Gratitude and Sandy.

A random and completely incomplete list of things for which I’ve found myself suddenly, heartpoundingly grateful, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy (which, let’s not forget, was all of eleven days ago):

  1. The chance to have a fight with my 9 year old daughter about what jacket she should wear.
  2. The temperature of my shower water.
  3. The ability to get online and have Peapod deliver boxes of food to my front door.
  4. The fact of my front door.
  5. The access of everyone in my family to the various medications we take.
  6. Holding my children in my arms.
  7. The opportunity to run something over to the middle school because my 13 year old boy irritated the crap out of me by forgetting it.
  8. My thermostat.
  9. My family photo albums, dry, complete, and all in one place.
  10. A tank of gas.

It has been easy, in this week of nail-biting elections and joyous outcome to forget that tens of thousands of American citizens are currently living under conditions that are third-world in nature, without any of the coping skills, mechanisms, or networks that third-world citizens must necessarily develop to survive. It’s always awful to have your access to food and clean water and mobility washed away — there’s something particularly perverse to having it happen when you live 20 floors up, a circumstance only made possible by the assumption that all of that can never happen.

I’ve made donations to the Red Cross, have made an appointment to give blood, and I have urged others to do the same. Out here in the middle of the country, I feel like it’s just about the best I can do — but please note that there is a lively conversation going on in the comments of yesterday’s open thread, offering information from the ground, and alternative outlets for help (thank you Neocortex, Nora Munro, and watson42).

I remain very, very worried for the individual people still living in such awful want, and about the implications for New York City and the rest of the country going forward. I think we have a long way to go before we really understand the full impact of this storm (and the followup northeaster), and I fear it’s going to be worse than we may have even feared.

If you can help, please do. In the meantime, I’ll be over here counting my blessings.

Shabbat shalom to all.

UPDATE: The Rumpus has just posted a Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort Roundup which folks might also find helpful.



  1. Let us also take a moment to recognize that we in the United States were not the only ones to suffer the wrath of Sandy; Haiti and The Bahamas and Cuba were also struck by this late season hurricane, and still remain in desperate need, Haiti most evidently so, having not fully recovered from the earthquake that rocked the island two years ago.

    I continue to help those in need down at the NJ Shore as best I can. My wife, even now, is on her way to a friend’s house with money and foodstuffs and any old coats we have to drop off at collection points.

    I also want to take this opportunity to thank the linemen and electricians from all over the country who have been working themselves to utter exhaustion trying to get everyone’s power back. They are doing yeoman’s work, and are suffering under some of the same conditions as those they are trying to help. I know, it is hard to have lived so many days without power, but this level of devastation requires saintly patience, while men and women seek to restore what nature has torn apart.

    Let each of us do what we can, and let us also not forget those who suffered silently even before disaster struck, for not everyone now homeless had a home before the storm.

    • Thank you so much for what you and your wife are doing, and you are absolutely right about the suffering of others. This is part of why I like giving to the Red Cross — they reach those areas, also. As bad as things are here, I really shudder to think about what’s happening in the Caribbean.