I love words, teaching, writing & performing ceremonies, remembering to bring my camera, baking, enjoying simple creative savory dishes cooked by someone else (preferably my husband), Long Beach, NYC, beach sunsets, cross country driving, upstate NY, the North Fork, mountains & woods, rocks & trees, trains, Joshua Tree, St. Croix, Italy, Ireland, France, Peru, and the dream of India. I love entertaining in my home.
For my 40th some friends put money toward a return trip to NIce, France, so I could spend a few weeks living in the city that felt like a second home. But for years after, the only outdoor table I dreamed of leaning on with a notebook, sipping my café, was at my first home in Long Beach, NY–on my own front patio. Lucy at my feet, Steve bringing out a cup of cold watermelon soup, neighbors all happily back in their homes and streaming by on their way to the beach or boardwalk.
Superstorm Sandy had hit Long Beach, NY, and we lost our home, all our savings, our cars, his restaurant (we had just bought into the place where he tended bar less than a year before the storm, with the help of my dad), and his prospective career (we were paying his way through school for PT). I learned what anxiety is.
Four and a half years later, my neighbors are not all home. This time for all of us has been extremely stressful and in many cases, the results have been heartbreaking. We were grossly underpaid, and were forced to fight for the funding we needed. I’m a lover, not a fighter–and yet fighting became a full-time job (in addition to my teaching job and the part time jobs I’ve had to hold since the storm). The anxiety grew as the bills mounted, we moved from basement to basement, and our contractor did less and less until he finally left over two years ago with our last big up-front payment.
We still have work to do, but we are home.
For others like us, there were divorces, heart attacks, deaths. There were children who never knew their homes–or their parents in a normal state. Steve and I don’t have kids and we are, more than ever, quite happily together (for nearly 25 years now). We had friends and family supporting us. We had friends and family supporting us. And we had, and have, each other. Oh, and debt. 😉
I love finding meaning, and communicating it. I love learning, and sharing. I love people.
I love people! So thanks for stopping by. Many of these entries document our struggles or the struggles of others, but I do tend to look for some greater meaning. Writing here often helped me get through some glitch–in the recovery process or in my mind. This was my therapy, and a way I could give back to the world in my time of Sandy. I had hoped you might glean a wisp of hope, be inspired by a story, or find a connection you needed. And I still do!