(UPDATED) Go Away, Sandy: Mother and Daughter Blog the Storm

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Dear Hurricane Sandy,

You are not welcome at my house or on my island. Please go away and take your coastal flooding with you. I was not interested in moving all of my worldly goods to the second floor, and packing up all of my pictures and important irreplaceable things and evacuating again. I didn’t want to tie things down, reopen the pool to put away the cover so it doesn’t become a sail, and fight with my cats about going into a carrier.

Screw you, Sandy!

Sincerely,

Jenn

During Hurricane Irene, the birds all made camp in the park across the canal from us. In segregated groups. There was a flock of seagulls, a gaggle of Long Island geese, and a group of crows. Where all the crows came from I have no idea, but there they were. Hundreds of them.

When they would encroach on each other’s territory there would be a big to-do, with squawking and a giant synchronized fly-by to a more choice area.

“It’s like a scene out of that Alfred Hitchcock movie,” I remarked at the time.

“Which one?” asked my son.

"The Birds.”

“No, mom,” he sighed. “Which movie?”

The Birds. The movie was called The Birds.”

“Were the birds giant or like dinosaurs?”

“No. It was just like those birds over there. A lot of birds just sitting there and then they would fly at people.”

“That sounds really stupid.”

“It scared me when I was your age, but you probably would think it was dumb.”

I figured at the time that the birds knew something we did not, and that maybe that area would not flood. But then they left about six hours before the storm hit. And the park did flood, but just barely.

But with Sandy approaching there have been no birds congregating. None.

The only birds we are seeing are confused groups literally flying in circles above us.

This does not bode well.

Hurricane Sandy canal

We live in a house on a canal on the water about 300 yards from the bay between Long Island and the barrier island where Jones Beach is located. It is our dream home. Four bedrooms, two and a half baths, a cook’s kitchen with a gas range with two ovens, polished marble and hardwood floors -- and a pool, a boat in the backyard with easy access to the bay with fishing and swimming and a water lifestyle. We love it.

In the last hurricane, we were so lucky. The water came up to the top step of the dock, but we did not flood. We didn’t even lose electricity. We were spared, while many of our neighbors were not. We had two friends live with us for six weeks while their house was rebuilt, and houses on a canal three blocks away are still being rebuilt.

I am praying that we are lucky again.

But we are preparing for the worst. We are not under a mandatory evacuation, per se, so we have elected to stay and try to protect the home from flooding. Of course, we do have a backup plan for the kids! Many friends have offered to take some or all of us (we have four kids home right now), so if worst comes to worst, we leave.

This weekend has been a blur of preparations. Anything irreplaceable or electronic has been moved upstairs to protect it from flooding. Anything else that can be damaged is up above waist level. Pictures and all of my important papers are in containers, along with one suitcase per person, a trunk full of food and two bewildered cats, all ready so we can grab and go if we need to leave.

Hurricane Sandy beach

We could not move furniture upstairs. My grandmother’s antique dining side board, her desk, and our piano are weighing heavy on my mind. My mother will be happy to know that the Charlie Faust original drawing I have is safe upstairs and will go with me, along with Carsen’s prints, if we have to leave.

We bought a 1500-piece puzzle and a new family game. The kids think it is family time, which is refreshing. They have been so good moving books and electronics upstairs, helping tape windows and running to buy things.

Don bought water and put it in the garage, but I didn’t see it and I thought he forgot and bought more, so now we have enough water to fill the pool. I keep tripping over it and laughing.

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