Rethinking Sandy: What the Hurricane Revealed in My Community

hurricane

It’s been quite the week, hasn’t it Sullivan County? Hurricane Sandy let us know exactly what she thought of us and how! Apparently, we were on Sandy’s naughty list.

Like most people in this county, heck, most in the Atlantic states, I lost power last week. Heck, after the lights came back on, we lost it again. Twice.

But as I felt myself about to join the chorus of complaints over the frigid temperatures in my living room, the fact that my heat pump had been very nearly fried by the power surges, or the indignity of using a toilet that hadn’t been flushed in 24 hours, something held me back.

Have you watched the news, Sullivan County? We were hit hard.

But we were lucky. Yes, lucky.

It may be hard for you to mouth that word as you huddle in your house in your winter parka, your legs clad in three layers of pants. I don’t blame you. It’s not easy going without power. I wanted to complain too.

But it must be said.

We aren’t always lucky, Sullivan County. We have had devastating floods. We have had heartbreaking fires and overwhelming accidents.

But when Sandy touched down in our communities, we got lucky.

There were no lives lost. No houses destroyed beyond repair.

Sandy was inconvenient. Sandy was unpleasant. Sandy was a pain in the neck.

But Sandy spared us what so many to our south will never recover from. The loss of lives. The loss of homes.

And what she gave us, well, I’ll be the first to say I’m grateful for what Sandy gave me personally.

I spent a lot of time in my cold house cuddled up with my husband and my daughter and our animals. I was reminded that the only things I really need aren’t things at all but people. And those people I need the most I had right there with me.

This week I was reminded what kind of community I live in. It’s a place where neighbors offer up their showers, their washing machines, their couches for their neighbors.

I live in a place where the question I’ve been asked most frequently over the past few days is whether I know if there are any donation stations set up because people want to help.

We all live in this place, and we all have a big decision to make. Do we sit around and throw ourselves a pity party because it has been one awful week of epic proportions? Or do we stop, look around, and take stock of what we had that got us through this ordeal?

I’m giving the latter a try, and it’s feeling pretty darn good.

What did Hurricane Sandy reveal in YOUR community?

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Image via NASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr

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