November 1, 2012

It’s 5 a.m. on Day #3 of no electricity, wifi or heat. The only way I can upload this blog post is by typing into my iPhone. :)

Since I can’t add photos, here is the scene: The new RayVac RoughNeck flashlight is doing a good job in my pitch black house. I just took a hot shower. A pot of water is boiling on my stove as I prepare a cup of tea and sit here with NOTHING to complain about.

Even though I have no electrical power in my house, there is abundant wattage and personal juice charging my life.

For starters, I am so grateful Hurricane Sandy spared me. No flooding, no trees falling on my home. My daughter Gabi and I are both safe. My back has recovered from hauling sandbags and other storm preparations.

Interestingly, our pets, who might be more in tune with nature, are slightly freaking. On Tuesday, the usual first day of my work week, the dog fell down the stairs and limped around until last night (nearly recovered now). This morning I woke up to find all three the cats sleeping on my bed (they never do that).

Anyways, my little family & nest are intact. They anchor me as I’ve go about chasing stories about the Sandy aftermath.

What an unbelievable, surreal situation to hit millions of residents here in the Northeast: Sandy’s wrath has cost people their homes, businesses and income. Yes, lost lives too.

It is a privilege to be a working journalist during this disaster. Nearly everyone I approach has welcomed me as a vehicle for telling their story. Being publicly acknowledged by the press reminds them that they matter.

Giving them that reassurance is the reason I’m back in this business. Real people need to be heard.

Of course, I am a “real people” too — a fact that I was reminded of when I checked email a little while ago on my iPhone.

Waiting for me was a notification that today is Nov. 1, the start of National Novel Writing Month! I did it last year for the first time. To read about my experience, just search for “NaNoWriMo” on my blog or Google it for general info.

Well, guess what I will be doing tonight after work. Instead of collapsing in bed at 8:30 pm because it’s too much of an effort to have a normal night in a dark house with no heat, I am going to write on my MacBook Pro, which has a lighted keyboard.

I have a book that I want to finish this month. There’s no saying “no” as it knocks against my soul, waiting to get out.

This is the latest in a challenge originally presented to me in the immortal words from the Spiderman comics: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

It is a call I responded to long ago and continue to live by. Rather than being a burden, each step forward and up leads to new vistas.

Every day brings exciting horizons to consider and fresh marvels to inhale. We have every reason to respond to life from a place of spontaneous, positive emotion rather than deadening fear.

So let’s get on with the day, with its stories to tell. Be safe too, okay? Xoxoxoxo