coffee with the percolator on top of the wood stove. We had one of Dad's friends chainsaw a tree that was trapping us in. Nine fir trees fell onto my neighbor's yard. These trees were planted back in the 50's, so the height of them is just amazing. They were uprooted, taking part of the ground along with them. Electric poles were dangling so we couldn't even hop around the fallen trees due to not knowing if they were live wires or not. We were literally stuck inside waiting for help. And still -- the electric company has not come to take the wires and poles away. We called about three or four times and still nothing. I realize there are many without power and worse off situations, but it goes to show you there is only so much help to go around, even if it means staying inside trapped in your house for days on end. We're just super grateful that it isn't freezing outside.

There are lines and lines waiting at the pumps over at the gas stations. One side is for pedestrians trying to fill their gas containers for their generators and the other side was for cars. The line went down block after block and you can only buy $20 worth of gas. Is it worth it? I don't know. People even ran out of gas while waiting on the line in their cars. I have never once seen New York in such a 'state of shock' before. People lost their homes and some lost their lives. Another thing to consider is to take out cash before the storm hits. And that's no joke because at the supermarket this morning, they said, "Cash only, our credit card machines aren't working." There is no way to buy food if you don't have cash. I understand why some people don't take weather warnings seriously - most of the time it is media hype for us New Yorkers, but realizing storm after storm, and seeing how worse the weather it is getting, you have to be prepared. Some believe global warming is a huge factor in all of this and some people believe that we are in fact, living in Revelations. It's like a woman going through labor pains -- it only gets worse until the final relief comes. I belief in both theories: global warming and Revelations. It's all relative.

I pray that everyone is safe and warm. I pray that the areas that were affected gets back up on their feet and that our community pulls through to help those in need. There are people out there whose homes were severely damaged or who have completely lost their homes without any insurance to cover it all. And for those who lost loved ones in this storm, my heart goes out to them. For the people who just lost power for a few days and complained and bitched their way into oblivion, consider yourselves very lucky, because next time you may be in the 'worse case scenario slot'. Count your blessings.

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