When Frankenstorm Sandy whipped through the Eastern seaboard Monday night, millions of people lost power, trees fell, roads flooded, public transportation shut down, data centers of major online publications (ours included) went down and at least 33 Americans lost their lives.
Secure and dry in our respective apartments, we felt enormously lucky to be unharmed and terrible for those facing major damage. But as our stir-craziness grew, we began to feel grateful for other things as well -- the sort of things forty-eight hours homebound with limited air circulation make you appreciate and/or crave. Although we're more thankful for our safety than anything, we thought we'd share with you 10 much smaller things we swear, as of this evening, never to take for granted again. What would you add to this list?
1. Coffee made outside our apartments, by people more skilled than us. Trivial, yes, but sipping a really delicious caffeinated drink is one of those little things that we love. The moment one of us realized one tiny coffee shop a block away weathered the storm and and was open for business was priceless.
2. A breeze. Sitting in a small apartment for hours on end leaves a person feeling pretty disgusting. A light breeze has never felt so refreshing.
3. Sunlight. After a day and a half cooped up, we felt like drooping houseplants. The brief period midday Tuesday when the clouds broke seemed miraculous (as did the morning rainbow).
4. A light rain. Yes, a little sunlight is necessary, but pretty much any type of weather that isn’t dangerous is just fine with us going forward.
5. How quickly information can be passed in the mobile Internet age. Sure, web access wasn't enough to stave off the cabin fever, and some of us went through periods without Internet. Still, the degree to which our smartphones in particular enabled us to to stay in touch with loved ones and co-workers throughout the last two days was enormously comforting. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (and texts and phone calls, of course) kept us informed about our friends' and families' surroundings and wellbeing even when they were miles away.
6. Candlelight. It has the ability to make even a tiny studio apartment bathroom feel romantic. We won't wait for the next hurricane to create more ambiance.
7. A glass of wine. We don't advocate medicating with alcohol, but a few sips of Pinot Grigio sometimes is just what you need to take the edge (of storm anxiety) off. We will henceforth keep emergency bottles on hand on the off chance that another storm named after a "Grease" character blows in.
8. The joy that comes from making chocolate chip cookies from scratch ... and eating some of the raw dough, obviously. Again, doing this WAY more often post-Frankenstorm.
9. A collaborative work environment. As much as we all talk about how great it is to get a day out of the office, we realized that we actually missed working right near each other. (Cue the "awwww" now).
10. Friends who live nearby. All of us were able to spend our “Hurrications” with storm buddies. We passed the time with people who care about us -- people who embraced our braless, contact-less, Netflix-watching selves.