Thursday, November 1, 2012

a place called home

I vacillate between being frustrated by the storm and the lack of power and knowing it will be a while before it returns and being ever so grateful that I even have a home to go to. I have been fortunate enough to have been able to stay with my parents for a couple of nights to get some respite from my cold, dark house. My brief encounter with electricity, internet and and heat are about to come to an end. I left my small home as we have no gas to light our stove and no working (for the moment) fireplace. The temperatures have started to plummet.Tomorrow I will hand the children back to their father and I will enter my small cold house alone. It's one thing to be in the dark, it's another thing to be in the dark alone. I'm really dreading this.

We weathered the worst of the storm. I wanted to flee and nearly did but for the sake of my children I did not. My reason was simple. They need to know that we cannot run away from our problems. My home was not in immediate danger. I was not in an area that was evacuated. We would handle the storm as everyone else would. We were armed and we were armed well. I had taken all the necessary precautions. We have water - lots of it - for drinking as well as for washing. I have peanut butter and bread and crackers. Apples and oranges. I have batteries and flashlights and a radio. And magazines. And of course, plenty of wine!

And the storm came and we lost power. Suddenly it was dark. Very dark. In the distance I could see the light of the town below and I took comfort in that, but I could not see anything immediately beyond my windows. I worried as I heard things hurl themselves at the windows. I heard the wind, an angry wind rushing by. I wanted it all over. I wanted it all over now. Or someone strong to protect us. I put on a brave face for the children but I was anything but.

A while later there was a huge flash and just like that the rest of my town went black.

The boys and I slept together in the living room. Christopher took one couch and Alexander and I took another. The radio played on in the background, and at regular intervals we could hear the news and updates relating to the storm and the evacuations.

We woke in the morning and it was light. It was dismal and grey and damp and cool. The worst of the storm was over, but you could feel it was still with us. Sandy had not yet become a memory.

I hopped in the car to drive around. I managed to squeeze by a large oak tree that had come crashing down in the middle of the night. The main roads, for the most part were fine, save for the lack of power. The side roads and streets, however, told another story. More trees than I had ever seen had come down during the night. More power lines than I had ever seen had been pulled down, snapped or ripped apart. Parts of streets were blocked, and many were trapped in their homes. In short my little town looked like a war-zone. Yesterday we were 99% without power. Today we are 95% without power. I'd say it's improvement but it's daunting. An eternally optimistic person, it's hard to be optimistic now.

It's not so much the cold. It's not so much the dark. It's not so much the lack of power, cable and internet, but it's the being alone. It's the being alone in the dark and cold without much contact with the outside world. I felt a certain sense of security when I had my children with me. While it is my duty to protect and care for and nurture them, they provide me with a sense of security in return. As of tomorrow my safety blanket will be gone. Not only will I miss my children, as I do when they are not with me, but I will feel alone as I have never felt before.

I keep trying to look at the upside. I have my children. They have not been injured or perished from the storm. I have my home, it has not been damaged or destroyed by the storm. It upsets me so to see posts on various sites from people who are fed up. We are all fed up, but it is no one's fault. We can't blame the power companies. We can't blame anyone. For those of you with generators, even small ones, fireplaces and gas stoves or grills, be grateful. Please be grateful and try to think about those who didn't fare as well as you did and have no home at all to return to.

Be safe and think warm and toasty thoughts!

XOXO


Jessica

4 comments:

  1. i am glad that you and your family are safe. I admire your patience and understanding for those that are working so hard to safely bring power, water, and other utilities to people. Please know that those of us on the west coast are sending out our love and prayers. Your are in our thoughts morning, noon, and night....god bless....

    ReplyDelete
  2. None of my business, but I'm curious... can't you stay with your parents a bit longer?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear friend ... through the most devastating detours in our life's journey - (though it's not always easy) We need to keep the faith and be thankful for what we do have ~ through the difficult times we will gain strength and hopefully learn to be more compassionate people.

    I'm so happy that you and your children are well and that you do have a home to return to. Instead of thinking how alone you will be ... think of it as a time to be able to meditate without any disruptions and enjoy the peace of being off the grid ... for before you know it, things will return to the chaos of everyday business. Stay safe and warm ... hugs, C. (HHL)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hang in there! You are right...you have a house to go back to, when so many dont.

    ReplyDelete