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!