I almost feel wrong posting about the aftermath of Sandy, as I’m safe and dry and warm on the West Coast. But since I spent the majority of my life living on the Jersey Shore and almost all my family is still there, I just don’t feel right posting about anything else. First, everyone is okay. My mom’s power has already been restored. Some large tree branches knocked down some fencing but missed the house and cars, which is a relief. She has some friends who haven’t been so lucky. Over the past few days, she’s helped to drag carpet, a refrigerator, washer and dryer, hot tub, and stove to the curbside — all trashed. My dad has been weighing on my mind most of all. Thankfully, he’s fine, but his town Belmar was one of the hardest hit. The city replaced the boardwalk less than two years ago and it’s entirely gone. He lives just a couple blocks from the ocean and catty-corner to a lake, but we don’t know how bad the damage is because he is still not allowed to go home. We are assuming that means the streets are still too flooded to pass. He’s been staying at a hotel with no power; luckily his job has backup generators and he’s been getting some light, warmth and food there. I think I’ll be a bit tense on his behalf until he gets home.
Here I am last Christmas posing on the lakeside, elevated gazebo in Belmar.
And here’s the gazebo now sitting in the lake.
There’s still a lot of work to be done. I’ve been hearing so many inspiring stories of people dedicating time and energy to help others, my own family included. It’s bittersweet, how everyone has pulled together. To all my East Coast friends and family — and their friends and family — you are in my heart!