GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN...by b. Malin
Hurricane Sandy, is gone from our Barrier Island in South Jersey...But she will never be forgotten. The Tears, along with the Pain, and Destruction is unbelievable. You walk down different blocks and see Appliances, Furniture, and Family Treasures, which are beyond repair, put out to be picked up and discarded. Some people lost Everything as the Flood Waters took over their homes... Mother Nature was a Cruel Hostess. She stripped our Island of Everything, from Electricity to Shortness of Food, and in some cases Water. But not our Spirits. We are Survivors.
Lover Man & I chose to stay when it was announced that Hurricane Sandy was coming. We had left for "Irene" last September, because our Elderly Neighbors around the corner begged us to take them to Philly, which we did. It was Worse in Philly, than it was on our Barrier Island. This year they are in Florida, and so we said, "we're staying". Lots of people stayed, for many reasons, especially those that had Pets. Governor Christie wanted Everyone to leave. But he couldn't make us. It seems like Everyone went to "Pathmark", our local Food store and stocked up. it looked like New Years Eve... There was a kinds of a Happy, Rebellious Feeling in the air... Everyone seemed animated. The last Great Hurricane was in 1962.
The first Flood Waters came, with the High Tide, that afternoon. We have the Bay around the corner. Some large Houses stand with their back decks to it. The Beach and Beloved Boardwalk are 8 blocks away. Was it Scary? Not then. It was hard to believe that the Bay (which had never done that) ran down our block. But it wasn't deep, and again it was still daylight. It receded about 2 hours later. That night after dark, we lost our power...It was a Full Moon, and the High Tide was expected between 8 and 8:30. We were a little Nervous. Of course my Family was very upset with us for staying...They were worried...Everyone kept calling...Even my Ex. which Lover Man & I thought was nice. We'd made our choice, and now we would live with it.
We lit Candles that night as winds whirled, and the heavy rains fell, and played "Rummikub", it's a Tile Game. We would look out the front door from time to time. Suddenly we saw the dark waters of the High Tide, as if on cue, come rolling down the block. We didn't Panic, but the thoughts that run through your head..."Like I don't want us to die...Lover Man can't Swim"... He can Float, but he Sinks if he tries to Swim! And we live in a Ranch style House...How would we get up to the Roof if we had to. And I even thought about the Book, "The 3 Little Pigs", and remembered how the Wolf couldn't blow down a House made of Brick...Our house has a Brick Front. At one point I said to Lover Man, "Oh No, I referred to A.A. (Everyone knows A.A. on Hub Pages) as a "Sagittarius" in the Hub Interview that Maria did on me, and He's an "Aries"! Lover Man, just gave a Laugh...and said," Hopefully you can correct it when this is all over, and we get Power restored". Yes, we were SCARED, and so we prayed. At 11:30, the Flood waters which had surrounded the house, but never got in, started to recede. It was Amazing to watch...the winds had died down and the heavy rain had stopped. We would wind up with 3-4 feet of water in the crawl space under the house which would need to be professionally pumped out. My car that was in the driveway would have to be dried out, as well as the garage, and Lover Man's car. But we were Safe and Dry, and Alive in our home.
Two days later we went out to start the clean up. A young woman with her little boy stopped to talk. She had lost her home to 4 ft. of Flood Water. Her Spirits were good, they were staying with the In-laws and the Insurance Adjuster was coming that Friday. She then went onto tell us a Funny story... Her friends who lived on "Brigantine" Barrier Island, (which is on the other side of Atlantic City,) opened their Front Door to look out on what used to be their front lawn, and a small "Shark" came swimming by. We all were able to Laugh at that Fish tale! Yes, this is the same Island, that Governor Christie & the President came to see. She also told us how those Families that left, were not being allowed to come back...And we were on a 6-6 Curfew. By the time a lot of them were allowed to come back about 8 days later, their homes, as well as their belongings were ruined. Lots of Salty tears were cried.
Now a week later we were told that a NOR'EASTER was on its way...And Last Night, it came, and went...We kept our Electricity...along with our Sanity. We had been spared of any further devastation. Again, some areas not so lucky, and our hearts go out to them. People are Exhausted, and those that were finally allowed to come back, got a double whammy...Trying to clean up before this next storm hit. People have said, Next time, they won't leave...But in the final analysis, WE are "Survivors" here on the South Jersey Shore.