Superstorm Sandy wiped out most of the electricity, besides all around New York, very heavily also here on Long Island, where 954 000 households were effected with the loss. People are still out of lights and heat, since October 29th. And to add insult to injury, last night Mother Nature dumped a ton of wet snow on top of it, all 10 inches of it!
We made out well during the first part, but today lost three big branches from our trees. My husband decided to get a new saw, or two, and get ready to yard work as soon as most of the snow melts. That is expected this week-end when temperatures climb up back to normal, low 60’s.
So we went to local Loew’s hardware store. As always when something happens, people are more open for impromptu conversations with strangers. Not that they are not very friendly on the Island already, kind of small town folks, but now even more willing to strike a small talk stories. We were looking stoves and ovens, (don’t ask, we need them also), when the salesman, Paul, came to ask if we needed help. Not yet, thanks. How did you make with the superstorm? Always a good opening line! We did surprisingly well.Well, he lost the heat and the lights. Still out. He saw this as a grand way of finding out the inner resources one has. How to survive, how should one do this different way than normal to make it better. To think what really is needed need in an emergency. Is it TV? Nope! Do I have to venture out for something trivial, and take a change to get soaking wet and have no way of drying myself, when frozen to the bones? Lots of things to ponder. Maybe this is a test for something bigger? I personally hope, not. Enough is enough.
The guys were talking about hundreds of electric companies which have arrived to help to restore the power. They came from Canada, Colorado, Texas, you name it, those trucks were here. Did we get out lights back because the county executive is from our town? We doubt it! The storm emergency center is in our town, but most likely because of the big business that once occupied and dwelled here. I assume the grid most likely is more powerful here and easy to reinstate. I invited him over to dinner with us tonight, which he graciously rejected. I did not really expect that he would take it, but offered it as a gesture of good will. Please note my husband was there with me. We talked about the human kindness that springs up in the situations like this. He had a strong belief that people are kind and for a reason. We agreed.
In Paul’s town, Levittown, the lights are out, as I mentioned. The out-of-town electric company, from Tennessee, was working in their neighborhood these past days. A 86 years old woman a few blocks away, decided to take a walk there. “Excuse me young man”, she said to the lineman, “Would you have any idea, when my power would be ready and reinstalled?” “No, Ma’am”, they did not know. “Well, if you find out could you come and knock at my door and let me know?” And she walked back home. A while later she had a knock on her door and the linemen told, they did not get it done, as they didn’t get the final information they needed. But, if she would not mind, could they check her lines and make sure everything is in order, once the power is switched on. The men went around the house, and did find a loose connection or switch of some kind and fixed it. And lo and behold, the entire block lit up and her neighborhood got their lights back!
This is a true suburban story and the lesson is to believe in kindness and trust humanity!