We are still without power, and our generator died on Thursday morning. Miraculously, my husband got on the phone at 8 am, found a place a few hours north of us that just received a delivery of 90 generators, paid for it on the phone and drove as fast as he could to pick it up. By the time he got there, they had sold all of them – Fortunately, ours was waiting with a “will call” tag, and although they say it may be Tuesday before we get our power back, we are fine.
The devastation and misery in New Jersey, Staten Island, New York and parts of Connecticut is so overwhelming. Our hearts go out to everyone who lost their homes and loved ones. We have only some small inconvenience compared to people who lost everything. Friends of ours down the road had a tree fall on their house and split it in half. Seeing their two-story house crushed made me sick in my stomach. In the heart of the storm, they had been standing in their kitchen and heard a loud cracking noise. They ran out into the blackness and the 90 mph wind just as the tree fell, severing their bed upstairs literally in half and dumping the entire contents of their house onto their driveway in the pouring rain and relentless wind. They said that they both felt an angel guiding them to their neighbor’s house to safety.
I realized that at the same moment, I had been standing in my kitchen, cooking chili on the stove when the windows began shaking and it felt like the wind was going to blow them in on me. I ran into our living room and asked my husband if we should go to the basement. Then, we were plunged into blackness. At that point, I was so focused on turning on flashlights and making sure that my daughter and the dog and cat were safely downstairs that I really didn’t feel any fear. Three days later, as I stood in front of the beautiful old farmhouse with the huge pine tree squashing it like it was cardboard, the reality of all of this hit me. I can’t stop thinking about it, and how lucky we are.
My husband and I have been through three earthquakes, two hurricanes and countless paralyzing snowstorms. There is no one in the world that I would rather have at my side in a disaster than Mark. I am so blessed to have a partner that is calm, resourceful and able to push me forward if I hesitate or falter. I hope that we are teaching our daughter how to find her strength when faced with these kind of life and death situations. You’d like to shelter your kids from them, but face it, no matter where you are in the world, things happen. No place is impervious. Last night, as it got dark, our friends and neighbors suddenly began to show up with food and knock on our door. We had a great impromptu dinner, and everyone felt the power of good community spirit as we joined together. I took the dog out at one point and tears came to my eyes as I looked back at where I live. Our house glowed with the light from the generator like a beacon in the black night.
My friend helped us move the horses back home yesterday. Silk got off the trailer and rolled and rolled in the pasture. She was so happy this morning when I fed her breakfast in our own barn. There is much good that came from moving the horses. Most important, they were safe in the hurricane. I made a new friend with a great horse trailer. The girls were very comfortable in the barn up the road, and the unfriendly mare who attacked them last time actually welcomed them in the pasture. Last year after the hurricane, Siete had been traumatized by the trailer ride back – our neighbor drove too fast, and my little horse was soaked with sweat when we unloaded her. This time, she got over her fear and loaded easily like she always has when we were ready to come home.
So this whole storm experience reminds me that fear is like a river that just has to be crossed. It is, after all, an emotion that can be replaced by other emotions that will serve me better. I will always feel it throughout points in the rest of my life, pay attention and respect its warnings, but it will never guide how I live.