Started out the day driving to a nearby town for some physical rehab I'm in the middle of that got interrupted by Sandy, only to find the place without power and so closed, despite a call the night before that the power was back on there.
The route I took was convoluted because there are still so many trees and wires down. Saw trees smashed into houses and wires pulled down across streets still blocked off a week after the storm. Not as bad as too many places but still. Then drove to Whole Foods through an intersection with three gas stations on three of its corners and all closed. The traffic light had been out yesterday bit it was working now, though the stations weren't.
Nor was the shopping center where The Whole Foods is, though it was open, literally, its front doors wide open to allow the cold air in because they were operating on a generator with dimmed lights and no recorded music backdrop, and the outside air helped keep the food fresh and the freezers probably running with less energy expended. It almost felt magical, especially since it was even better stocked than usual and the last time I'd been there the day before the storm there was no bread, no water, no a lot of stuff. Not today, overflowing with produce and frozen goods and baked goods and meat and the little containers of chocolate milk my teenager thrives on.
Then I drive back home to find my power out! For a week, give or take a half hour, I was one of the only ones among my family and friends who had power and now that many of them, but unfortunately not all, had regained power, I lose it! And the entire little village center area where I live, the restaurants and all, and it was full of kids getting out of school in their Halloween costumes because they couldn't celebrate it on the 31st so the governor moved it to the 5th. As it grew darker the kids loved it because the restaurants and shops were still giving out candy but with no light so the darker it got the more scary it got too.
It relieved some of the survivor's guilt to be sitting in the dark and absolute silence after the sun went down. Mt teen's mother brought over a few candles since the one I thought I had was used to "wax" curbs and other skateboarding spots it turned out. Just when I was settling into the idea of an early bedtime under a stack of covers as it was growing cold with no light and no heat, it came back on.
So, only a half a day or so without heat or electricity, but enough to get a very tiny taste of what so many have been going through and feel even more compassion for them. Sandy was an enormous weather event that will be making people miserable for quite a long time. Just think of Kristina, only in the freezing cold and over an area several times as big.
Here's just one little incident to describe the outermost ripples from Sandy's impact. A friend came by this evening to watch some news on my TV because even though he had power through the entire experience, he doesn't have any cable or Internet connection (and his mother who lives across the street from him had no power at all so was staying with him and his wife) so he hadn't seen the regular news in a week. Something we all take for granted. A very slight inconvenience you might say compared to what others are suffering. And that's true, but still emblematic of the still reverberating effects of this storm in even small ways.