Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Date With Sandy

I didn't much enjoy it, and she didn't much look like Olivia Newton-John. The first thing I thought of when I heard she was coming was a living room rug that used to belong to my grandfather. My daughter and I rolled it up and brought it up to the attic, where it sat for a few months.

Then she and my wife and I drove to my sister-in-law's house to wait out the storm. My mother-in-law got it in her head that the house was going to be hit by a tree, and she was pretty vocal about it. I got on my laptop and was pretty surprised to find two rooms in the Hampton Inn in Garden City. They were maybe 200 bucks a night, which I thought was pretty steep. But we went, and they actually had power for an hour or two. Nothing quite like

When we got back home the next day, the streets near our house were still flooded. Somehow my daughter and I had found long rubber boots, and we walked through the water to what was left of our home after six feet of water flowed through it. On the way, we met two Newsday photographers who were taking photos of photos flowing through the water.

But when we looked at the photos, they turned out to be photos of my family and my mom's family. My daughter and I spent the next two or three days hunting for photos, and we accumulated a whole bag of them. Daughter said she would scan them all, but has thus far not kept that promise.

Six weeks later, we had all new walls, floors, furniture, ceilings and appliances in most of our house. Nothing like a natural disaster to inspire a remodel. It's pretty nice now, but if I had it to do over, I probably wouldn't move so close to the water.

Six weeks felt like forever, but I now know we got back fairly quickly. I know people who were out of their homes for six months or more. I know others who actually tore down and rebuilt their homes. And I now see on TV a lot of people who still haven't gone back. So I suppose we're pretty lucky.

I just keep waiting for Reformy John King to get on TV and claim Sandy was the best thing to happen to NY education, like his role model Arne Duncan said about Katrina and New Orleans. Can you believe anyone who said something that monumentally stupid is the head educator in the United States?

Aside from our recovery, one more thing for which I'm thankful is that Arne Duncan is not my kid's teacher.
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