Painting through hurricane Sandy

This year for Halloween my daughter decided to be a Campbell’s soup can; chicken and worm flavor.

After weeks of trying to find a cylinder shaped cardboard anything I decided to score a long flat piece of cardboard, cover it in smooth poster board, then paint it.

Since piecing it together took so long it wasn’t painted before hurricane Sandy hit.

Here in Shelton, despite power outages, downed trees and wires hanging from poles at the end of our block and dozens of other blocks, Halloween was on!

It was day 3 of no electricity.  I did NOT feel like painting this costume.  I was in a survival frame of mind; no school, no heat, no food in the fridge, no electricity etc. (Not to mention the fact that I could not do my daily load or two of wash.)  I decided to take  my two younger kids to work with me for a hot shower in the morning and we finished painting the Campbell’s soup can in my office by early afternoon.  (My oldest went to a friend’s house.)

The creative process must go on!  Through thick and thin!  Through rain, snow hail, sleet and hurricanes!  “Yes,” I said to myself, “just like the Postman.”

Although, any parent or adult would agree with me that if I did not finish this costume in time to trick-or-treat, I would have had a broken-hearted 11 year old girl on my hands.  That would not have been a good scene.

I am lucky that my lost middle child is very flexible.  He was happy to borrow a mask and trick or treat with a dozen of his fellow Freshman com-padres

This year half a dozen girls joined them…very interesting.

As we trick-or-treated around our neighborhood I came upon this yard sign.  A sense of humor found on a Connecticut suburgatory lawn!  Now this I had to take a picture of!

My neighbor Charlie had his house clipped.  I was his official photographer for insurance purposes.  Trust me, as a committed lawn zealot, he was not a happy camper.

This is my middle child playing at a freshman football game two days later. Despite the fact that half this town had no electricity and no one went to school all week long, GAME ON!

Our outage lasted 7 days.  Two days after getting our power back mother nature threw us a curve ball, or should I say, a snow ball.  🙂 NO school AGAIN!  Although we did have an awesome snowball fight.

We were very lucky.  The inconvenience of being without power for a week is nothing compared to those who lost everything.  I have a friend who lives in Broad Channel.  That’s the part of Queens just before the bridge to the Rockaways.   To get to Broad Channel you must drive through sections of Queens like Cross Bay and Howard Beach.  It was dark and black and eery.

As I drove down Cross Bay Boulevard this is what it looked like.  The infamous Russo’s on the Bay was lit up thanks to a generator.

Mobile police command vehicles were everywhere.

My friend has a beautiful home on the water.  It was an old summer shanty that he turned into a grand little place.

When the storm surge came through his house he was in the hospital.  Good thing because he’s in a wheel chair.  The water line came up fast and furious-about 4-5 feet high and that would have gone well over the top of his head.

Just about everything inside his home, the homes of his friends and neighbors were ruined by the surge of sea.  Not only did salt water do a number on everything electronic but oil barrels filled with home heating oil for the winter were turned over, spilling out thousands of gallons of oil-coating everything in it’s path.  There was no missing the thick-heavy smell of oil in the air.

From what my friend told me, a lot of trash has been carted away by now despite piles of it still lining the streets.

I cant imagine loosing everything in my home from big furniture right down to a favorite lamp.

Any light that was on was due to a generator.

Cars and boats were randomly lined up in the middle of the boulevard.  If it was a boat it was pushed there off it’s moorings from someones dock and deposited on the street.  My friend didn’t loose his boat from Sandy, but the Nor-Easter sank it.

It’s worse than 911.  It goes way beyond wall street.  It encompasses more than our tri-state area.

Despite the tragedy, human nature and the fight for survival and the kindness of strangers triumphs through it all.  It was really great getting together with my old buddies from Brooklyn to give emotional support to our friend in Broad Channel.  He was in amazingly positive spirits and shocked to see us show up for him.

How could I not?  When I became a single mom over a decade ago, with 3 babies in tow, he had a little fund raiser for me and raised enough money to pay for new breaks on my car.  I’ll never forget his act of kindness and generosity.  It feels good to be able to give back.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those who are still suffering from the effects of hurricane Sandy.

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2 responses to “Painting through hurricane Sandy

  1. Oh Teri Teri Teri. I just thank God you and the kids are ok. I know it was horrible going for awhile, but you have survived much much worse. Those are some awesome pics too. Pics hep me to visual just how bad it really is. But it doesn’t do it justice, the severity. of the damage. i will keep saying Prayers for you and yours, and for the ones I have never met, but need all the Prayers they can get. God Bless You All 🙂 Love, your friend always and your sister from another mother lol hmm Wonder what Joy would have to say about that LOL Love ya xoxoxo

  2. mskatgreenbay@aol.com

    eh I was bored so I posted a comment :P:P:P Just kidding. it is almost 2 am here, I am so sleepy i have nada to say right now. Talk soon cwazy red hot poker gal 😛

    Please help save the planet and all the animals. Click on this site everyday to help feed them for free. How easy is that 🙂 http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=3

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