Last Sunday through Wednesday we were at my mother’s place in central NJ, hoping to escape what we thought would be serious storm damage at our home near the NJ shore. The power went out there on Monday evening, but we were fine, having prepared as well as we could. Mom has an electric stove, so there was no cooking, and no heat, but she did have hot and cold city water (a new gas-powered hot water heater worked without electricity).
Wednesday we packed up and drove home, about a 2.5 hour trip mostly on the Garden State Parkway, which had just fully opened for travel. We had a little trouble in Mom’s area because of dead traffic lights, but once on the major highways it was smooth sailing. At the Parkway rest stops there were long lines of cars waiting to get gas, but otherwise nothing denoting a major storm had passed that way. By the time we got into the Atlantic City area, even that was gone. There was a line of cars waiting to exit toward Ocean City, one of the hard-hit barrier islands, but our own exit to Ocean View was not backed up. At the bottom of the ramp, a policeman was checking identification for vehicles wanting to go to Sea Isle City, another hard-hit barrier island, but we were going the other way to our mainland home, and everything seemed fine that way. Power on, no trees or wires down that we could see. Feeling more hopeful, we drove home, and it was just the same there, no damage, power on. Lots of leaves, twigs and branches in the yard, but only one small dead tree down in the woods.
Now we felt bad about leaving Mom in her cold apartment, and after consulting with my brother Doug who lives closer but was also without power, we decided we should bring her down to stay with us. Fortunately, my longtime friend Tim, who lives in the same area, wanted to come here, too. He was also without power. We arranged for Tim to pick up my mom and they both came down, arriving here Friday afternoon.
We’ve been having a good time here since, eating well, playing board games (Tim is a collector and game expert, you can read more on his website HERE), and Tim helped me clean up the yard yesterday. We all feel a bit guilty about those we care about who still have no power in north Jersey, like my brother Doug and Ellen’s sister Ann and their families, but everyone seems to be doing okay. And, of course, there are thousands whose homes on the barrier islands have been damaged or destroyed, but there isn’t much we can do about that except make donations to the Red Cross. Cleanup operations are underway from what we see in the paper. I’d like to get out there for some pictures, but don’t want to get in the way, so will probably wait a while.
That’s the report from here. Tim wants to head home Monday even if his power is still off, so he can vote. My Mom may stay with us longer unless her own power is back by Monday.