It’s Monday evening and the outlying effects of Hurricane Sandy have reached into Ohio while the center of the storm  approaches Philadelphia where our younger daughter goes to school.  The rains have been ravaging northeast Ohio since Friday and now with the winds rising, there’s not only danger of flooding but that the roots of trees will be unable to maintain their hold in the soft, saturated earth,  allowing the trees to topple onto anything in their vicinity…fences, plants, houses, garages, electrical wires, people.

It’s a time that brings home just how powerful nature is and how fragile the edifices we build around ourselves, imagining that they’ll protect us.  We randomly lost power for about an hour and a half earlier today, before the winds were even high (and they’ll be higher tonight while we’re sleeping.)  With the power gone, I was, except for my cell phone, completely cut off from all communications, both incoming and outgoing.  No internet, no radio, no television, no heat; none of the things to which we get so accustomed and which keep us connected to everyone at all times.  I have a crank radio in my emergency bag….

(hiatus while I get out the emergency bag, which was just about to go into the van for the winter)

and I have flashlight, candles, water, food.  I have a gas stove, which I can light if the electronic ignition isn’t working, so I can cook.  I put candles and matches out earlier.  Maybe if they’re out, they will ward off a power outage.  Yet if a tree comes down in the wrong spot,  all these preparations might not matter.

I realize, without actual worry, that a falling tree (we have a three large trees in our yard) could crush the roof and let water into the attic I’ve so painstakingly gotten into order, ruining all the carefully packed and labeled boxes, allowing water into the house.  It could come down differently and destroy the garage, pinning our faithful Sienna underneath or if in the backyard, our daughter’s car.  The saturated ground and basement walls, all under assault, could give in, letting water seep or rush into our basement.  And yet, we’re only on the fringes.  We have friends with a house in Cape May, New Jersey, where flood waters are surging; friends in other areas of New Jersey; relatives and friends in New York City and in other affected areas; millions of people we don’t know who are without power a/o in danger of flood waters or who’ve had leave their homes; someone I know in Hawaii who I believe has been able to go back home after worry about an unrelated tsunami.  Things for which to be thankful and things for which to intercede; people to check on via email, phone, or Facebook, provided the power stays on.

I lower the blinds as it gets dark.  What will I see in the morning?  I don’t know.  Our younger daughter on the seventh floor of an eleven-story building in Philly is dealing with a leaky window that maintenance says they can’t fix, with artist’s gummy erasers.  She has food, water and other drinks in case Sandy wreaks havoc on their residence.  I stay in contact to know that she’s safe.  But there’s nothing I can do from seven hours away.

We can do so much, yet at times like this, we are too often helpless, the powerful humans stripped of all their technology.  And so, I pray, prepare, and pray some more.  And I listen to the wind and rain, hoping not to hear any other, louder noises now or in the night, praying to be thankful yet again when morning comes, thankful that Someone more powerful than I is in charge.

  1. I will cross my paws for all people and pets in the storm area …

  2. People back home got it badly, but luckily everybody is ok.
    I received a message from a friend in Indiana talking about snow.

    • In the Appalachians, there are places with up to three feed of snow right now and it’s probably not over. Glad everyone you know is OK. Our younger daughter in Philly is fine (or was until I woke her up, checking to see if she was OK). 🙂 But it’s a huge mess over a multi-state area.

  3. Glad your daughter’s okay – life in the immediate Philly area seems to be mostly back to normal, though I believe there are still a number of people without electricity. (Ours was out for about 36 hours, and it wasn’t fun.) At this point, it sounds like the really bad places to be are the Jersey Shore and the Appalachians.

    • NYC is pretty bad, too, and Delaware. So glad you have power back again. We’ve kept power but it’s been raining since Friday, which brings a whole set of problems, especially when combined with the very high winds we were experiencing. Good thing it wasn’t the upcoming weekend, because we’re heading to Philly for Megan’s birthday this weekend. 🙂

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