So how am I doing five months to the day after Superstorm Sandy came crashing into our lives?
The seasons have rolled by, this year with a more acute appreciation of normalcy. Cheering the first coffee shop and nail salon to return. Watching more houselights flickering in the rows of darkened houses huddled against nightfall.
There was a run on water heaters and boilers in November, before the temperature dropped below 32 degrees and the pipes froze. We heard stories of guys driving way out to Pennsylvania with what precious gas they could hoard – there was also a gas shortage, remember? – to pull boilers off the delivery trucks.
Somehow, we were able to get the trifecta in place. New electrical panel, boiler and water heater. That, and Boston Market, was Thanksgiving.
Christmas and New Years Eve we spent in our FEMA/Actors Fund supported apartment in the Avalon building in New Rochelle which was a break for me. Sky’s school was temporarily housed in another high school in East New York until mid January so my day did not start until I had driven through Westchester, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn to drop him off.
Back in Rockaway finally, we began rebuilding and repairing. Seven broken windows were replaced, the man cave in the basement was power washed and painted, all leaks repaired.
Signs of Spring
Everyone has new cars. Close to 2500 cars were ruined and taken away after the storm so no one even considered getting a used car. I refuse to tell you how many times I have tried my key in the door of a black Jeep that wasn’t mine.
We wandered into Bob’s Furniture last weekend and ran into other Rockawayites looking for basement furniture, just like us.
“Listen, for your basement you want to look at this selection,” Gary, our salesman and one of Seth’s Friday night poker buddies, settled into the display sofa with an appreciative glance. “Two words. Bonded leather.”
It seems that this was the weekend you couldn’t get your hands on any kind of bonded leather furniture. I really didn’t want to go schlepping out to Pennsylvania.
A Bright Spot
Seth found a story about CARE, the Cherished Album Restoration Effort, an amazing group of people who will restore up to 50 photos for people in the flood zone. Next weekend, someone will be coming over to scan our photos so they can be restored. This is the kind of disaster relief work that uplifts the spirit as well as repair the damage. The one thing everyone says they miss the most are the photos that were in the basement and ruined by the storm. I am so grateful to them for offering to save what precious images we have left.
That puts a big smile on my face.