October 29, 2012

Please excuse me for moving slowly but I just spent the last 24 hours getting ready for Sandy — leaving me with a sore back. And it needs to heal up today because in another 24 hours, I hit the streets to cover the story.

The superstorm is heading our way, with the entire east coast bracing for the worst. Schools, airports and trains are closed. Winds gusts of 70 miles an hour are expected later tonight. Here in New York, we’re in an official state of emergency.

I’m not sure that I’m ready.

My windows aren’t boarded up because I don’t know how to do that. Other things are in order though…

Water: My tub is filled with water for toilet flushing. Every big pot and container in my kitchen is filled with drinking water. Will go and buy some bottled water later.

Food:  We have canned and dry food that won’t need cooking. I also steamed some collard greens. As for the rest of the beautiful farmers’ market veggies in my kitchen, they’re all washed and ready for salad-making or even cooking; our living room wood-burning stove and cast iron skillets that might come in handy if we lose electricity. Meanwhile, the fridge’s icemaker is working overtime.

Basement: I am terrified of flooding. The basement has lower level and a higher level that is two steps up. The upper basement contains the guts of the house — boiler, electrical panels, etc. Unfortunately, my basement has been filled with so much junk that it was a fire hazard. But the piles of old clothes, dishes, books and other stuff thrown helter skelter are now boxed, bagged and lugged upstairs to the front hall, ready for donation later this week. Still more to do down there but at least now you can see the floor!

Outdoors: All the little things that could become flying missiles (wind chimes, garden knickknacks) have been taken down. Patio stools and small tables have been put away. I tied a tarp over the stack of firewood on my front porch and cleaned the driveway drains. My daughter Gabi helped me rake leaves off the driveway.

Indoors: The house is clean. Laundry and dishes are done. All the rooms, vacuumed. Later today, I’ll get my daughter to help me staple plastic over the vents in the attic. Candles are handy. We have plenty of flashlights and batteries. Our laptops, the iPad and the cell phones are fully charged.

Sandbags: So proud that I went to Home Depot, loaded up six, 50-pound sand bags and drove them to my house. That’s 300 pounds that I lugged all by myself! By the end of the day, when my back was shot, Gabi helped move the sandbags into place in front of our basement entrance.

Friends: Last night, I went over to visit my friend and neighbor Angela, toting a very nice Argentine white wine. It’s called New Age, a fruity mix of 10 percent sauvignon blanc and 90 percent torrontes. Poured over ice with a splash of lime…divine! After we finished off the entire bottle, it was off to our local pizza parlor for pizza and calzones with her kids. She made me promise to call her and her husband if I need any help during the storm.


So….I have 24 hours more to be a resident healing a grouchy back. Since I work Tuesdays to Saturdays, tomorrow morning I will switch heads to become a digital reporter. I will put my personal concerns aside, pull on my rubber boots, grab my laptop and iPhones, get into my old four-wheel drive SUV and cover Sandy’s aftermath. I’m not sure I’m ready for that either.

But there’s only one choice in this life right now: I’m just rolling with it.

Hope you all stay safe. Please let us know if you have worries or tips to share. xoxoxoxo