Well, we are still cleaning up from Hurricane Sandy. It is a week after the Frankenstorm hit and school has yet to be re-opened. Power has not been restored to most of my area. At my house we were fortunate enough to have power restored on Friday evening. Just four days of cold and dark for my family. Most are not so lucky. Many areas have been affected. No doubt you've heard on the news about Staten Island, Lower Manhattan, and the Jersey Shore areas like Seaside Heights and Toms River.
What many do NOT realize is that people over two hours away from the shore are without electric seven days later and have trees toppled like bowling pins. Today I ventured out to the grocery store and just on the 3-4 mile trip I saw three houses still with trees leaning on the roof, power lines hanging so low there were cones to keep me from hitting them, and trees just mowed like Kentucky Bluegrass.
The bizarre thing is in this part of the state is that some houses are virtually unaffected. Many residents have done their leaf clean-up and picked up a few branches that ended up in the yard. The image is complete tranquility. Then you drive a little further down the road and come upon five trees in one yard that are horizontal.
I know this is not the kind of devastation encountered elsewhere. You cannot compare loss of a few trees in the back yard to someone's total loss of a home or the loss of life. However, we ARE impacted in significant ways here too. A couple from town was killed, leaving four children without parents. Many roads are still impassible. Lines are still down. The less fortunate do not have generators and the night time temperatures are below 30 degrees.
It costs a lot of money to have trees cut, chopped, carted away. Gas is rationed, so even those with generators need to be concerned about having enough fuel to run them. (AND a few days ago, we couldn't even find gas storage cans ANYWHERE!) That situation has finally been resolved, but it puts a little panic in your heart when you think you can't get the things you need.
Oh I didn't mention that on Wednesday we are looking at anywhere from a "Wintry Mix" to "6 inches of snow" and a high wind advisory.
For those who live in another part of the country, I encourage you to consider making a donation to the Red Cross or other Hurricane Relief organization. We all must stick together in times like these!
I have witnessed so many acts of kindness during this time. (A subject near and dear to my heart.) People are helping each other get through. Groups in Pennsylvania, Vermont, Rhode Island are sending truckloads of supplies to areas most affected. Volunteers from all over have come to NY and NJ to provide relief. Neighbors are watching each other's kids, sharing generators/gas and resources. Some are bringing coffee, bagels and donuts to relief workers.
It truly helps to know that this area is being thought of by others around the country. I encourage you to find a way, right now in your own community to help someone--whether you are reeling from Hurricane Sandy or are far enough away from the East Coast not to be affected.
Bring a meal to someone recovering from surgery. Loan a leaf-blower to a friend or better yet DO some yard work for your friend. Thank an employee who does a good job. Be sympathetic, you never know what someone is dealing with. Look for the goodness out there. The more you look, the more you will find.
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