Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Note from New Jersey

 We are okay.  We were very lucky, we did not have any damage to our house during Superstorm Sandy, but we are quite nervous about what this Nor'easter we will be getting tomorrow and Thursday will do.  A lot of our neighbors have trees down on their homes, cars, fences or limbs or parts of trees still stuck up in trees and we are concerned that the strong winds will blow all of that down before there is a chance to have it professionally removed.

I am doing my best to keep my family's spirits up.  Jason has worked 16+ hour days since last Tuesday clearing trees off of power lines, homes, hospitals and schools.  He now has a terrible cold, but is determined to still go to work because he knows that people are calling his office in tears about the destruction and damage and he knows that he can ease some of that.  Last week the girls and I found the whole thing kind of fun, it was like living back in Little House on the Prairie days.  Homeschooling was such a blessing because it kept us busy during daylight hours. We have gotten LOADS of schoolwork done and read tons of books and are waaaaaay ahead of where I would ever thought we would be school-wise--almost done with Story of the World III, finished our geography and logic curriculums.  Since all of our activities and work were canceled last week, we found time to read some living books and dive into a new discussion based logic curriculum.

Now that power has been restored to some areas and most people are feeling back to normal, things are a little more challenging since we are expected to be at work and activities.  Keeping our home warm when we do not have power has been a full-time job for me and leaving for even a couple of hours means returning to a 30 or 40 degree house.  I am starting to get disheartened by the whole thing.  We have been without power for over a week now.  We were told our power would be restored Sunday, then when that didn't happen we were told Monday...then yesterday morning we were told today.  Then yesterday afternoon we were told that our area is too complicated and PSE&G was leaving our area and would tackle some less challenging areas and come back hopefully Friday.  Today I called our Mayor and he said the Governor wants all schools opened tomorrow...but I left my house at noon and there had not been any trucks to work on the power lines that are down in front of the elementary school around the corner from us.  We are told that they are not dealing with downed lines or replacing transformers at this time, they are trying to do "other things" to restore power...and hopefully in the next few weeks they will be able to deal with downed power lines and transformers.  Our concern in our area is that if they are working on less complicated issues and ours is complicated, the storm we are due to get in the next two days will knock out power for more homes which will be more simple to fix than our "complicated" problem and it could be weeks before our power is restored.

We are keeping warm by boiling water on the stove and sharing beds piled with down comforters, blankets, afghans and anything else we can find.  It is expected to be in the 20s over the next couple of nights.

One thing that I have not heard on the news is the number of housefires from people using gas or woodburning stoves or fireplaces to heat their homes; or people falling asleep with candles lit.  Almost every night we are awakened by sirens.  We know of two deaths in our small town alone.  But for some reason the news is not reporting this.

We have no cellular data network where are and no internet or cable television and no timeline for restoration for any of that.  Weeks? Months?  The girls have activities several towns away today and that was how I was able to get online.

Sorry for my sad sob story and complaining.  It could be so much worse.  I realize that.

Please pray that this Nor'easter is not too destructive to New Jersey.

Hope to see you all and catch up with you in the next couple of weeks!