I have an aunt named Sandy. When I was little my mom would start to stress the moment Sandy announced that she’d be coming to visit. Even though they were sisters, it always felt like they had little in common. Sandy was older than my mom by a few years and they hadn’t really grown up together. Sandy was in a group home for a little over nine months and when it was time to go home, she begged to be sent to live with relatives in Louisiana because my grandfather was so abusive. When my mom was seven, she begged to go to live with my great aunt, Grandmama, and her husband. Again, it was the abuse that made the decision easy.
Grandmama lived in Galveston, but even though they didn’t live too far apart, my mom and Sandy never got to connect and learn to be close with one another.
By the time I came along, they seemed to hate each other with a passion. I will admit that I’m not a big fan of my aunt’s either. She’s one of the last of my relatives who are still living and often, she makes me think that she’s living in the middle of the 1900s not 2012. She and my sister haven’t had the best of relationships either. But on some levels, I have to respect my aunt because she’s stepped in to help raise my niece at a time when my sister needed help.
Sandy is nothing if not formidable. If you don’t believe me, Mayor Bloomberg will confirm.
And that’s why I thought it interesting that this recent hurricane to hit is named Sandy. This one seems pretty formidable, too. She’s caused major power outages (I know, because mine is out) and wreaked havoc through the streets of New York – streets, I might add, that were scoffing just hours before her arrival. It’s what we do – we scoff at storms because we’re raised (or in my case, taught) to believe they don’t have too much in them by the time they reach the New York area. Like most people, I bought wine, cheese and batteries. I’m sorry. That’s not what most people bought? I see. Their loss. A last minute trip to Target found me buying bread and instant coffee. This morning I am grateful for those two last minute purchases.
I did decide to charge everything I own, plus all the back-up batteries, just in case. And here I sit with a phone and computer and just the tiniest amount of portable internet access. I am ready for the storm’s affects to last a few more days – or zombies to arrive. Whichever comes first.
My favorite site, Huffingtonpost.com is partially down, a building in Chelsea lost its face, the MTA is closed, there’s one major entrance and exit to get into the city and there’s a 700 ton tanker washed up on the shores of Staten Island. Late night will prove that there are a multitude of jokes to be made about all of this – but what is also true is that storms are dangerous. We used to joke about my aunt being a lot like a hurricane – I can attest that she’s never caused billions of dollars in damage.
I’m sure there is so much more to this hurricane story – but I, like most people without power, will wait until the ConEd crew comes along and works their magic. Until then, if you’re in Yonkers and like wine, cheese and candlelight, I’m here with enough of all three to last until the hurricane season is over.