Hi, everyone! A quick post to say that we are alive and well after Superstorm Sandy. Right at the start of the storm, a tree landed on our house (and thankfully not in our house) right outside of Nate’s room. The tree landed on our incoming power lines but did not snap them. But we did lose power — at 1AM on Tuesday morning when a transformer blew (our neighbor heard the explosion). This Hawaiian gal has lived through two hurricanes — a Category 2 and Category 5, the latter of which left my family without power for two months. However, we never had to deal with the fall/winter temperatures at night like we do here!
At first, Nate thought this thing was a blast. During the storm, we slept in the living room on the first floor. Our house is surrounded by 100 – 200 year old trees. (The one that fell was younger but big enough.) We figured if more were to fall on the house, branches would come through the 2nd story windows. So we bunked out in the living room on the first floor on an air mattress. Nate (literally) jumped for joy when he saw the air mattress.
After losing power, it was all fun and games. Nate used his light saber and Halloween flashlight to light his way. But then the temps started to drop and the food started to spoil and it wasn’t as much fun anymore. We had to bust out the layers – and the Christmas crafts because a mama has to keep a boy busy with something. (By the way, every family member will be receiving a sequin wreath from Nate. Every single one.)
When it hit 55 degrees inside of our house, we had it. It might not sound cold, but it’s cold. We three were huddled in a bed for warmth except that Nate doesn’t do covers so he kept kicking them off and ruining the body heat that we managed to capture in the bed. And Chad was going to restaurants and bars with power and WiFi to finish his take-home exams, which meant we lost his body warmth early in the night. Every hotel with power was sold out. Chad returned to work on Thursday, driving of course, because Metro North (the commuter rail) was off line. On his way home, Chad saw that three hotels had been re-electrified. Because they had been dark, their reservation system had been shut down – so he pulled in and scored us a room for the night! We stayed at the Springhill Suites (mighty nice, I say!) with a bevy of other evacuees and a host of incoming electrical workers from other states. I took my first shower in a week (!!!) and Nate took his first bath since Sunday. Chad took two showers – just because he could. (Sidenote: at work on Thursday, Chad smelled something ripe. He feared it was him until he realized it was the colleague next to him. Side effect of making employees come to work when they have no power or major damage to their homes? Ripeness. That alone should allow businesses to be closed until order is restored.)
Last night, we joined Chad at the Omni, where he stays every other Friday night for his program at Yale. Nice hotel but, really, Nate’s over it. And so are we. Because I’m checking in and out alone, I can only manage one rolling suitcase because I have to carry Mr. I-Run-In-Traffic Nate. So toys are at a minimum (even though Nate managed to convince me that two Hobbeses, Baby Ralph, and a wubbie needed to come to the Omni) and he’s tired of the Curious George episodes that I bought on my iPhone.
Nate needs routine and structure and normalcy. (So do we.) We’re trying our best but Nate’s having his moments. Yesterday, Chad was in class from 9 – 5, had a dinner break from 5 – 7:30, and then was in class from 7:30 – 10. Nate had a half-hour sobbing, snotty meltdown for a half-hour after Chad left for his evening class. Nate’s separation anxiety has gone through the roof – it started before the storm (that’s a whole other post) but now it’s hit new levels. And though I’ve tried to entertain him – visit to the kids’ museum, driving for an hour so he can watch a movie, trip to Target to stroll the aisles (ok, the last one was for me), Nate much rather just go home and be a kid.
Estimate for return of power is “Monday, November 5 at 11:59PM,” which, as the wicked nice United Illuminating dispatcher told me, is code that no crew has been assigned to our area. Once a crew is assigned, the 11:59PM portion will change. United Illuminating says that they’ll have 95% of the power restored to their service area by the aforementioned date — and we’re just praying that we’re not in the 5%. We have another hotel (our third) for tonight and tomorrow. The bills are racking up (not covered by insurance) but we are grateful to have our home, however chilly it may be; our family; and our lives — many who went through this storm can’t say the same.