I feel fortunate

I feel fortunate

That’s right. I feel fortunate and incredibly lucky. Two days ago, my area of the country and specifically my county was hit with a disastrous sustained windstorm.

Clash of the TitansBy sustained, I mean a storm raging, hour after hour, and lasting just over fifteen hours. It started slowly, teasing the people in its path, lulling us into thinking it wouldn’t be too bad. At its peak, lasting many hours, we registered eighty-plus miles per hour wind speeds. Speeds that were similar to those recorded by smaller hurricanes. Yet, this was no hurricane, just a clashing of two weather fronts. A clash of two weather fronts? I feel like it was a clash of the titans and we were insignificant casualties.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t live in a hurricane region or in the tornado belt. I feel for those that do. When a tornado touches down, it reigns havoc for those in its path. However, it’s pretty localized to a rather narrow track, which can be only a couple hundred yards to a mile or more. Hurricanes are another story of course and are more akin to what our region experienced.

In my case, our windstorm encompassed dozens of counties, two or three by six to eight long. medusa transformingMeteorologists in the area report that our area hasn’t ever seen one of this magnitude in over a hundred years. The damage was incredible and extensive.

In the early stages, tractor trailer trucks were flipped over on their sides, like toys in a child’s hand. As the day progressed, roof shingles were ripped from the roofs of houses and tossed like confetti in a parade. Then, trees were uplifted out of the ground, root ball and all, toppling which way and that, often landing on houses, crushing them and their occupants.

The roof of one of the local middle schools in my town was ripped off and sailed in the wind for hundreds of feet before touching ground. States of emergency were declared in several towns in my county, including my own. Live electrical wires danced in the streets, begging for the occupants of cars they draped, to step out in a futile attempt to escape their deadly touch.

Thankfully, in all the turmoil and bad situations, no one was seriously hurt or killed. Wow!

I could go on and on. It’s bad, but I know, it could be worse. I feel fortunate that my house faired well. My roof is intact, and I didn’t lose power to my house. I have about $600 in damages in non-critical areas of my house. Not bad considering most of my neighbors have damage ranging in the thousands. Kudo’s to the builder of my development. He coordinating the immediate repair to the roofs of the quality homes he built, and within a day, all of the houses on my street had their roofs repaired. Today, as I write this, he is doing the same on the homes located the next street over.

Kudo’s Joe Sciortino of Sciortino Homes .

Over ten thousand homes and businesses in my county lost power. It is going to take a week or more to restore power to most of the region. Temperatures dropped overnight, and the thermometer outside my window informs me that we are currently at eight degrees F. It’s cold, and I pity those that do not have electricity to power their furnaces. Many of my friends lost power, and I offered them a warm bed for the night. Gratefully, their power came back on last evening. All due to the willing power workers that showed up in our region yesterday from all over the state to help out.

I feel fortunate, and I am grateful to all those that descended on my community to help out. It could have been worse. Thank you. Now, I need a cup of coffee.

The Day After

The Day After

Christmas girl delivering presentsAs I deal with the day after hangover and fatigue from celebrating the holiday I can’t help but reflect upon all the good cheer I saw and experienced these last two days.

Forget about the gifts people exchanged. They were all very nice and appreciated, not only by me but the members of my family and friends as well.

Rather, it was the fact that we were all together, sharing ourselves with each other. The bar took a major hit, that’s for sure and I certainly did my share of imbibing. The meal we prepared was a hit and everyone got their fill. From the snacks, appetizers, the main course, the deserts and the after dinner drinking, no one seemed to be wanting.

For me, while it was a lot of work to host this gathering, the day ended with a smile on my face, a lightness in my step and warmth in my gut. Taking care of the needs of my guests and family was a joy. Thank you to all who came and those that could not. Thoughts of you were in the forefront of my mind. Thank you one and all for a very pleasant time.

And yet, as I write this, I can’t help but think of those not so fortunate out there. I can’t imagine how it must be for those with no one to share the holiday with. I can’t fathom being alone, hungry and destitute. I know many who tried to help the less fortunate over these last few days. However, I am worried that many missed the opportunity for even the smallest spark of hope and cheer in their lives.

Come next month, will we even remember the good deeds that we did this last week? Will we remember to continue doing goods deeds for others? I am uncertain as to the answer to these questions. They will still be hungry and alone. It is my hope that we remember those less fortunate every month, every week and every day and continue to strive to help as we can. Can we do that? Can I do that? I hope I can. I hope you can too.