From our little house on a hill, the relentless, howling winds of the hurricane were terrifying. I dug out the heavy winter drapes to protect from possible storm shrapnel breaking through the wobbly windows. I left one curtain open just enough to keep an eye on the trees – the fine old trees on our little plot of land. They held up brilliantly as did this creaky old house. Damage was limited to only a few branches, the only casualty: the chimney guard to keep critters from crawling in. Our chimney is overdue for a cleaning anyway so this will force me to call the sweep.
We lost power for about 12 hours – the milk did not even have a chance to go sour. In fact, I welcomed the reprieve from watching television news coverage of Sandy, the monster storm that just hammered us here on the East Coast. But now the lights are on again and I continue watching. Like a train wreck, I cannot take my eyes off the heartbreaking scenes. Amazing how much the footage resembles images from war zones. Blown transformers look like exploding mortars, images of residents returning like refugees to find their homes decimated in all too-often battered Queens neighborhood. Maps show huge swathes of color indicating areas across the Northeast without electricity. Pictures of stores show empty shelves. Lines, darkness, people filling plastic jugs from fire hydrants. These images bring back so many memories of Sarajevo.
But the endless press conferences with mayors and governors pledging government remind me we are not at war. Cooperation is the order of the day.
Switching the channel, news of Syria, the violence of man-against-man howling through the lives of the innocent every day with not a promise to be heard.