I haven't posted for a week, which is the longest I've gone without polish on my nails since I started blogging. I've spent the last week dealing with anxiety, fear and utter disbelief. And deep deep sorrow.
I live in Staten Island, one of the hardest hit areas from Hurricane Sandy. The days leading up to the storm were filled with preparation and anxiety. We cleaned the basement which we needed for shelter, we shopped for last minute items, I did laundry and dishes, and anything else I could think of to make our lives comfortable once we lost power. And then shopped again. The warnings were dire and I have three and half year old twin boys. Once you have kids...your life is no longer your own. Before I had them, I would have been nervous about the storm and the almost certain period of blackout with a lot less anxiety. But when you have those little lives depending on you, it does change everything. So we did storm prep right.
The day of the storm, we just tried to keep things as normal as possible with the boys. I didn't let them nap that day because their bedrooms are directly under a (huge) tree falling zone. The wind kept getting stronger and stronger, by dinner it was so fierce it started knocking down branches onto our roof. We packed up some comfort items and headed to the basement for the duration of the storm. We live on a hill and not in an evacuation zone, so I wasn't worried about flooding...just trees falling on us, of which we have many. My boys were super excited to be allowed to go downstairs..it's not usually child proofed down there. They had a great time, until it was time to go to bed. I explained to them because of the very windy storm, we needed to sleep downstairs. My Julius cried for 40 minutes that he wanted to go back to his own bed. They sleep in their own rooms, with night lights and sound machines. So we brought those downstairs with us. And then the power went out. And the wind outside was whipping furiously. My Benett hears and wakes from every little sound! It.was.a.long.scary.night!!
We didn't have power, internet or phone/cell service but we emerged safe with miraculously no damage to the house. Those hours and days without cell/internet and TV...all we could do was listen to the news on our battery operated radio. And we knew it was bad out there!!! I stayed inside with my boys for the rest of week. Shock and fear kept me from venturing out. I was also afraid of using up any gas given how it was not (still isn't!) easily (or not at all) replenishable.
I went down towards the Eastern end of SI
today to check on my old landlords and bring supplies to the beach area that I used to live right next to. I saw horrors and sadness that I have only seen previously from disaster footage on TV. I've always viewed that with a detached sad numbness. You know? But this was so real, so close, my home!! I couldn't deny the pain. I saw a woman who looked to be at the end of her rope. Obviously had been crying. Her little girl stood in their doorway. I asked if she needed help. I ended up bringing food to her and her family and gave her an ear to talk to. They were knee deep in ruined sludge from the ground floor
of their home. I walked a little farther and saw foundations of houses
that no longer existed. I saw houses gutted entirely of their contents. I saw houses in the middle of the reeds, some, blocks away from their foundation. I will never look at the ocean the same way..and
I will never be jealous of someone's beach front property again either.
This FB page shows so many haunting images. https://www.facebook.com/HurricaneSandySI I was at some of those locations today. If you want to help there are many ways listed here.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading my story. Hope you and your loved ones are safe, warm and dry. I'm so so very grateful for those things. I intend to continue to help my community as best I can but I'm also ready to bounce back and start blogging again. Look for some (hopefully) awesome nail art and swatches coming up real soon.