Count My Blessings

I still don’t think it should ever have been called Frankenstorm. But still, what a storm. The front page of today’s Plain Dealer proclaimed that 80,000 Cuyahoga County residents were still without power this morning.

In the Cleveland area, the storm hit Monday night, although it had rained much of the weekend already. So much rain, such fierce winds. Many people lost power then. We were fortunate. Our power remained on.

Tuesday morning, it took 15 minutes to clear the tree branches from my driveway so I could start on my way to work. When I turned a corner, I realized that my neighbors were not as lucky with their power as we were. There were no street lights, no lights in the homes. Huge trees and power lines were down everywhere. The streets were empty of cars. The gas stations were closed. It was surreal.

I knew from news reports the night before that Interstate 90 was closed for a portion of the route I needed to travel for work. I-90 being closed, and for so long, is a big deal. Then came reports that the detour route, which is already crazy during the weekday commute and would be completely overwhelmed with the extra traffic, had no power and therefore no traffic signals. I finally got to a pretty major intersection which was closed due to a downed tree. That ended my attempt to get to work that day. I turned around, parked my car and went back to bed. My kids were off from school anyway.

It stormed and stormed all day but I found time to go out and pick up branches from my yard. We have several large trees and there were so many branches. They will make nice kindling once they dry out. The biggest problem was that a pretty substantial branch hit my daughter’s new car and crushed her passenger side view mirror. In the grand scheme of things, we got off easy. A side view mirror is easy to replace. Many people lost everything.

We barely lost power. It was over the course of 6 hours on Tuesday evening. Even then, it came on for an hour or so during that time. My kids spent the night with my in-laws, who had power.

Today, driving to work, the closest gas stations are still closed. My friend, who lives just a few blocks from me, still doesn’t have power.

My younger brother lives on the coast in Connecticut. The city he lives in was shown on the news to illustrate the ferocity of the storm. He never lost power. My grandmother who lives a few miles from me still doesn’t have power. It’s ok, she’s staying somewhere with power. She refused my offers to come here. A house with 5 people, a cat, and a dog is a little too much stimulation for her.

I am so grateful for that my family is safe. I am so grateful that we were so lucky. I am so sad for all the people who haven’t been so lucky. I can’t imagine the devastation on the coast, especially in New York. Even with the videos and pictures, it’s impossible to get my head around it. I’m definitely counting my blessings.

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