Saturday, November 17, 2012

Halfway Through

Halfway through Nano. Now it seems like I will never reach the finish line. How will it be possible to get that far? Like most things that are a long and possibly tedious job, the only way to do that is to not think much about the end and just keep on going. And so it is. Another thing I have to do this month (!) is to walk the Turkey Trot and make Thanksgiving Dinner. The Turkey Trot is just a two mile stroll with a few thousand other people and dinner will be made easier since I am only cooking part of it. So that is all theoretically under control. But the writing! Nobody is going to help me with that one. Where is inspiration when it is needed, where is my muse, who always seems to be painting her toenails or something just when I need her to do some brilliant job of jabbing me in the right places. Oh, well, I'm used to going it alone for better or worse. A lot of people have helped me in the past by commenting and advising on fragments of writing I have done. I can't expect them to write it FOR me, can I? No, that's my job. And now I'd better get to it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

On to Nano

Well, at our house we have power (thanks, JCP&L,) TV/Internet (thanks Comcast) and we are back in business. Our hearts of course go out to those who were pummeled
by Hurricane Sandy and lost just about everything. There are many with houses at the shore areas for whom the houses are simply summer getaways. They have other places to live and eventually they will be compensated, I assume. But for those who have lost their primary homes or what is maybe worse, their means of living, this storm is their worst nightmare come true. I hope that things will improve for them. I don't recall a worse storm and I've been around for a while.  I was vacationing on Cape Cod,  Massachusetts when Hurricane Carol hit but the only thing we lost was a full refrigerator of food and our vacation. It was an experience. Cape Cod rebounded, minus a few boats.

At our age, we can't do much to help anybody but ourselves so we will contribute what we can to the relief efforts and try to get back to some kind of normal life. Right now I am participating in National Novel Writing Month and trying to get on with it. I have begun but now I'm approaching the middle which I dread. It is a kind of quicksand. Many get in and few get out again. I hope I can find a branch to hold on to and eventually drag myself out. It's funny in a way. When you have the writing bug, you long to write something, but when you actually do it, then you will do anything at all to avoid actually sitting down in front of a piece of (virtual) paper. Nevertheless, it must be done. So on, on, Dancer and Prancer, let's get to the finish line!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sandy's Aftermath

Hurricane Sandy slammed into the Jersey Shore and New York, New England. We, being inland, survived in one piece but the power is out and nobody seems to know when it will come back. In our area, not only power but gasoline is important. It is five miles from our house to a grocery store and you can use up a lot of gas just getting around. Few stations are open and those that are have long lines of both cars and people with cans - looking to refill their generators. After the first night without heat, temperatures dropped and we had to take advantage of our daughter's offer and stay with her. (Without power we have no heat, no water, no light, no internet service). She already has three small children and one teenager, a cat and a dog and now she has two grandparents camping out with her. The gas crisis will pass, so they say, and power will be restored eventually, but it is hard not to know when. We are thinking days and I'm afraid "they" are thinking longer. Usually storm outages last hours, not days or weeks. Of course our problems are nothing when you see that people with homes close to the shore now have no homes at all or severe damage. And New York has terrible problems of transportation. Watching it on TV reminded me of the old subway strikes in the 1960's. I remember having to carpool with a group of people into the Wall Street area. That didn't last too long but it was somewhat traumatic to know that you couldn't get anywhere by the usual mass transit. This is much worse

The hurricane itself sounded to me much like a long freight train passing - for hours it roared in the darkness. But I grew up in the middle of World War II, listening for air raid sirens that told us German planes were on the way to kill us if they could, and eating dried eggs (I even liked them!) People adapt and make the best of things when they get used to the idea of disaster. You go on because that is your only choice and count your blessings. We are seeing that now, ordinary people helping others as best they can. I suppose it will bring out the best and the worst in us because there are always some who will take advantage to get something more for themselves. And the heroes who will forget themselves to help others.