I kind of scheduled a bunch of food posts to publish before Hurricane Sandy hit the New Jersey coastline. I figured by Halloween we’d all be back up and running, and I just thought I’d get a bit of a head start on a Sunday recipe post.

Then the storm hit. This was really early on in the day, after our neighbor’s basketball hoop broke off.

We were extremely fortunate, I can’t possibly overstate that. Our power went out sometime around 9pm on Monday the 29th, and it came back on around 4pm on Friday the 2nd. We were cold, but we had a kerosene heater thanks to Adam’s quick thinking in the face of a major generator shortage. We lost all the food in the fridge. We watched the gas in our cars as a shortage and then rationing set in during the week and into the weekend. The grill ended up in pieces around the neighborhood. But we’re all healthy and safe, with no real damage. We have a lot of friends who can’t say the same.

We stayed in, and tried to stay warm. Adam got the fireplace going.

Hannah learned a new favorite game in her bassinet, Baby in a Hole. It’s a lot like Whack-A-Mole without the whacking.

We tried to venture out to Target on Tuesday for supplies. They were only running on generators, the rest of the town was still dark.

We bought Sugarush cupcakes for the JCP&L, police, and fire guys working like crazy at the substation nearby. Hannah and I spent the day Friday at the wonderful Danish Cafe, who had opened with free Wifi and endless outlets to charge all of our gizmos. We were planning to leave for a warm, power-filled hotel weekend in Philly on Friday when the power finally came back. So we were extremely lucky, we still have friends with no power.

Then the weekend came and we tried to get back to normal. Getting groceries for the fridge was challenging.

Once we were connected back into the outside world, I finally started reading the horrible storm stories. Like this. And this. And all of these. I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky we were. To live far from the water, to have gotten power back so quickly, to not have been walking along when a tree fell on us. So then I wanted to know what we could do to help our community. I spent Sunday afternoon and Monday morning making 6 baby quilts, which I delivered to the donation center the county set up along with baby food and diapers, bottled water, etc.

I finally got gas yesterday, just before I went to vote (yay for re-election! I’m thrilled, relieved, full of hope). School reopened today. It was great to go back, give hugs to my friends who’ve been through a lot, and try to get back to normal. But it was very un-normal, and kind of surreal to be there.

And then it started snowing at dismissal. Heavily. And it’s still snowing, right now….