I sat down to write about Halloween and accidentally wrote a post about the hurricane. I guess it’s on my mind. Several of you have asked how we made it through, and the tl;dr answer is: we are completely fine, if feeling sad and worried about our friends in New York.
So here on the outskirts of Boston, we’re not the least bit storm-ravaged; Monday was a day of fierce wind and hunkering down to play board games and bake goodies with friends. School was out for two days, and all the universities were closed Monday – which was a good thing, we really did have crazy wind and rain all day – but inside my house it was more like a party than a disaster.
I feel pretty weird about that considering what my friends and colleagues in NYC and New Jersey are going through, but it’s just the reality. We had a cozy, sweet day while Sandy trashed the east coast just south of us. We were able to offer power and warmth to a few friends who lost power in their homes, but everyone went home by bedtime and the next day dawned warm and sunny. There was a tree down at the office where I’ve been temping, and some water in our basement, but it was no worse than other storms we’ve weathered.
Given the situation elsewhere, it’s hard to talk about Sandy at all from here. I’m not as far removed as the Jezebel writer in Seattle who is watching this disaster from across the country and wishing she could fly in on a giant eagle to improve the situation. The storm hit here. Just not very hard.
My kids will doubtless remember the day we all had school and work cancelled due to extreme weather in October – unless climate change makes this sort of thing a regular occurrence in their lives. It won’t be a scary memory. We made baked oatmeal and learned a new board game. The wind whipped the tree next to our house hard against the window for hours, but nothing broke. The lights flicked on and off once, like they sometimes do when the weather gets bad. The thing I’ll remember most about my own experience of this storm is the warmth of being with my family and loved ones while the storm raged outside.
The thing I’ll remember most about Sandy, though, isn’t about how grateful I am for our safety and the ease with which we passed through this storm. It’s not about us at all. It’s the stories of friends and colleagues who faced the real fury of the storm. I wish there was more I could do to help them.
It is totally not fair that I’m typing this from my warm, dry living room while some of my colleagues are still couch-surfing and friends on Facebook are looking at satellite photos to try and get some idea of what happened to their homes after they were evacuated. There’s nothing I can do about the lack of fairness, and as Lindy West said in that Jezzie post, “I can’t relate. I’m not there. But I am thinking of you.”
I am thinking of you. I’m showing up in every small way that I can and hoping like hell you’re all getting the help you need from those closer and better positioned to give it. Love from afar.