"What should I make for dinner this weekend?" I asked my kids after they told me they were leaving NYC tomorrow afternoon to spend the weekend in the warmth of their mama's home in Southern New Jersey. Both my daughter, A, and son, D, have been living without the bare necessities this week after Hurricane Sandy left her mark on the East coast.
"Nothing with shellfish or any fish that swims in water," joked D. "I've seen enough water for a long time." A was evacuated from her apartment building with no electric or running water and D had no electric or heat. A stayed with friends and D showered at his local gym.
I am grateful that I survived Sandy without loss of power at my townhome. And on Saturday, now that the ban is lifted on the Jersey shore, I will be headed down to my condo on the corner in Brigantine to see what shipwreck Sandy has left me. I do hope that my lovely condo on the corner where I sit and dream on the back deck during the warm summer months will still have a deck. I hope the bike path will still be there so that I can ride my bicycle down the island next summer. I hope the bagel store in town is still standing and the CVS where my boyfriend L and I spend many a Saturday date night during the months of July and August is not too flooded.
Ooh-ah-ooh-ah. I am very sad at what Hurricane Sandy has done to my sweet little beach town. I am especially sad about all the people who lost their homes. I am fearful about global warming, especially after reading Nicholas Kristof's New York Times piece today. According to Nick, "There are no easy solutions, but we may need to invest in cleaner energy, impose a carbon tax or other curbs on greenhouse gases, and, above all, rethink how we can reduce the toll of a changing climate. For example, we may not want to rebuild in some coastal areas that have been hammered by Sandy." (I hear you Nick, but we must rebuild the Jersey shore -- there are pockets of paradise there for those of us who love the ocean.)
Hurricane Sandy has reminded me to show more gratitude during my life after 50:
Gratitude for running water -- both hot and cold. I will try to use less hot water when I take a shower and not let the cold water run when I brush my teeth. My boyfriend L is so good at just letting his toothbrush get wet and brushing his teeth, while I often let the water run. No more.
Gratitude for clean water to make my morning tea. In so many countries, people don't have clean water to drink. And many here don't, either, after this week because of Sandy.
Gratitude for the electricity that lights my house so I can read at night and the electricity that powers my computer so I can blog. I will try to conserve. I promise.
Gratitude for the gas that heats my furnace so I can stay warm in the winter and the gas that heats my oven so I can cook my food. My boyfriend L is good to snuggle with, but he doesn't let off enough heat to warm the entire house or make dinner.
Gratitude for my family and friends who are all safe and secure after the eye of the Sandy storm hit our shores this week. We may have all lost stuff. It's just stuff and stuff can always be replaced.
Ooh, ooh, ooh. One more thing I am grateful for, I almost forgot. I am so grateful for the fabulous matzo ball chicken soup that my local deli makes. It warmed my heart and my tummy this evening as I gobbled up every last drop. There's nothing like matzo ball chicken soup to soothe a weary soul after a week of stormy weather. (I also love the deli's black and white cookies, maybe I'll get one of those cookies tomorrow.) So grateful. So grateful.