Heidi's Cottage had been closed for two weeks because of Hurricane Sandy. In fact, the majority of Dunellen did not have power during this time. Although I have spent time in areas of the world that do not have electricity, it was unsettling to see the downtown dark for so long. And the cold... I have found that cold is my archnemesis. When my house is colder on the inside than the weather outside, I apparently get really really cranky. On my Christmas wishlist: a generator.
101.5, the state radio station was our savior... how I learned about the hint regarding simmering spaghetti pots of water on a gas stove to bring up the temperature a few degrees (when the house was in the high 50s, this made a difference), and learned what was going on in the towns nearby. What it did not do was impress upon me the shear destruction that Sandy did. My mind could not envision the total devastation. And was shocked when I caught a few minutes of the musical benefit held in "my" honor while I was at a diner 10 minutes away that never lost power. The Fontain Bleau helped keep my family sane, charged our cel phones, and allowed me to use their wifi to keep my town info Facebook page posted.
PSE&G has done an awesome job. Yes, we did not have power for two weeks but hey, Sandy was large and in charge. And PSE&G (and the NJ government) was as prepped as they could be. Crews from around the country were already on their way before Sandy landed in Atlantic City.
My in-laws live by the Shore but were luckily not affected (they lost power for 8 hours). The towns nearby though... they will never look the same. Memories of the Jersey shore that you can't share with your children and grandchildren.
We will rebuild. We are Jersey Strong.