Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Two Years Later: The Storm

This morning I woke up in my bed, in my room, in the house that we have been living in just five days shy of two years. 

If all had gone as planned, today would be the one year anniversary of our move. Back in 2012, our lease was up at the end of October and we opted to move on the 29th to give ourselves a little bit of a buffer. Only our original moving date was not meant to be, see, because there was a massive hurricane in the Atlantic and it was forecast to head straight for New York

So rather than move to a brand new house without a kitchen in a brand new city where we knew absolutely no one we opted to push off the move for a couple of days and hunker down in our apartment to ride out the storm. 

And in case you were wondering, I was not for one single second concerned about the storm. As the leading edge started to hit the city, I even went out for a run and posted a chatty little piece about my pre-hurricane run, the craziness of the New Yorkers lining up outside of Trader Joe's to get supplies, and the Mayor's decision to close the parks.

Empty Park

A few hours later, though, no one was joking. Because it turns out that the storm was exactly as bad as everyone said it would be. Worse, actually

The Day After The Storm

Over the next couple of days our Upper West Side apartment became a refugee camp of sorts for friends and relatives fleeing their soggy, dark apartments in Hoboken and the East Village, looking for a place to charge electronics, take showers, and get warm. David faced the challenge of trying to run a phone company when all of the servers required for the phone service were housed in Financial District buildings that had no power and basements filled with corrosive Hudson River water that incapacitated the generators. And I walked to and from work to my practically empty office that was just on the right side of the line drawn across that city that meant the difference between electricity and no electricity.

It would have been a scary couple of days without a move looming in the distance.

We had no choice, though, but to move forward and do whatever came next. And the next thing was to put all of our stuff on a moving truck and drive it north, so we did exactly that.

Hurricane Sandy and our move from Manhattan are inextricably linked in my brain. I can't now, and probably will never be able to, think of one without thinking of the other. Because as the storm raged in New York, another storm was raging too, in my head and in my heart as I got ready to leave the city that had become my home. The city that I loved and that I knew. The city that grew me up.

And today. Two years later, the storm has quieted. It has settled into a quiet contentment that comes from being exactly where you should be. And I am.

But during this week, as October melts into November, I can't help but look back at those wild few days that, in my mind, create the dividing line between then and now, before and after. And in looking back, I can see - really see - just how far I have come.

1 comment:

  1. So scary!! That storm was insane even all the way from Chicago. I can't believe it's been two years.