Fears of the Past

It's October again.  I love the month for its colors and coolness.  I love it for its decorations and its flavors.  (To be honest I'm all about the pumpkin spice and candy corn.)  But as the month begins I have a sense of dread.  My stress level and nervousness have a name:  Joaquin.

Before 2012 news of a hurricane would be just a blip on my radar.  I'd lived through them before.  So had all my family.  We'd been through many at the Jersey Shore (whether we were still renting a house or in the one my mother bought in 1994).  It was not that big a deal.  When Hurricane Irene came and Governor Christie told us to get off the beach; we got off the beach.  The storm veered and the shore did not get hit badly at all (although the same cannot be said of central NJ).  We dealt with hurricanes, we did not fear them.

All that changed with Sandy.  It not only destroyed the shore, it shattered lives.  It changed everything.

Things have slowly started to get back to "normal."  In reality, "normal" is not what it used to be.  Rebuilding still goes on three years after the fact.  There are plenty of empty spaces left where houses or businesses used to be.  There are houses that tower upwards and there are the small little ranches.  There are summers at the beach and lots of traffic.  All part of the new normal.  But not the same as it once was.

When I first heard about Joaquin, I wasn't that worried.  But as the media frenzy started to grow so did my stress level.  It's going to hit NJ.  It's not going to hit NJ.  Which was it?  It was building strength.  The governor declared a state of emergency (even before the storm had hit the shores of the United States).  It seemed to be all that social media could talk about.  As Joaquin began to fill my consciousness, my stress level went up. 

Of course the news changed from one hour to the next.  Where I was on high nervous alert last night, this morning it seems like the storm will move eastward as it goes north and might not even be worth talking about.  But I am still on pins and needles because if Sandy taught us anything it was that you just don't know.  Things that you thought were not possible (the ocean meeting the bay?) CAN happen.  

If there had never been a Sandy, would I even be writing this blog?  If there wasn't a constant onslaught of media on the topic, would I be so jittery?  Perhaps I should "go off the grid" and just let happen whatever is going to happen.  But that is easier said than done and I fully admit that I've got an on line addiction.

All I can do (like the rest of us) is wait and see.  Say a few prayers and take calming breaths.  (A few glasses of wine over the weekend couldn't hurt either.)  What will be will be.  The fears of the past repeating itself are real.  But they cannot rule my life (or anyone else's for that matter).  

Joaquin is not Sandy.  But be prepared.  Be calm.  And wait.

Addendum:  It's looking like Joaquin will NOT be hitting us as hard as originally thought.  I am grateful.  But Joaquin is still a long ways off and we ARE in the middle of a nor'easter, which can be just as devastating.  https://www.facebook.com/JerseyShoreHurricaneNews?fref=ts is an excellent way to see just what is going on as locals can post photos and videos.


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