I originally started a post with this title last Tuesday. In fact, I thought I posted a post with this title last Tuesday. However, as with all things Post-Sandy, it somehow got lost in the shuffle. And honestly, that post does not even begin to scratch the surface.
Personally, D and I were incredibly lucky. We had no damage to our home from the storm. However, even "lucky" came with a cost. We lost power Monday night and we did not get it back until yesterday afternoon, seven days after we originally lost it. It was incredibly frustrating (as I was constantly cold and a sour-going refrigerator can wreck havoc on a pregnant nose), especially because we could not leave because there was no where to take the dog and cat (and every.single.person we know locally also lost power for this long). Equally frustrating was having little idea of what was going on in our state. Our smart phones only worked sporadically, would not accept or make outgoing calls, and kept crashing with internet use. Of course we had nothing practical like a battery powered radio, so we were at a loss until later in the week.
Once we got information, we were horrified. I cannot believe the damage this storm has done to my home state. I have written in the past about my love of the Jersey Shore - and now it no longer is. My aunt had a house on the inlet, and it has been condemned from storm damage. Entire chunks of boardwalk have been washed away. Even far from the shore, I have friends who have trees through their roofs and are still living displaced. My own dad is still without power while he and my step-mom are battling colds. The other day, I counted an 85 car line at the gas station. And oh yeah, a nor'easter is expected to hit. I've never seen my state in such a rough position.
However, I am also incredibly proud. My facebook page looks like a telethon. Everyone I know is posting about donating, where you can get gas in under an hour, and volunteering to help rebuild. Beyond that, I am so grateful to our country. I know for a fact that our electricity (and heat!!!) came back yesterday thanks to workers for Missouri - D and I thought they were lost and literally stopped in the middle of the street to ask if they needed directions, but they were just checking the lines. I am so grateful that we have a country that pulls together to help one another.
I wish I could speak about all of this more eloquently. I debated even writing this post because I was not sure how to get out what it is I want to say. But it did not seem right to ignore it either.
I guess most importantly, I know as a state we will rebuild and be better and stronger than ever before. My heart hurts for those that are suffering, but I know they will get through this...we are made from tough stock here in NJ. In fact, this image has been making the rounds on the internet, and I think it sums everything up nicely: