Friday, November 2, 2012

This is My Brain on Sandy

Today I started my day at 8:45 am, not normal on a Friday.  There are no working clocks so I go to bed really early, but lie awake for several hours in the middle of the night worrying.  Stupid, right? But we have no working anything, I don’t know if smoke detectors are even working so I worry.

I threw on my jeans and went down the street to the deli with a generator and bought two large coffees with milk.  When I got home I strategized on where we would spend our day…two hours at the library, two hours at the Y, and a few hours at Panera.  I joked with the cashier on my third Panera meal on Wednesday that I was a “Panera barnacle.”
No school for the kids again, so I was offering up magazines, the movies, books and whatever to keep them busy.  All they really want to do is go back to school.

I fired up the gas burners and fried up some toast in a little butter.  Everyone is eating the gluten-free bread because I had four loaves in the freezer.  I threw away a ton of other really good frozen gluten-free food, along with everything else, that I couldn’t cook!
Ninety percent of the homes in my town are without power, but miraculously most of the center of town is intact.  We just rotate locations to warm up and charge iStuff like everyone else.

I am so grateful that my flight got in on Sunday.  My plane was the last Jet Blue flight to leave the west coast for the east coast.  We received the scary warning about getting trapped in JFK for days or not landing in New York if the storm changed, but we made it.  I got my car from the parking lot and headed home on eerily empty roads around midnight.  Highways in New York are never that empty.
I am so grateful that a gas station on the Hutchinson River Parkway was still open so I could get my gas tank totally filled.  It was desolate and creepy, and I paid a King’s Ransom price for the gas but I am so glad my tank is full today with two hour waits for gas.

There are no stop lights and it just makes me crazy when people don’t follow the rules of stop signs.  Do you really need to sneak through instead of just waiting your turn?  My kids have heard ever cuss word in the book.

At Chipotle last night I got all choked up seeing the out of state power crews roll in to town in a convoy.  We are all fraying around the edges and we are the lucky ones…the storm surge ruined businesses, not homes in my neck of the woods.

I keep telling people who email me with their concerns from the devastation they have seen on the news that I have not seen the devastation in other parts of the east coast because I have no power and no internet.  And, when I hopped on a treadmill at the YMCA, JUST to watch the news, the TV froze.
I do feel lucky.  It’s not terribly cold yet.  Now I have an estimate for power, November 9th, and even though it is seven more days, it is a date.  I have been given assurances that schools are a top priority for power in order to get the kids back to a sense of normalcy.  I have a husband who brilliantly prepared for the storm while I was visiting my family in California and who leaves the house every day with a cooler for provisions and ice.   I have hot water and I just found a laundromat that is operational.

Of course, when I packed up the kids for our day of roaming…I left my big beautiful cups of coffee at home.  My brain on Sandy.  Be safe and be well to everyone in this region.  We will all get through this.
Kendall Egan

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