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Monday, November 5, 2012

Getting in touch with my Pioneer Self…(unedited)

Getting in touch with my Pioneer Self…

If you’ve been following my blog posts on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy here in Jersey...
Yeah – it’s still “real” here.  No power, and in my neighborhood unless you have a whole house generator, no running water.  We don’t have town water, we have well & septic.

It’s amazing the things you learn to appreciate once you get used to the fact that this could go on for a while.

If this post is up, I'm either in work, or found a way to connect my computer to the Internet.

Frankly, I'm hesitant to go to work because I don’t want to use up my gas.  Gas station lines are absolutely and pathetically ridiculous here!  They are trucking in gas from other states & delivering to stations who are charging almost $6 a gallon.  People are sleeping in their cars on line waiting for the delivery.  When a station is known to have gas the waiting line for that precious commodity could be up to 3 ½ hours.  I kid you not!

But hey, I never thought I’d be amazed by a flushing toilet either – because we don’t have one right now!

It’s amazing the simple stuff that you take for granted & completely miss.

As I’d mentioned, our neighbors have a full house generator & opened their home.  I was going to do Halloween for the kids here and they very graciously said, NO COME HERE - We’ve got power, we’ve got water, we’ve got plenty of food.

Now, I have my wood burning stove going.  Not to brag – but I cook a mean fire!  Laura Ingalls has nuttin’ on me!  So I get the stove cooking good and hot for heat & head off to our fabulous friends’ home.

“Hey Donna-Jean”

“Yes, Jenny Sue”

“You gots ta come see what they got in this fancy schmancy water closet they have”

“Ok Jenny Sue, what’s ya got?”

“Look – you push this here handle on this big ol commode & LOOK that water just comes on in and swoops that poo up in it.  Just like the magic terlit they have over at Walmart!”

“Yeeee Hawwww”

Yeah, that’s how it feels….  A flushing toilet & you can even wash your hands too!

When I was married to my son's father, we were re-doing our house.  I remember opening a bottle of champagne to celebrate the bathroom door!  A flushing toilet has warmed my heart as much.  Sad.

Washing has been a challenge, but a challenge we’ve also met.  I have a gas stove.  (Thank you hubby for being “the gas man.”)  We have a syphon set up at the pool for water – cuz we have to keep spackle pails full to flush the toilet… AND to boil on the stove for clean / warm water to wash bodies and dishes.  Yes, I’m using paper and plastic BUT you need to cook in something and that something will need to be washed.

Crap – the short one spilled crumbs all over the floor let me go get the…. Ummm never mind, can’t use the vacuum cleaner, it sucks up too much power from the generator, whose gas we are conserving.

Gas??  Yes, I know I’ve already mentioned this… Ok… No power for the pumps to operate and there is a gas shortage in New Jersey because the refineries are under water and or not functioning properly.  The gas stations that DO have power AND gas have lines wrapped around the block.  People will fight you if you accidentally “cut the line.”  Those lines are up to a 4 hours wait or longer – one line cars, one line people standing with gas cans for generators.  Does the movie "Mad Max" come to mind?  It did for me.  As did "Escape from New York" when hearing of the chaos there.

Scared  yet?  I told ya that it got real here!

We haven’t totally gone way of the mountain folk (yet) because there is one grocery store open on the other side of town with water and most of what we need.

Bottled water is used not only for drink and coffee – BUT tooth brushing!  Yes, we take the bottle in – pour it on our tooth brush & brush, brush, brush.

Coffee, did I say coffee ??  I don’t turn on the generator until after 7 am because it’s loud – but then, most of the block is humming with the sound of generators anyway.  I am up at around 5 and NEED my coffee… Thank you good sweet Lord for the French coffee press!  I can boil water on my stove, put the grinds in the little glass coffee pot, pour in hot, hot water and in 2 minutes COFFEE!!  Yummy, delicious, hot coffee to warm me and make me smile.

In all of this, I've found one thing at a time to be thankful for....
Amazing friends & neighbors who come together - with whatever they've got.  No questions asked.
For a gas stove.
For a wood burning stove.
For the covered swimming pool which supplied water.
For my camping skills.
For the copious amount of children in our neighborhood who've been entertaining each other.
For the love and compassion of strangers.
For God who has gotten me through all of this.

Out for now...



  1. I have been following your posts and I must admit.. You are quite the woman.. here in Florida, we went w/out electric due to a hurricane for a week. I seriously thought that was bad. This was before I had children. I couldn't even imagine what you and everyone else up north are going thru. Thank god you still have your sense of humor. Hope you get electric soon. Stay safe

  2. Wow. I've always been one to think about being prepared, but we take so much for granted, it's hard to think of everything. U r a genius for thinking of the French press, bc I would totally go "beyond the thunderdome" on someone without my coffee. Gotta go out and get one of those for the coming apocalypse. Thanks for sharing. This makes it real for the rest of us. It's hard to believe that your neighborhood is enduring this when my neighborhood is as it has always been. Makes me feel shitty for not paying enough attention.

  3. Sounds like you're using all kinds of brain cells that I myself have long let go dormant. As difficult as this time is, I think that all the kids in that area are learning a lesson in selflessness that could never be taught like this just using words. Hope everything is back to normal for you soon. I think of you every day.

  4. Amazing that in the midst of all this, you are still blogging through it all. I think you are my hero! The last bad hurricane we got hit by was about 7 years ago---you just learn to adapt, I guess, but I wasn't on a computer then--I'd probably go crazy if I lost my internet but wow, you are handling this like a pro. Good luck to you and I pray you get power ( and way shorter gas lines!) soon!!!

  5. OMG. You are awesome. As shitty as all this is, you really will have some great stories to tell once it's all over! (I would know, I grew up in and am now living in Florida!)

    Stay safe, lady!


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