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NaBloPoMo | Day 7: Hurricane Sandy – Part One

The day Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, started like any other typical Monday.



Brush teeth.

Log into Facebook. Update Status.

Check emails.

Check text messages.

Get more coffee.

A light rain fell from the skies and it was a little windy. But there didn’t seem to be any cause for concern. In fact, I began to wonder if this storm was nothing more than sensationalized weather reports and hype.

And boy was I wrong.

Luckily I decided to prepare for the worst and took out my checklist.

Flashlights X
Lanterns X
Batteries X
Candles X
Carton of cigarettes X
Pick up never ending supply of: Bottled Water, Pop-Tarts, Benadryl X
Charge all computers, cell phones, and electronic devices X
Take out board games: Scrabble, Monopoly, Sorry, Risk X
Finish the laundry to ensure enough pajama options X
Move outdoor items [cushions, decorations, chotskies] to the storage unit X
Tie down remaining outdoor furniture X
Pack emergency get out of town bag X
Upload and schedule blog postings for the remaining three pictures in the 30 Day Photo Challenge X
Try to convince other family members to come here so we can all be trapped together X
Take a really long shower [complete with shaving all body parts and a deep conditioning treatment – and then hot-roll the hell out of my hair] so the clean will last for a few days, in the event of a power outage X

[X = checked off. As if you couldn’t figure that out.]


As the day progressed the rain fell harder and the winds picked up.

But that didn’t stop My Uncle Sol (who’s 94 years old) and my Aunt Bea (who’s 93 years old) from driving to the gym to exercise (in 50 MPH winds). Because when we’re facing uncertain death, it’s really important to be in good shape. Almost as important as hot-rolling your hair.

And it didn’t stop the bird from flying into my garage, and scaring the crap out of me, when it dive-bombed my head.

* And it certainly didn’t stop me from filming my father while he tried to fix our broken garbage disposal.



[*Yes, there is a home movie in progress detailing that glorious event.]


At exactly 4:18pm we heard a horrifying boom.

And just like that – our power was gone.

We had no television, no radio, no Internet, no landlines, no cell phone service, no texts, no emails, no form of communication whatsoever.


There is something very eerie about being completely cut off from the outside world.

As we listened to the wind rip off the siding from the houses, we tried distracting ourselves by reading.

And that was fun.

For about an hour.

Because once the sun went down it was pretty difficult to read anything with lighting like this:



My son and I ditched our books and headed into the kitchen to set up the board games. And since we couldn’t use our phones to make calls, or send texts, or even access the Internet, we still found them slightly useful when providing much needed mood music.

First, we played Sorry to the soundtrack from the movie Almost Famous.

And I lost, badly.

Then we played Parcheesi to the tunes Tangled Up In Blue and American Pie.

And I lost, badly.




But then we played Connect Four to the White Album, by the Beatles.

And that’s when things got interesting.

Instead of playing one chip at a time like your supposed to. And instead of taking your time to decide on your next move? We took things to a whole new level when we changed the rules, altogether. We gave each other ONE SECOND to drop in TWO CHIPS at the same time, and then the next person had one second to drop in two chips at the same time.

We called it ‘Split-Second-Double-Down-Connect-Four’ and I finally won a game.

Maybe for the 1st time ever.


[*My son also wants his autograph.]


When my 16-year-old had enough of hanging out with his annoying mother, he took one of the lanterns and disappeared into the night.

But the fun didn’t stop there.

Oh, no.

Because that’s when my father came into the kitchen wielding this:



Now I am not going to bore you with the details of this game, because anyone who’s ever played Risk, knows this game never fucking ends. And if you’ve never played this game, here’s a useful hint: it never fucking ends.

But I will give you the main highlights.

1. I’ve never played this game before.
2. My father is the most competitive person on the face of the earth.
3. When asking questions, he will NOT provide any answers or suggestions, even if it’s a practice round and nothing counts.
4. My mother and I formed an alliance.
5. We don’t care if that’s against the rules.
6. At some point during the game I morphed into George S. Patton.

And success was all mine, MOFOS!



When the clock struck 2:30am and I only had 9% battery life left on my phone, I climbed into bed, laughing hysterically.

That is, until the next morning….


PS: Now aren’t you glad I decided to break up my Hurricane Sandy saga into separate blog posts? Stay tuned for Part 2 & 3!

PPS: I am finally making progress with NaNoWriMo. Word Count: 9,767. BOOM.

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  • agg79

    Compelling saga. Glad to hear you were prepared for Sandygeddion. A lot of people don’t

    Funny to hear/see you bringing out all those old games. We’ve got a lot of those here but we haven’t played them in years. Too many late nights playing MahJong. It does change the dynamics when the power goes out for days. It does make make life more interesting when you are suddenly dropped into the dark ages. You learn to improvise, adapt & overcome.

    And Risk is one of those “strategic thinking” games. I found the only way to really win at Risk was to nuke ’em into the stone age.

  • I’ll keep that in mind, Agg!


  • Lucy

    Oh,my gosh, I would not have thought of have that stuff, I mean the games, I would have showered, shaved and gotten batteries and such and then we would have killed each other because well, what, actually talk,hell no! Glad you are doing welll with NaNoWriMo too, wow, what a month you are having!

  • Totally insane month.

    October kicked my ass.

    Clearly, November will be the death of me.


  • Ron

    WOW, Meleah, reading your list of preparations for that hurricane put me to shame because I only had canned food, candles, and one flashlight. And you’re talking to someone who lived in Florida and has been through FOUR hurricanes….shame on me!

    LOVE all your photos! And OMG…I haven’t played Connect Four in YEARS!

    ” At some point during the game I morphed into George S. Patton.

    And success was all mine, MOFOS!”

    Bwhahahhahahahahahaha! You GO, girl!

    The best to you and your family today and tomorrow, during this nor’easter. It’s very windy and cold here in Philly. I’m going into work today, but I have off tomorrow.

    (((( You ))))

  • We used to have great fun when we had a period of (organised) power cuts back in the 70’s. I would NOT like the storm that went with yours though! I’m so glad you were all safe 🙂

  • It’s already snowing over here!
    Good lawd.

    Also, Connect Four RULES!

    And so did beating my father at Risk.


  • Thank you, Babs.

    It was actually fun for the 1st two days.
    But then, not so much!

  • Ron

    Yes, it’s starting to snow here too. Well, it’s actually rain MIXED with snow.

    And it’s FREEZING cold.

    Stay warm and safe!


  • It’s crazy cold!

  • You are so old school. That’s a good thing.

  • I am? It is?

  • So I just have one question: When does the game of Risk end?

    I cracked up out loud when I read that “the game of Risk never fucking ends!” I wanted someone to ask me what was so funny so I could say it out loud. But no one asked. 🙁

  • NEVER!!


  • Meleah, I am loving this! And the picture of your son is amazing… you know my daughter has a crush on him, right?! 🙂 “He’s so CUTE!” she said when she saw the video with him. You know, my brother liked Risk and I tried to play it once and HATED it. But I was pretty darn young then… maybe it’s time!

  • I’ll teach you how to play Risk!

    And I think it’s ABORABLE your daughter has a crush on my son!


  • shadowrun300

    Wait a minute… you’re making this sound like fun! I don’t wanna be locked up with my family in the dark, but it would be very entertaining to be with yours! I have a feeling that things will get a little worse for you in part two however. 🙁
    CanNOT wait to see the video of your dad.

  • Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo

    I loved EVERY SINGLE THING about this post.

    Made me laugh till I farted.

    If I am ever caught in a hurricane I want to be with you.

  • My dad is sofa king funny!

    And if you ARE going to be trapped with people, my family is pretty fun.

  • YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • silverneurotic

    Something tells me I probably should stock up on some board games for the long winter.

  • Hell yes. They are SO MUCH fun!

  • I love the visuals. : ) You really have an Aunt Bea? LOL! Catching up since I got my Internet back. When did you get power? Jersey got hit the hardest. I got power back on Sunday. Comcast back yesterday. It was eerie and dark!

  • Pingback:   NaBloPoMo | Day 10: Hurricane Sandy – The Conclusion — Momma Mia, Mea Culpa()

  • Luckily, we got power back in Saturday the 3rd.

    But then we lost it again on Saturday the 10th.


  • Unbelievable! Incredible people on Long Island still without power.

  • I can’t EVEN imagine.

  • ladyV

    good times. some times a power outage is just what we need for a day or two. after that, it’s old, but y’all made the most of your time together.

    never heard of risk and castle risk.

  • It’s a crazy game, that you and I should play, DRUNK!



  • Board games are always a great way of getting through black outs. So glad you were all together and no one was hurt.

  • Playing games was fun in the dark!

  • oldereyes

    Great stuff, Meleah. I mean it. I’ve been popping in and out of here for a while now and this is you at your best. Anecdotes and pictures and humor making it all very real.

  • Thank you! 🙂

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