Before I start writing out my frustration in regards to this WITCH, I first want to apologize to my friend, Peter Thomas Senese
. I owe you a blog post for over a month now and haven't been able to get to it. What I have to post for you about the I Care Foundation
is so super important to me and I feel so unbelievably bad that I haven't posted it yet. It is getting there though, slowly but surely, and I hope you understand that our crazy busy schedule just hasn't allowed us to finish it yet. I want to thank you so much for your patience.
Now my thoughts on this WITCH, Sandy. I'd like to call her more evil names but I want to keep this blog as clean as possible. When I first heard about Sandy possibly heading for us, I just couldn't believe that we could get hit by a hurricane 2 years in a row. No offense to the people in Florida, but I don't live there for this reason and now, all of a sudden, we, in NJ, are getting hit again! Plus the fact that it could affect Halloween again, 2 years in a row! Last Halloween it was the Snowtober then now, this WITCH.
On Saturday, October 27th, my husband and I found ourselves being part of the "search for a generator" craziness. It was deja vu all over again. After many calls to places in NJ & PA, we, surprisingly, were lucky enough to have found one nearby. No matter how much it cost, we both knew it was best to buy it since losing power for days could cost Marvyn his company. Even when we had it, I still had high hopes of Sandy not hitting in a way.
Monday, October 29th, work came and went, we closed at noon. Marvyn ended up driving me because he wasn't letting me out of the house unless he drove me. I saw that the it was just drizzling out and a bit windy but not as bad as I thought it would be. Even then, I still held out hope that it wasn't really coming(like I am sure most of you thought as well). Then Monday night came. Winds were picking up even more so around 6:30, so we decided to hunker ourselves in the basement. I'm starting to get messages of people losing their power. And even then, I still hoped it won't be too bad and that we will get to keep our power. Then 8:00 pm hit. Right before, lights flickered on and off. Then all of a sudden, it went out, pure blackness. The WITCH was really here!!! Damn it! We went upstairs in search for some candles(we had a flashlight and one candle in hand at that moment) and as soon as we went up there, I was terrified by the sound of the wind and how I felt like at any moment a tree could fall on us. Of course Jagger must have felt me stiffen up(I was carrying him)so he held on to me so tightly. He and I went right back downstairs first as Marvyn got the candles and our 2 dogs. With power out and nothing to do really, we went to bed a bit early in the basement.
Tuesday, October 30th around 5:30 am, power came on. I was happy and woke Marvyn up. 10 seconds later, it went right back out. Back to sleep we go.
Around 7 am, we went out to check on what kind of damage this WITCH has caused. Luckily our house had no damage to it. I looked to my neighbor's house on our left, across the street, and saw one of their trees just lying there on their lawn. As I looked around some more, I saw it was like that all over. To feel good one second because our house was in one piece, then the next second feel sorry for this people, it was a little overwhelming. Although I have to say, I am sure they felt lucky in a way that none of these trees damaged their house.
With power being out, we had no idea how bad the damage was everywhere else in NJ. First and foremost, I needed, wanted, to connect with our families to make sure they were OK. Heard from my parents, sister-in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles. Didn't hear from Marvyn's parents though and last we heard from them was Monday night when I thought they got power back. I somehow got on Facebook and saw that they lost power again sometime at night. Early afternoon comes around and I got increasingly worried that no one has heard from them so we drove to their house. I don't think I saw one place open on the way over there and they live about 25 minutes away. Seeing the downed trees, downed wires, trees on people's houses, it was just sad. We decided to search for gas too on the way because Marvyn needed it for his truck and our generator. Not one place open going there and back! I am happy to say though that Marvyn's parents were A OK! Phew!
Day goes on and hear more stories of the devastation this WITCH left behind. I was so sad to read and see pictures of the devastation Sandy left on our shores! Landmarks, boardwalks, just swept away by that WITCH, Sandy. Just like that, these things were gone. Just...Gone. Boardwalks we've walked on, arcades our children have played in, bars we've been in. They will stay in my memory forever just like my summers during high school spent on Long Beach Island with a friend and her family. I really hope that their house is OK. I felt sadness but I don't think my mind fully wrapped itself around it yet on how bad it was. Much of my worry that day was mine and Marvyn's families plus getting gas for our generator. Finally found a gas station open at night and line was long. Boy, was I going to get a rude awakening the next day when I find out the line that I thought was long, was nothing compared to the lines that formed starting Wednesday.
Wednesday came and went without much drama besides not having power and finding gas stations with short lines. Then sometime Thursday morning around 2:30 am I was woken up by light. You can only imagine how super happy I was when I saw our lights were turned on. Woke Marvyn up again, then out of nowhere, power went right back out. I said to Marvyn, "You've got to be kidding me!!!" I think it was then that I started to lose it a bit. I was done with not having power, I was done with being teased twice with having power for a few seconds. It was like someone was playing with my emotions. I had enough but there was nothing I could do. To top it all off, I really needed to hear my mom's voice. I just needed to hear her so I could calm down but stupid cell towers weren't working too well and I could not call out.
Thursday was a day of Marvyn and I really having to work. Let me tell you, I give my husband big props on being able to work at home with a 3 year old constantly bugging you for attention. I don't know how he manages to do it but he does. Don't get me wrong, I get text messages about his frustration at times when Jagger isn't listening. But man, when I was working, it was almost impossible when a 3 year old is climbing, pulling on you, whining, etc. After what happened with the lights earlier that morning, my patience was wearing thin, I found myself snapping at both my boys. I had to get out because I was going crazy. So I left, went for a drive to see what was open and ended up at a liquor store. Needed more drinks. Drinking was the one thing that kept me warm at night when we turned our generator off. The WITCH was going to make me become an alcoholic...No, not really, so don't worry mom ;) Just a glass or 2. It was either that or just cry. I know I needed a good cry because I was just so tired of not having power and having to constantly be on line with gas containers. Speaking of which, I want to thank a man who helped me when he saw I was having trouble carrying three gas containers with my son in tow. I was worried he would take off with it, but these containers were spilling out some gas and slipping off my fingers. I was lucky that he turned out to be one of the good guys.
Today is Friday, November 2nd. I went to work. I had to because I needed some sense of normalcy. I really felt myself going crazy. Seeing pics of more damage and again, still not having power, I just had enough. And I got to talk to my mom, finally! I literally teared up. Just hearing her voice made me feel normal again. I also got to find a gas station that had a long line, car cutting in front of me, another tried, but I sure as hell didn't let him. Once I got there, it was another moment of happiness. It was organized and they accepted credit and cash! Plus even if the line was 2 miles long, it moved so fast because they had a lot of pumps going. And the best part, gas was a lot cheaper there than other gas stations because from what I heard, they know we have had enough problems, so they are doing this to help. So Hess gas station in Woodbridge, NJ, props goes out to you for being so unbelievably considerate. I wish more companies could be like you. I am getting my gas there from now on while this craziness continues.
Now here I am, lying on our makeshift bed in the basement still, with no power, wanting to say a big F U to Sandy! I hate you for the chaos you have caused in all our lives. I really really hate you. But you will not win. We are all slowly rebuilding our lives. We WILL move on. For now, I will focus on how thankful I am that our loved ones are safe.