We lost electricity on Saturday morning because of the crushing storm that blasted through the northeast on Thursday and Friday. We also lost our heat, hot water, internet connection, telephone and television (listed in priority of personal importance). By late afternoon, the temperature in the house was 58 degrees and dropping with the sun. I pulled on my insulated underwear and put a few cats on my lap to keep warm until the power was finally restored at dusk.
While I was shoveling the deck Sunday morning, I could hear the buzz of chain saws and the rumble of heavy equipment in the distance. The people who spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday plowing our roads were now clearing the streets of fallen trees and branches, lifting limbs off cars and garage roofs. Just half a mile from my house, on the road around the lake, a large pine tree had tumbled over, taking out four power line poles with it, leaving many in the lakeside community without service until Tuesday.
It also explains our cable outage.
No complaints here. As much as I enjoy the benefits of technology and learning more about How Things Work, life without it seems less complicated. Reading and writing blogs is fun; I have finally made friends with Facebook, and I welcome my Twitter followers, but if it all went away tomorrow, I would not look back.
All I could think of while I was shoveling was how grateful I was for the long labors of the people behind the wheels of the snow plows that grind all night long while I am asleep in my bed. I have even forgiven the cowboy who raced his plow past our driveway too fast Friday afternoon, forcing up a six-foot wall of ice and snow right after we had finished working over an hour chunking through the last pile. He was probably too tired to notice.
This blog post is dedicated to those men and women of the fire department responding to the calls for help, police and their dispatchers handling not only emergencies but answering questions about our declared state of emergency, ambulance crews standing ready to respond, road crews in their lonely trucks, PSE&G, Optimum Online and Rockland Electric company employees teetering in their baskets in the icy winds to knit wires back together, the deli owners and grocery store folks who managed to stay open to feed them coffee and sandwiches, all the invisible but necessary support services they depend upon, and most especially, a hearty THANK YOU to the families of every one of them, who were left alone while their spouses got up in the night to face the wind and ice and snow to keep us safe and warm.
And you are still out there….