What I Learned From Hurricane Sandy

by Margie Nichols

Nope, I’m not blogging about gratitude.  Though the situation certainly includes many possibilities for that.  Just a couple of things I noticed, given so much time on my hands:


1) We Are Animals.  Our Bodies Prevail.  In our section of Jersey city, where we were asked to wait out the storm inside rather than evacuate, everyone I knew hunkered down – and down, and down, and down.  It felt like hibernating, the decrease in energy level.  For me, it didn’t happen at first, not until

2) We are Nesters and Nurturers.  I didn’t start to hibernate until after a frantic burst of activity.  Well, FIRST first – I experienced dazed shock, disbelief, and a desire to pretend this would have the same lack of impact as Irene did in 2011.  Then, I forced myself to face reality and ‘sprang into action.’  Battening down the hatches.  Cooking.  Freezing.  Making ice. Planning. Organizing.  THEN hibernation, when it was done.  My teenage daughters, on the other hand – they went into vegetative mode instantly.  Tho it’s hard to tell the difference between that and their normal indoor behavior.

4) We Really Depend on Electronics.  But we’re ok without them.  When we don’t have them available – we talk to each other just fine.    Yesterday I waited in a long line at my neighborhood deli/coffee shop.  We all shared information, stories, tips and advice.  It was nice.  The Northeast isn’t unfriendly.  We’re just in a hurry most of the time.

5) We’re Giving.  A friend in Hoboken told me about a neighbor, the only one with power on the block, who brought out power strips so others could charge their phones.  Here, people with generators did the same thing, people shared food, sandbags, helped each other.  We aren’t unusual.  This is the norm.  If we can figure out how to harness this more often there’s hope for the human race.

6) We May Deplore the Gadgets, and We Can Do Without Them.  But they expand our lives, for sure.  Since being wired back in, I’m able to be in touch with more people, see how they are doing….and get more information…..than I could without the technology.  Stop pooh-poohing them already.  They’re more good than bad.  Embrace it, even you folks over 50. It will improve your life, if you let it.

7) Having an unexpected several days without work – without your normal routine – can lead to thought.  And introspection.  And blogs like this.   Occasionally, insight and wisdom.  All that stuff that HAD to get done – maybe not so much as you thought.  Dealing with potentially life-threatening situations CAN give you a different perspective on what’s important.

  Now the trick is to remember it after it’s over!


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