SANDY..the cute and sweet-sounding name, the name that will FOREVER
be associated with "THE STORM OF THE CENTURY".
SANDY..the MO NSTER STORM that barreled down the East Coast of our
country causing destruction, devastation, drowning and death in its wake.
SANDY..where once stood cozy, fun beach towns in southern N.J. ; places
where generations of families played in boardwalk amusement centers, eating pizzas
and trying to lick around soft custard before it melted. Places where the guys tried to
win that big stuffed giraffe for the girls and, win or lose, enjoyed some Summer fun
' under the boardwalk". Places where parents showed their little ones where THEY came
and had fun every Spring and Summer and where they put the kiddies on their first
amusement park rides, and dreamed of what the future would old for them and their children.
Places where those now in their "Golden Years" strolled hand in hand down the boardwalk,
gazing into the shops and play areas and perhaps, with a tear in their eyes, remembered
fondly how and why the "JERSEY SHORE" factored so fondly into their lives.
SANDY..the DESTROYER of these dreams and memories, causing havoc indiscriminately;
it didn't ,matter whether it demolished the summer homes of people or those of the year-round
dwellings. It paid no reverence to the amusement pier's rides, as it pushed ferris wheels and
carousels off their foundations and sent them crashing into the swirling seas.
Oh but SANDY didn't just attack our "SHORE", it continued to pound cities and boroughs
in New York; Staten Island, Long Island and many other unfortunate areas. People in these
locales, whether they had evacuated their town BEFORE the storm arrived or STAYED and waited
out the storm, faced the same horrors when it passed: the HELL and HORROR of seeing their homes,
for which they worked, struggled, scrimped and saved, partially or totally shattered.
What SANDY left were the crumbs of souvenirs of a lifetime: a single photograph of a
mother in her bridal gown, a bent trophy from a son's first football championship and a ripped
and mangled Barbie doll the little girl had wished for and somehow magically received last
THAT'S how SANDY tortured and plagued practically EVERY life on the East Coast.
There were, however, homes (like ours),businesses and lives to which SANDY gave only
a "glancing blow"; it merely took away power-- No lights, no heat and, in some cases, no hot
water was the punishment Sandy doled out to others more fortunate. Those folks (and we)
did NOT quite FEEL so fortunate.
We "roughed it" in our home without power for the first three days after SANDY arrived.
Needless to say that having no lights, heat or use of the refrigerator left us feeling helpless
and in despair. But being a child of the '50's, a television baby, the lack of sounds and pictures and
programs emanating from "the boob tube" made me downright MAD.
We were lucky; we were able to take up our younger daughter's kind invitation to say with her
and her fiancé in their lighted, heated and television-playing apartment in Morristown, N.J.
So we packed up enough stuff with which to cross a continent, left out freezing cold, dark and
bare home in Freehold, N.J. and headed to, IRONICALLY, the WARM NORTH.
There, at our daughter's cozy apartment, we kepy ourselves fed with good refrigerated and
cooked food, and entertained by our two playful "grand cats" and, THANKFULLY, their television.
In what seemed like a long stay, we were there for three nights and almost four days. During this time,
we also walked around the quaint and lovely town of Morristown, N.J., at in cute restaurants and
shopped in their stores. For the most part, Morristown, with few scattered exceptions, was enjoying
"Normal" life. for thoses still suffering from a lack of food or heat, etc., my daughter worked every day
tirelessly at the OEM (emergency center). While we did miss her company, we were extremely proud of
what she was doing to help those in need in her charming town. The "grand cats" entertained us until
she returned home.
On the third night there, our Freehold neighbors called us to say "YOU HAVE POWER!".
We let out screams of joy.
Wistfully, the next morning, with all of our many bags packed, we bade our daughter and future
son-in-law a thankful, teary farewell, and headed back "down South" to Freehold.
Something we found funny upon our return to our house, was this: in the blackout which
resulted in the loss of power, we unknowingly had left ALL of the lights ON in the house! We couldn't
have known that ; everything in the house was DARK! But as soon as we put the key in the lock and
opened the door, we were greeted by a FULLY-LIT bedroom and kitchen! Fine, so our electric bill might
be HIGH next month, these lights were a sight for our sore eyes.
All this time, while we were comfortably situated up there (in Morristown), my 89 and 82-year
old parents were still without heat or light in the senior development complex in Manalapan, N.J.
They stubbornly had refused to go to my brother's warm, lit, tv'd apartment in Jackson, N.J. After the
first four nights of now freezing cold temperatures, thankfully, but reluctantly they gave in to my
brother's stern SUGGESTIONS and went to stay in his place.
We tried to help them find out when they'd get power back by calling the Municipal Building
of Manalapan. All we were told was that "They're working 'round the clock, but they're missing a part
and SHOULD be done by Wednesday." That would make 10 DAYS without power.
When I called and told my folks what I'd been told, they were so upset and heartsick. I said that I
still had one more place to call for information, see if the information given was the same as that from
the Municipal Center and then call and then let them know what would happen for them.
Now mind you, we know EXACTLY how fortunate we all were being spared the bulk of SANDY'S wrath.
Even so, my parents really had HAD IT by then, understandably, and wanted some GOOD news.
Therefore, I made, hopefully, that last call. It was to JCP&L (Jersey Central Power & Light).
Here the woman was very sympathetic and really felt for my parents' plight. She thought that there was
a chance that all would be fixed in their complex BEFORE Wednesday, but couldn't give specific day or
I thanked her for her time and compassion, and asked for her name.
What was her name you ask? Take a guess... Anything?...No idea?
That lovely woman from JCP&L's was.. DRUM ROLL..
SANDY!!! ---believe it or not---
At least for one brief moment, after all of the heartache and heartbreak,
SANDY actually made us laugh.........................
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