Wednesday, November 7, 2012

From Terrible to Terrific

"You look terrible."

In a normal situation, I'd be insulted after hearing that said to me.

However, after working the last twelve days non-stop for Hurricane Sandy, I've realized that times are definitely NOT normal - and my friend was right.

I look terrible.

Each morning, as I drag myself out of bed to get ready for another long day at work, I'm greeted by a raccoon in the mirror...the dark circles under my eyes are turning blacker and blacker as the days grind on, and no amount of concealer is covering the shadows.

I look terrible.

We've known for several days now that a winter storm - or, a "nor'easter", if I use proper New England terminology, was heading our way and expected to arrive this afternoon. I repeat...we've known for days.

And yet, today I was SLAMMED with an onslaught of requests from just about all 41 shelters in the state of New Jersey, begging for emergency supplies to ride out the storm...extra cots...extra blankets...extra flashlights...extra food and water....

We're talking over 600,000 people still without power, so the amounts requested were rather large...and so I was frantically trying to get the orders sent out as fast as they were coming in...with one eye watching the window so I could see when the storm arrived.

It arrived in full earnest about 3:00 pm, and the leadership told everyone to start wrapping it up and heading out, so we'd be home and sheltering in place before it got too dark and too dangerous.

What followed was a quite thorough appreciation of the New Jersey highway system, as it took a frustrating 90 minutes to travel a measly 16 miles...GAH. Crawling...a few inches at a time...I listened to music, watched the snow whipping through the clouds, and stared at the red tailights in front of me...for sixteen long miles and 90 long minutes.

Riding out a blizzard in a motel is quite fun, as you can hang out in the restaurant with dozens of other volunteers/friends, and tell war stories...there's not much else to do, as we've lost the cable television in our room, so we're deciding whether an American Red Cross snowball fight is in order, or if we should just make snow angels. For some of these volunteers, who've traveled from all over the country, it's their first time at seeing it's been rather fun seeing their reactions.

As for me, after hearing how terrible I looked, the only thing I wanted to do was to crawl up to my room, put on my jammies, blog...and then head to bed.

I plan on sleeping in, and enjoying my day off tomorrow. Snowed in can be quite fun, and I plan on making the most of resting up.

I'll feel terrific.



1 comment:

Lisa said...

I found your blog from cruise critic where I read your amazing review of your Mediterranean cruise. We are doing the same cruise in June and your review was SO helpful!!!

Anyways, I love following blogs and loved the way you write so I have been following you for a few weeks now.

I just wanted to comment and tell you how amazing I think you are for your work with the American Red Cross. I enjoy hearing about the "behind the scenes" stuff that goes on during a disaster. I live in Houston so we have seen our share of devastation from hurricanes and it is so eye opening to hear about everything you have been writing about.

I also wanted to say thank you for your service! You are giving so much of yourself to help others. We have experienced weeks without power during very hot texas summers and I never thought about the workers who leave their comfortable homes to come live in the devastation to help those in need!

Thank you!!