Post Sandy postmortem. Not the Halloween post I thought I’d be writing today.

donate to hurricane victims through the red cross

First thing: Donate.

I’m not sure where to start with all this Sandy business, so I’ll just jump in from the middle and do a bad job of summarizing the last 84 hours or so.  From the terror of seeing entire garbage cans flying down our street like leaves, and imagining the giant steel scaffolding rods across the street doing the same and crashing through my children’s windows; to the moment the internet went out and we thought well…that’s that. It’s all felt like less of a fun little snowday adventure and more of a yikes…are we going to be okay? Even now.

I panicked this morning when I realized I was stupid enough to walk out the door without a full cell phone charge.

I can’t tell you how much it means to get so many emails and tweets and texts asking if we’re okay here.

We’ve been luckier than most. We have power and internet–and now we have my mom who had neither and was stuck in Downtown Manhattan until they opened the East River crossings to Brooklyn. Sage puked every hour on the hour on Monday night, but she’s fine–and thank goodness we had running water. As you can imagine.

When we ran out to get flashlight batteries and bottled water, it didn’t cross my mind to also stock up on Pedialyte and sprays that remove the vomit scent from your sheets. And your clothes. And your duvet. And your back up duvet. Lesson learned.

Our car is evidently in 2 feet or so of water in the garage. I’ve been too scared to call to check on it, but may that be the worst of our worries.

Nate is crawling out of his skin watching kid movies for days with schools closed and work closed, and just decided to make the 3 mile walk over the bridge to work for a meeting, what with the subways gone until 2024 or so. My office has been shut down all week, as is everything south of 39th Street. And yes, it’s creating a little 9/11 PTSD anxiety for me. It’s probably a little easier for me being in Brooklyn than back in the West Village.

(By the way, all ye cynical ones: That photo of the brownstone with the facade that collapsed? Not Photoshop. It’s directly across the street from my office.)

I am increasingly unable to think about all the people who have lost homes and lives, up and down the coast, the families that are changed forever. It’s just too raw right now. The second I see a story that starts with “A two year old child faced a tragic..” that’s it. I’m done. Clicking over somewhere with cute cats.

Turns out however, that it’s easier to think about things in the media that annoy you. Like newspapers and TV networks that are reprinting individual’s Instagram photos without crediting them. Didn’t we learn a long time ago that “the internet” is not public domain? And that “©Instagram” is no more acceptable than “©The Newspaper?”

It’s also really easy to get annoyed at Romney and any other politician trying to score points with dumb-ass fake events designed to make them look compassionate, since real compassion seems to be in short supply.  As it turns out, Obama is the leader you want in charge in a a crisis and Romney…the guy you want to just get the hell out of the way. (But tell us how you really feel, Liz…)

If you want to help, please don’t collect soup cans in these early days. Please make a cash donation to the red cross for hurricane relief. Even if it’s $5.

On the positive side, look at all the cool things businesses did for New Yorkers stuck without power this week.

photo: scott kolb  | via mashable

I love this city.

I guess in the end I may sound rambly and not entirely cohesive with my thoughts, but it all comes down to feeling so lucky to be safe and warm and have food and a roof and my family all here. Yes, I’m tired of us being all cooped up together in this small space, but I’m so grateful we’re together at all. I can’t stop hugging them. Can’t stop.

My hacking cough aside, I’m definitely not feeling ready to head out of the country again next week on a business trip. But that’s another issue for another day.

First we have to get through a night of trick-or-treating.

Remember? Halloween?

I’ve got a little Frodo and a little Samwise who are increasingly excited about Reeses Cups and candy corn, respectively. It’s almost like no one puked this week at all.


50 thoughts on “Post Sandy postmortem. Not the Halloween post I thought I’d be writing today.”

  1. I am so glad that you and your family are safe, warm, and dry. Vomit always comes at the most inopportune times, doesn’t it? There are so many people thinking of you and your neighbors. Hang in there!

  2. I’m glad you and your family are safe. One of my dear friends who lives in Chelsea is still without power, and has patchy cell service at best. I wait on her 2 word updates as I think she’s trying to save her battery power for more important urgent calls. Still waiting to see how her parents fared as they live on the Jersey seaside. 🙁
    Making a donation shortly.

  3. Oh and I guess the (C)instagram thing is legit, because apparently in the terms of service once we post it apparently becomes their property. :/ Lame. Who reads the 300 pages of terms of service?

    1. Take it back, they don’t own it but they have the right to license it.

  4. Glad to hear you and your family are safe. We are sending dry, safe and power-filled thoughts to all of those in the east. Will be making a donation momentarily. Stay safe!

  5. First, very glad that you and yours (not including your poor car) are safe and sound.

    Second, this may be a useful article for you (and anyone else who might want to click.) It’s advice for parents during/after disasters. It’s very well done.

    If you came ringing my doorbell, I’d save the really big candy bars for your girls. 🙂

  6. I am glad to hear you all have weathered the storm. I don’t *know* you, know you, but I feel like I know you (know what I mean?) and I have thought about your family these past few days. It is so surreal to hear about these crazy storms since it has been in the 80s and sunny here in California. I imagine the trick-or-treating tonight will be pretty unforgettable.

    1. Thank you so much Kelly. I do know what you mean – it’s the same way I think of people I “know” whenever their hometowns are in the news. Hope your Halloween is great.

  7. I’m glad you’re ok, your mom is ok, that the car is the biggest concern. We didn’t get nearly what you did of course here in DC, but there are upturned cars, capsized boats, water still cresting (expected early tomorrow which may close my office as we sit right on the Anacostia River), and many friends and family still without power. I am not joking when I say I am glad it wasn’t worse (for us) and that I wish there was something more I could do for those so horribly affected.

    Our biggest concern was how we’d fare once the Oreos ran out. It was touchy there for a while until we found the Snickerdoodles.

    Is Sage better?

    Your cough. Ugh. I’ve had a lingering one (affectionately named “The Consumption) for over a month now.

    Also, I thought the Red Cross didn’t accept canned goods? Did I make that up?

  8. SO glad to see you posting and to hear that you’re all (puking aside) okay. You’ve been in my thoughts as we’ve watched the tv footage these past few days from the other side of the world. Even my kids have been asking if all my ‘blog friends’ are okay and wanting to know where on the map they are. Stay safe.

  9. Stay safe, stay warm and dry. Sending lots of warm hugs for you all, good to hear you are (mostly) OK.

    As for electricity… I can’t help with that, since storm was big enough to knock out even Toronto… it is amazing what being cold and without electricity for a day and a half can do to your spirits… but we are back live, and trick-or-treating on the rain. Yay, more wetness! 🙁

  10. Glad you are all okay and I appreciate your first rate reporting. Out here on the West Coast I think there’s a feeling of helplessness…no, that’s not really the right word but it’s a feel of *something.* Can’t quite put my finger on it. (Great to be reminded about the Red Cross. Thank you.)

    Also, does anyone else think that missing building facade looks like a very, very, very horrible child’s dollhouse gone wrong?

    1. We all thought the same then figured out why…it’s an illegal hotel. So all the rooms are painted/decorated the same. A residential brownstone would never look like that. Creepy right?

  11. Glad to hear you are all right! My father is holed up in a hotel somewhere in NJ – got sort of cold without a working furnace, he says. But I must say I enjoyed Gov Christie’s news conference this afternoon. He all but shouted, “VOTE FOR THIS MAN!”

    1. I’m so glad he found a hotel. I heard it was rough going for people who didn’t find one right away.

  12. Far be it for me to suggest that the Mittster might consider opening his house(s) to those without power/heat/food; and I won’t say a *thing* about that canned canned food drive. It’s like Paul Ryan washing clean dishes at a soup kitchen. I am very, very far from Sandyland these days, but used to live mere blocks from the exploding ConEd station and a variety of other hurricane-related nightmares. I can only imagine that, yes, the “wow what an adventure” feeling has worn off, about 24 hours ago, and has shifted into “holy crap what a mess.”
    Good luck with all of it, particularly the lingering smell of kidvomit. I suppose putting a smear of candy corn under each nostril wouldn’t work, would it? Plus kind of a waste of a good candy. Hmm.

  13. I’ve been thinking about you and your family these last few days. I’m so glad to hear you are surviving in good spirits. I hope Halloween gave everyone some lightness(and I hope your car faired well) and fun!

  14. So glad to know you are all safe. And glad your girls managed to get in some trick or treat. My Manhattan brother and his daughter have been stranded with us in Milwaukee for the past few days and even though they’ve had a nice time my niece was devastated not to celebrate Halloween in NY this year. Hope life gets back to normal soon.

  15. Here’s to things going back to the new normal.

    Time is what we all need.

    So glad you’re safe, I’m happy people are posting updates, so many on the East Coast that I’ve come to love and following everyone on twitter made me so grateful for the easy of that tool: I could see how man, many were doing, all at once.

    Glad you’re safe.

  16. Glad to hear you are cozy and safe with your fam. Along the line”it could be a real hellhole” theme: despite the vomitous, you could’ve also been in the uncomfortable menstrual situation of nary a feminine hygiene product nor bottle of pain relief (pick your potion Alleve or, Motrin) to be found.

  17. Glad to hear that you and your family are OK. And thanks for the reminder to donate to the Red Cross. I just did and wanted to remind those with company matching plans to submit their donation receipts to HR, too!

  18. I have to say, social media was one of the heroes in this, as it’s the only way I was able to stay in touch with a lot of people I was worried about (including you!) Believe it or not, had it not been for Google+ and their chat function, I would have spent an extra day worrying sick about a dear friend in Flushing who I had no idea whether she and her family were OK. She’d changed her cell number and I had otherwise not been able to reach her.

    These kind of events bring out the best in communities. After Hurricane Ike when most of Houston had no power for nearly 2 weeks, stores with generators like Best Buy and Verizon Wireless opened their doors to let folks charge their phones, etc. Gas stations pooled resources to get generators to gas stations so people could pump gas in the absence of power. My husband’s company sent out convoys of supplies all over the city so employees could have food and water. Neighbors I almost never see or talk to (shame on me) came around the neighborhood to see if people needed anything. We all helped each other and it made the ordeal a lot more bearable.

    Oh…and you always wanted a submersible vehicle, right?

  19. So glad to hear you are doing okay. But still… what a mess. (And Romney’s “storm relief event” is killing me.)

    Hope you were able to enjoy the trick-or-treating. Hang in there and stay safe!

    1. It’s not just a partisan jab. It really is a huge problem for someone getting all this national press to tell people to send food to the Red Cross. There may be other places to send food, but it creates problems for the Red Cross in terms of time and resources. They need money, blood, and volunteers right now.

  20. So glad you are safe. It’s amazing to me that so many still managed to trick or treat! That’s so great!

    Having lived in Houston, TX all my life, I’ve lived thru some pretty rotten hurricanes. Ike was especially bad…and my mom and dad and my family of four lived at my sister’s house with her family of four for a week. 10 of us under one roof (4 kids under 4 yrs), with nowhere to go…I feel you on the PTSD. I was never so grateful to hear my own voice on my answering machine…we called home multiple times a day as a way to check if the power was back. Until I tried to find milk for my one year old (who drank NOTHING else)…and I was crying in my car driving all over the city…and happily paid $7 for the last gallon of milk at a random gas station convenience store. It’s just hard in so many ways people don’t think about.

    Hugs to you and your family. Please keep us posted on how things are in your area!

  21. I’m so glad you guys are all safe and at least tolerably well. I’ve been watching but not wanting to pester my NY friends or family while they deal with the day to day post-storm, not to mention the post-9/11 PTSD.

  22. I am so happy that you are safe, not throwing up anymore, and agree – the hugging should not stop.

    Just finished reading this to one of your top fans (my mom) as she recuperates in the hospital – some people want the Times read to them daily. My mom – Mom 101.

    1. Thanks Kelley – and everyone.

      I know have caught Sage’s Plague but at least we have heat and electricity. (Even if I’m still shivering.)

  23. Hearing these accounts first hand does bring it home! So glad to hear you are safe and sound – so sorry that not everyone isn’t in the same boat. We had an 7.7 magnitude earthquake up the coast last Friday (we did not feel a thing in Vancouver), and unlike the millions affected on the East Coast, we on the West Coast did much better – no injuries, no damage. Look after yourselves and those around you!

  24. Glad to hear you and the family are ok. While I also don’t **know** you, I’ve been reading your blog for years and was regularly checking in hoping for a posting since all this started…hoping you were ok. Thanks for the update!

    One quick comment re: the Romney event… There are plenty of charities that are more than happy to accept donations in whatever form available. If the Red Cross doesn’t want to accept canned food…I guarantee you someone does. While people are suffering…let’s remember to not say “Please help in whatever way you can”…and then follow up with “but only how we want you to…or…only if you are a Democrat.”

    Breaks my heart…

    1. I would say please help in the way that will most benefit the victims and first responders in the early days. The immediate needs are money, blood and time. You can’t cook soup when you have no home. I recognize that people want to help in whatever ways they can, just to do something (which is awesome), but sometimes that help creates more issues for the organizations who have different needs and don’t have the resources to sort through donations right now.

      If soup kitchens later are asking for food I think that’s awesome.

  25. so happy that you and yours are doing well (or as well as possible, being subjected to kid movies).

    It’s been scary, but very cool to see the city working together and people cooperating with each other. I. Even. Shared.A Cab. This. Morning.

  26. Every picture of NYC is so hard to look at right now. The streets, the floating cars, the subways (well…where the subways used to drive through). I’m glad you and your family are safe. Here’s hoping the back to normal gets to you as soon as possible!

  27. Liz–I know I don’t really know you, but I’ve bee thinking about you and your cute family all week long before the storm hoping you were getting prepared, during and after. Thanks for posting this.

    I’m glad you are all “well” at least well enough for what you’ve been through. I would send you some fabreeze if I thought the mail could get it to you in a reasonable amount of time. I hate the smell of puke too.

    Feeling for you and everyone on the east coast. Prayers from Utah.

  28. Yuck on the vomit front Liz. I’m glad you’re safe and sound.

    And I never thought about the Pinterest issue…I was busy cheering the old media, specifically BusinessWeek, for their #itsglobalwarmingstupid cover.


  29. This thing is so terrifying. I’m glad you are safe.

    We lived on Staten Island when I grew up. Somehow that makes the devastation more real. This is a place I lived. This is a place where people like me live.

    It’s unbelievable. Thank you for sharing your part of the story.

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