What I Learned As a Result of Sandy

It was often hard to remember, but I was one of the lucky ones. Very lucky ones, in fact.

My sole issue was that I didn’t have power. While I did have a generator for keeping my fridge cold and sump pumps working, it did not connect to my hardwired furnace. So the house was bone chillingly cold. So cold that despite having power and heat for over 18 hours now, I cannot shake the shiver in my bones. Steaming baths, hot showers and a trip to my health club’s sauna have not helped. Still, I know how lucky I am.Fairfield, CT

Fairfield, CT’s beach area has been devastated. People are still pumping out their basements and dealing with enormous amounts of sand and debris. I received an email from Fairfield University asking for people to take in some students who will be displaced about 8 weeks from their housing by the beach. Those people are suffering, but our town will help them out because it is a local pocket of devastation. After getting our cable back up, I’ve been able to see the devastation of NJ and parts of NY like the Rockaways. Our town’s devastation is relatively minor in comparison.

While drinking away my frustrations at United Illuminating’s lack of reliable information about power restoration, I did take time to reflect on some blessings that we had because of Sandy.

  • I was able to spend a lot of great time with my husband and kids. Time without the distractions of television, internet and other activities.
  • I was able to spend time with neighbors that needed some extra help. I have a few elderly neighbors that do not have a generator. I was able to give them some hot meals that I heated up in my microwave. Our paths do not cross often, and it was nice to get to know them better.
  • My son has become a wicked good cribbage player. This would have made my grandfather, after whom he is named, very happy.
  • My oldest daughter has become unglued from her busy activities, the internet and phone and has become more a part of the family. As a 13 year old, those moments are few and precious.
  • My middle daughter has a daunting sports schedule between highly competitive swimming and travel soccer. This past week has given her fun times with friends that she doesn’t see nearly enough of during the fall.
  • I have become very appreciative of my dishwasher and clothes washer and dryer. By far, these are the appliances I need and want the most.
  • My husband and I were able to enjoy long talks in front of the fire, or cuddled up under the covers. Neither of us had the distraction of television or other activities to get in the way.
  • I am thankful that I have a closet full, floor to ceiling, of board games. We played an awful lot of them.
  • I learned that my friends are a great bunch of gals who will do just about anything to help out, myself included.
  • Social media was extremely helpful in getting information. I learned more from our town’s Facebook page than I could find out in the scraps of news I could collect.
  • The men from Alabama who powered up our street yesterday are nice guys and heroes in my book. They had better information than those I called at United Illuminating.
  • Fleece is a miracle fabric. I need much more of it in my life.

My one regret was that I didn’t spend enough time reading. Constantly loading up wood in the fireplaces, cooking eggs and bacon on our grill, and trying to find gasoline for our generator took a lot of time. An awful lot of time, in fact.

Did you learn anything about yourself, your life, your community or your friends?

All pics are mine or friends and used with their permission.

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