It was a dark and stormy night. And that’s no kidding! It was called Hurricane Sandy, and it was a storm New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and other states in the northeast won’t soon forget.
All that last weekend in October TV news channels were inundating us with preparedness; stock up, move out, take cover, it’s going to be a big blow. Whether or not some people took it at all seriously I don’t know; but by 8:30 p.m. Monday evening there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this storm was one for the record-books.
One storm chugging up the coast, and another pulling it in to shore! Storms don’t do that in NJ, but this one did. Add full moon high tides, and you’ve got a disaster in the making. We had been warned for years that this could happen; and now it was happening.
By late evening I had been almost 6 hours without power. Last year after Hurricane Irene when we never lost power, Bob and I decided to invest in a whole-house generator. It was a little pricey and through this year we’d yet to know exactly how it was because we hardly had a break in power.
Then came Monday October 29th. By 3:30 p.m. the flickering lights went out for good. Then the generator turned on and everything looked normal. Very comforting, very welcome; because where I live it is very dark with no lights. No streetlights, just curvy country roads. Woods and houses every 4 acres or so, and those were in the dark. Then the cable went out as well, so no phone no internet, no TV. Oh well.
By Tuesday morning the generator was still chugging away and me and the dogs were warm, with a radio playing and I was able to make coffee and tea. As the day wore on I called the propane company for a delivery and they said they would be happy to oblige – on Wednesday. Streets were for emergency vehicles only, so there was no getting into PA. I hoped the lights would stay on, and I was too chicken to go out and check the gauge.
So I got out some candles, filled up a few big pots with water, took a hot shower and sat down to finish a book I had previously decided not to read. Now, reading about how bad (and I mean really bad) life was in early America at least made me feel better. You know, cold winter mornings where the indoor temps hovered somewhere around 28 degrees even with the fireplace blazing. Or wells that froze solid for weeks, and the fact that indoor plumbing hadn’t been invented yet, and, well, you get the picture.
By late afternoon I knew that Bob wouldn’t be home again. He had driven all the way up to Stokes State Forest in Sussex County, only to find the road closed, and not knowing which other way to go, he drove back to Clark, then down to Toms River for the night. So, it really was just me and the dogs.
As nighttime ensued, there really wasn’t anything else to do but hunker down. The dogs had been fed and walked, and that hot shower made all the difference. I kept the lights to a minimum; one candle in the side kitchen window, a few tea-lights lit in the living room and on the stove and bathroom. The little light in the headboard of the bed and no lights whatsoever downstairs; there it was dark and the door closed. In the far bedroom, I had the light on and Scooter and I shared the comfy chair while I read for the evening. The radio played soft jazz all evening, and once in a while when I walked through the house it looked soft and sublime and the quiet of the night (even with the wind still blowing) surrounded me completely. The soft lights, the soft music, it was the best remedy to the awfulness of the storm which had yet to move out of western PA.
Thankfully the generator still hummed into Wednesday, and by late morning the propane truck backed into the driveway, much to my great relief. Bob came home later in the day and even though it would be 3 more days with no electricity, we were no worse for the wear. Nothing like some of the devastation, both physical and emotional that we soon saw on TV.
It was a harrowing couple of days, ones I hope not to see anytime soon or ever again. In the darkness and uncertainty, there is only one thing besides reading that gives me solace. That is knitting. It just tugs at my heart-strings all day every day. Whether I’m sitting in the dark with candles, or sitting in the passenger seat of our car, or in someone else’s home, I love knitting! You will too, with this terrific take-along book.
We will all know difficult days in our lives. We’ve been through them in the past, and we will confront them again in the future. It’s just all part of living.
Yet, one day at a time is how you make it through. Thanksgiving is coming, then Advent, my favorite time of the year. Christmas sums up everything. Give your troubles over to the Lord and He will see you through.