Monday, November 5, 2012

A Hurricane and Life After

Well, in case you don't know, I am located near Philly pa, and we were in the path of hurricane sandy last week.  Though we didn't take the beating the New Jersey coast did, we still have massive amounts of tree's down, and power outages.  My heart is still breaking for our beloved New Jersey coast, and the barrier islands, where my heart lives. 
These pics were taken just a month ago, on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. 

My family and I go there often, just for a day trip,  since it's close enough.  I am not exaggerating when I say, this is where my heart lives.  This island, is where I honeymooned with my love.  It's where I fell in love with sea glass.  It's where I have watched my kids, and their cousins, year and after, learn to ride the waves on their boogy boards and find sea stars and shells. 
We had planned another fall trip for November with the kids for the day, but now, we can't even get on the island.  I'd love to go and help, but I think they are still months away from that. 
The end of the island, where the last few pictures are from, Holgate, is our favorite part of the island.  I heard it got hit hard.  There is apparently an entirely new inlet at the end, from erosion. 
The pics of peoples homes broken to pieces, and washed away, or just sitting under water is heartbreaking.  I still haven't heard from friends on the island, and pray they are well. I am sure, they probably just don't want to talk about it right now.  Their world has just been turned upside down.
Here are some pics of Holgate after the storm.   (from site

The dunes completely washed into the street.  Look how deep the sand is on the main road.
Here are the houses on the main road, as you drive to Holgate.  There used to be dunes behind them, and they had first floors and driveways.  The driveways were sloped because the houses were built up on the dunes, but the dunes have washed out flat, across the main street.  I wish I had a before pic, other then just in my mind.
Here in Pennsburg Pa, we fared well.  We got high winds, lost power, and had lots of tree's down, and transformer fires, but all in all, compared to the coast, we did ok. 
We were blessed to borrow a generator. I would just like to say, how very thankful I am, that we heeded warnings, and prepared for this storm.  We didn't for Irene, and we were lucky it wasn't bad.  But this storm, it WAS bad.  Worst we've seen.  We filled the bathtub and 12 spackle buckets with water to flush the toilets (soooooo thankful we did that- and we still had to refill them), we filled all our pitchers and such with water, bought some water, had lots of easy to make and eat food on hand, bought baby wipes for dirty hands and faces, fill basins with washing water for hands, lots of sanitizer, extension cords and power strips, batteries for flashlights and lanterns, glow sticks for the kids to take to bed (since they'd have no nightlights) and candles and an oil lamp.  Even with the generator, we could only run one light at night, so it was still pretty dark.  I learned after the first day, all chores and dinner had to be done before 4, or it was too dark in the house to cook and clean up.  We put glow bracelets on power cords that ran everywhere so no one would trip over them in the middle of the night.  (see pic below of the mess of cords)

5 days without power.  It was crazy.  3 Kids, my mom, two dogs, a parrot, Justin and me, in a house, for days........LOL!  No one slept much, especially that first night.  The kids camped out with my mom in the family room.  They were scared.  Then Justin and I were up and down the steps all night filling and checking the generator and sump pumps.  However, after a couple days, I got into the swing of things.  Justin was exhausted, he didn't stop all week. If he wasn't running, checking or fixing something here, he was helping the neighbors out.  We were really blessed.  My sister in law had power, so we showered there, and I could wash dishes too. I re-filled our washing water there each day too.  My back is happy I don't have to do that anymore though.  (it was nice to have a reason to visit my sis in law each day though)
 (my portable dishwasher)
The craziest part for me, was when the power did go out during the storm.  We knew it was coming.  The winds were just too high, it was only a matter of time.  When it went, the whole town seemed to go down at once.  We went out into the storm, in the pitch black, to hook up the generator.  The winds were howling, rain was pelting us, branches were coming down, and I was tripping over them in the driveway, as we tried to hook everything up by flashlight.  Sirens were going off all over was so surreal.  It really made me appreciate the workers who go out in the storm, saving lives.   It was amazing and humbling.  Such a small and helpless feeling being out in a hurricane.  I understand why people try to go to the beach to see the waves, or go out in the storm to experience it.  It brings you back down to earth, back to reality.  We live in a world, of movies, and computers, and create our own reality, and we often forget, how absolutely powerless we truly are.  Standing out in a storm like this, will quickly remind us, of this great big world we live in. 
Now that the power is back on, life goes on.  Kids are back to school after missing a week.  Halloween was canceled.  Though thankfully, it was re-scheduled for Saturday, and they kids got to go out with their cousins, and we got to hang with my sis-in-law and her family.  It was a much needed night of fun and candy, after a rough week.

The Boy were the LMFAO dance crew- I carried my ipod and played Party Rockin while they danced for candy.  What  riot!  Julia was a cat.  She stayed in character for every picture!!!!
Here was our trick or treat crew.

And the post candy eating dance party!

My sister in law- most fun Aunt Ever!
I was sad to have missed Dia de los Muertos.    I really wanted to have a whole batch of sugar skull beads for you guys.  I still plan to make them, even made another stamp too.  Just need some time to catch up. In the meantime, I have a 20% off sale going on in both shops until Wednesday.  Use code dayofthedead20 in either shop to save. 
I hope you all fared well.  Please keep the rescue and rebuilding crews, and those who lost their homes and neighborhoods,  in your thoughts and prayers.  The jersey shore and new york have a long way to go before they can get back to normal.


  1. I'm so glad to hear that you got through it relatively unscathed.
    We have a fair number of power outages on the west coast so I know all too well just how we rely on the power grid.

    1. Oh yeah- I never realized just how dependant we are on power (and running hot water!!!!) so spoiled. helps you to appreciate things more!

  2. I am so glad to know that you are alright. I have to confess that being apart from the path of destruction makes it seem so unreal. I know there are a lot of my online friends like you out there in the East with similar stories. But unfortunately, I don't always know exactly where everyone is exactly from. I am so happy to know that you came through it okay and were prepared. I feel so much for those that are facing the rebuilding. Thank you for sharing the pictures of your beloved island. It will be beautiful once again and those of you with the memories of it will likely help making it so! So great that the kids can still be kids and have that Halloween fun. Looks like a blast was had! Know that I am thinking of you and praying for all those affected by this disaster. Enjoy the day. Erin

    1. Thanks Erin. I had a couple stop by today who still don't have power, and its getting cold, and we are expecting a nor-easter- high winds and snow. They asked to take fire wood from the fallen tree's. lots of prayers still needed in the east!!!!

  3. Staci, I really appreciate this blog post, which brings the heartbreak of this awful storm directly home to me. The last time I was on the East Coast was in 2003, briefly in NJ, but never to the Jersey Shore. Now I feel it in my heart. My hope is that things improve quickly for everyone affected by Sandy, and that your life gets back to normal. I'm looking forward to owning at least one of your sugar skullies when you're able to make some. : )

    1. Yeah, jersey shore is near and dear to me. I guess its no great amazing beach, but its where my memories are, ya know. I will let you know when I have some to list:)

  4. Glad you and your family are OK Stacie, thanks to your good preparation. It was a huge storm, all the way up here in upstate NY we had a state of emergency, mostly for folks on lake Ontario. We are OK, a little roof damage and never lost power. After the 90's ice storm and 10 days without power and that August when most of the North east went dark we decided to get permanent generators. With these bigger storms coming more frequently it might not be a bad idea.

    1. We did buy one. Justin is looking into getting it tied into the panel, or putting in an emergency panel, so its easier to manage!

  5. glad your family was safe during the in a hurricane prone area i understand how strange it feels to have no power for's not fun even if you are prepared.. i fell in love with the windup flashlights worries about batteries running out..and since we had sun afterwards i brought my solar yard lights inside and they worked great as night lights around the house, bathrooms .my neighbor has a permanent generator..she said it was expensive to run but worth it..

  6. I am glad you are all safe and well.

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