It’s no surprise that I woke up with a significant hangover, after the night before, but that didn’t stop me from grabbing my son, packing up my favorite belongings, and hightailing it out of New Jersey.
After a fist-full of Tylenol, and some Dexeter Coffee, my son and I loaded up the car with our luggage and raced to the nearest gas station. I guess we shouldn’t have been shocked to find out they didn’t have any fuel. And neither did any of the other five gas stations we tried. But since we didn’t have any access to any news we had NO CLUE how bad things really were.
And so, we came back home.
Luckily, my father took one look at our faces and handed us the keys to his car.
I’m not gunna lie. The drive to Pennsylvania was absolutely terrifying. Not only because I was scared at any moment one of the fallen trees stuck in a broken power line would suddenly come crashing down on us, or worse a telephone pole, or even worse a traffic light, and not only because the roads were covered in huge trees, broken branches, wet leaves, and live electrical wires, but mostly because all of the other drivers looked just as terrified.
You’re just going to have to use your imagination here because we were too nervous to take an actual photo of what I’m about to tell you – but yes, I drove to my brother’s house in my bathrobe, mostly because I don’t own a winter coat, and also because it wouldn’t fit inside my over stuffed suitcase.
But if we had taken that picture, this would have been the caption:
I don’t always drive in my bathrobe, officer. But when I do it’s because I’m a hurricane victim.
And after an hour in the car, we made it safely to my brother Adam’s house.
And well… you already know how that worked out.
My brother’s girlfriend, Leah, has her own family, who were also in desperate need of heat and electricity. And since my son and I could easily join my parents who were staying with my Uncle Rick, we packed our bags and hit the road.
The drive back to New Jersey was much less horrifying. And on the way to Uncle Ricks, my mother asked if we could stop back at our house first, to pick up a few things. Plus, my son really needed more clothes. And underwear. And his computer.
Upon arriving home, it was so sad to see my whole neighborhood blacked out and practically empty. But I was beyond thrilled to see things were in relatively good shape, all things considered.
I gathered the items my mother asked for and my son refreshed his overnight bag. We were moving as fast as we could, when I heard the doorbell ring.
It was our neighbor, Ira. He informed us that a relative of his had spoken to the police and it might be another 7 – 21 days until the power would be restored.
My heart sank. And a lump formed in my throat. I immediately thought about all of the people that didn’t have a safe haven, to escape from the damage and destruction, like I did. And I almost started to cry.
Before we got back onto the highway, and before we headed to Uncle Ricks house, my son politely asked if he could, “please stop by his girlfriends house, if only for like five minutes, pretty, pretty, please?”
And of course, I said, “yes.”
I let them have a some time together, while I updated my Facebook status from my iPhone. I still had spotty cell reception and I wanted to make sure my mother knew we would be there soon.
After we left his girlfriends house, we turned down our own street and saw something flickering, and glowing, in the distance.
“THE HELL?” I yelled.
“Are those lights?” My son and I both wondered.
Within a matter of seconds my cell phone rang.
And it was only the best phone call ever.
Good ole’ Ira – called to tell us to turn the car around and come home.
OUR POWER HAD BEEN RESTORED!
And then, this happened.
PS: Please stay tuned for the final conclusion of Hurricane Sandy.
PPS: I am at a whopping word count of 14,121 for NaNoWriMo!
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