I should be writing about Election Day, but to tell you the truth, I myself am sick to death of hearing about it. So I refuse to subject anyone to my rants about who's the better candidate: this guy or the other guy. See, I'm not even gonna mention either of their names. How's that? Besides, it will all be over by tonight anyway. Don't you believe it.
Instead, I'm talking big bad Mama Nature again. After all, this is a moms' blog, right?
It's been a week now, and still everywhere I go I hear people talking about what Superstorm Sandy did to New Jersey or New York and other points along the East Coast.
I wrote about it last week, but hey, it's a big deal.
They canceled the New York City Marathon, for goodness sakes. That's $350 million bucks the city gave up, so you know they must have thought it was a big deal. Although not every one agrees that they made the right decison. Eh!
But more on that later.
I know a bunch of people have family and friends living in those areas, and I hope every one of them came through the storm safely.
At the same time, I know from news accounts and reports from my own family and friends living on Long Island (my home) that people experienced devastation.
Some lost everything they had, save their life.
My brother-in-law, a chief with the New York State Police, led troopers who went to the aid of law enforcement in Long Beach, Long Island. He has stories of people walking around with blank looks on their faces because everything they had, their homes, were washed away. It was like the ocean rolled in and created a whole new beach right in the middle of the town.
My sister was home from work for nearly a whole work week after the storm hit, and I think the kids are still out of school.
Thursday she was just glad to hear that the New York marathon was on. After all, she'd trained nearly two years to run it, and qualified this year. By now people know they cancled the thing, and well, my sister was absolutely sick about it. She's not without compassion for the folks whose power was out, whose homes were destroyed, whose family members died in the storm. But she was adamant that the race would not have drawn resources from the relief effort, and that it was a bad decision to cancel the thing after having said it would be run. She was so disappointed that she wouldn't get to run the race that she wasn't even talking about the $250 registration she paid and won't get back. Now that's what I would have been screaming about.
She still says that running the marathon in the midst of this mess would have been like throwing your fist in the air: “We will not be defeated.”
She tells me that all around the city and the Island, along with the stories of destruction, death and a mother having her two little boys pulled from her arms in rushing waters, are stories too of neighbor helping neighbor.
My brother and his two boys (and they are big boys: 16 and 13 both over six feet tall and 200 pounds of muscle, like their dad – a professional weight and body trainer) went out to help friends and neighbors clean debris after the storm demolished homes. My brother’s home, out in eastern Long Island in Suffolk County, survived without incident. Having gotten such a blessing like that, he had to go help others.
In Jersey a friend of mine had a huge tree blow through his kitchen window. He tried to use a hand saw to cut the thing out. He realized a hand saw would probably take days, maybe more. “Forgetaboutit.”
He called one of his childhood friends, who came to his aid with an army of other friends toting chainsaws and other heavy equipment.
They removed the tree and covered the window with tarp in no time.
Yeah, people have done some looting, and there are always gonna be scammers out trying to take advantage of a bad situation, but from what I’ve heard, folks have maintained a very New York-New Jersey attitude of resilience.
My sister’s a bureau chief with the Nassau County District Attorney’s office. One of her assistant district attorneys told a story that to me sums up New York in a storm.
The ADA is close to 8 months pregnant with her second child. During the storm, Sandy sent a giant tree right through her house. My sister called to check on her and the ADA said, “Well, I’m pregnant, there’s a tree in my house, my brother-in-law is getting married today and we have to get to the church. We are late and I can’t get this monkey suit on my 2-year-old.
But the storm is over, they will get the tree taken care of, the wedding is on, the money is spent, so move the debris and let’s go.”
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