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Day Six Post Sandy and Eager to Help Others

A personal take on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy - Part Two of a series.

(Part II of a 3 part blog series about living through Sandy. The first blog post was published on Patch on Monday.)

Okay, here we are at the end of day six of a very surreal week. "Normal" seems light years behind us. Getting the kids off to school on Friday morning, Gene off to work and me off to school thinking about the lessons I would be teaching to my students that day. Colleagues mentioning in passing the idea of a big storm approaching. Everyone going about their daily business.

Fast forward a week later and we are in what looks like a war zone. People's lives turned upside down. 
As I tell my students and my own kids, grown-ups never stop learning (Imagine little shocked faces in my classes when I tell them this because after all, grown ups know EVERYTHING). 

What I have learned through all of this is:

That kids will be kids and need to live as close to a normal life as possible even though the grown ups around them are struggling with the magnitude of what has happened. Their innocent small world insulates them purposely from the horrors that are around them. For their innocence, I am thankful. 

That it doesn't really matter that you're wearing the same clothes for the third day in a row. So is everyone else. For some, that's all they have. 

That we don't need to sweat the small stuff. Kinda learned this from my sis as she struggled with ALS but have been reminded of it this week. 

That spending time with my kids playing board games by candlelight beats typing lesson plans and other work on the computer. "Hey mom....you can play with us right? You don't have any work to do!" Had a lot of marathon UNO games lol. 

That my house might not be a big one but its big enough to invite folks in for hot meals, a place to sleep/take showers, watch TV, etc. My washing machine and dryer are purring away as we do laundry for our friends. 

That most importantly, material things don't matter in the big picture. Humanity means the world to others. I thought about taking a trip over the tracks into the Beach area but can't bring myself to do it. Not for fear of the destruction I would find. But because I have lived what they are living on a smaller scale (92 nor'easter in Manasquan. Lost my car and all of my high school and college memories).

What bothered me the most back then was, as I was sorting through my water- logged possessions, people were driving by and staring/taking pictures. So out of respect for those who are going through that now, I will stay here. I thought about this idea of not going to see what people were going through and came to the conclusion that the best thing I could do was to open my home to people.

I'm happy to say that I've been taken up on my offer and have been doing laundry for friends, cooking meals, providing a warm place to stay, TV for those who needed/wanted to see pics of what is going on around them , etc. I learned that the best way I can help people is by listening as they pour out their hearts through tears of frustration, provide a comforting shoulder to lean on, being here for people. 

It has been a rough week but an educational week for me. Yes....even the grown-ups are still learning. I feel like I've done something to help others the best way I know how...opening my heart and my home. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

jrip November 07, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Lynne, thanks for the post. What are the top 3 things people in your area need right now (outside of power)? Is there a strong FEMA and/or Red Cross presence where you are?
Lynne Landis November 07, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Well - to be honest, I haven't left my home very much as I have been trying to conserve on gasoline but I believe the Red Cross and FEMA are both well established here. There are many grassroots organizations that have sprung up in the communities. From what I am seeing - families are in need of winter coats and clothing, among other basic supplies such as baby food/diapers, ready made meals, cleaning supplies, etc. The National Guard that is working in our area is in need of supplies. Here is the list that was just posted on Facebook: Hand/Toe Warmers New Crew Socks New Boxer briefs Hand Sanitizer Fruit Power Bars Energy Drinks Gatorade Foot Powder Tarps Rubbermaid Bins Cardboard boxes Packing Tape Sharpies Razors Hot Food/Large Containers of already made coffee/Baked Goods Surge Protectors 3 volt Lithium Batteries D batteries Where are you located?
jrip November 07, 2012 at 08:42 PM
I am in Virginia but am planning on coming up this weekend to help out however I can.
Lynne Landis November 07, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Let me research some places for you and get back to you. Thank you for your kindness and generosity!
jrip November 08, 2012 at 12:22 AM
i emailed the office of emergency management and waiting on a response. thanks.
Lynne Landis November 08, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Okay - I am trying to locate some places for you too.
Lynne Landis November 08, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Hi again - click on this link for more info: http://patch.com/A-zqH2

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