It has been a rather non-eventful week or so around the metro area … said no one in their right mind! Looking back on the last 12 days makes my head spin. Actually, my head has not stopped spinning since Hurricane Sandy hit on Monday, Oct. 29, at around 8 p.m. EST. That is about the time our building started swaying in the howling wind, the chandelier began gently swinging over the dining table and the windows started rattling.
Below is a list of things I’ve learned and will most likely never do again. Some of it is pure brain babble mixed in with lessons learned from the last 12 days of my life.
1. I will most likely never hunker down in the path of another hurricane again. At least not this close to where it makes land fall. Any county in Arkansas does not count as even being remotely close to where a hurricane actually makes landfall.
2. My husband has an uncanny ability to keep himself in a bubble of denial about an approaching natural disaster. Denial is a powerful force, but not nearly as fierce as mother nature.
3. High tides, full moons and hurricanes should be avoided at all possible costs.
4. On Oct. 25 in my neighborhood, a nanny reportedly stabbed to death two children in her once- trusted care. I felt the need to pull Corbin closer and never let him out of my sight. Then Sandy hit and we were forced to be closer and couldn’t leave each others sight. I find it interesting how the storm with such force and destruction came right on the heels of such a horrific and unthinkable crime against two innocent children.
5. On the same day as the nanny murders, up in the Bronx, another mother and her 1-month-old child were killed. Allegedly by the baby’s father and left under a mattress which was set on fire. We MUST look out for the children. There are signs in the subway that say, “if you see something, say something.” This is primarily talking about suspicious behavior involving terrorism, I think. But today it reminds me to say something about anything suspicious in any aspect of life.
6. As if New Jersey needed anything else to worry about, the Garden State had a small earthquake in the days following Sandy.
7. As if the New York and New Jersey needed anything else to worry about, we had to figure out how/where to vote in one of the most important presidential elections ever. New Jersey voters could e-mail or fax their votes, while displaced New Yorkers could sign an affidavit and vote anywhere but only in the presidential race and senate races.
8. As if the tri-state area needed anything else to worry about, we were hit with a Nor’Easter late yesterday afternoon.
9. There are still a lot of people without power and homes who woke up this morning with snow on the ground, adding insult to injury.
10. Regardless of how much FEMA and the Red Cross help out after disasters, their response is never quick enough and never meets the expectations of those who are hardest him. It is the generosity of “others” who quickly come together to get the people supplies, food and makeshift shelters set up for those who are displaced.
11. You should not hold a major sporting event in the days following a significant weather event, where people are dead, in the dark, without basic utilities, a home or food. I don’t care how far people travel or train. Priorities, people! Imagine if you can, hosting the Super Bowl in New Orleans days after Hurricane Katrina. Yes, I know Katrina hit in August and the Super Bowl is in late January. But, still a bad idea.
12. People respond to looming weather events in NYC just like they do in Arkansas. They hit the grocery stores in droves, raiding the shelves of just about everything. And, as I’ve learned, they also hoard gasoline.
13. According to a friend’s Facebook post, you can have pizza and sushi delivered during a hurricane.
14. Six kids on Halloween night + candy + being out of school since Friday+ displaced parents from downtown who have no power = adult beverages
15. I am lucky to have neighbors that I enjoy with kids that are fun to be around even for days on end.
16. When you can, you should always help out formerly married mothers working from homes without power. This is especially important when they are doing this when the kids are home because school is cancelled!
17. When I get overly anxious, I clean, cook and eat. At times I do this simultaneously. Bye bye, dust bunnies!
18. A lot of people who aren’t in my contact list have my cell phone number. Whoever you are, thank you for checking on me during the storm.
19. Cut yourself and those around you some slack during tough times when you are in close quarters. You begin to mirror the others behavior. Make sure you give what you want to receive.
20. I imagine Lance Armstrong is happy to be out of the headlines for a while.