Mark and I both worked on Saturday night and left work shortly after 9:30. The Northeast was having a vicious storm. When we walked to our car I could hardly hold on to the umbrella, because the wind was ferocious.
When we arrived near our home, we noticed that barriers had been set up denying people access to the ONE road leading to our place. Mark carefully drove around the barriers but there were more barriers further on. It soon became obvious why we were not allowed to proceed. There were large downed electrical wires on the ground. We decided to go to Starbucks, hoping that when we came back we could go home. But when we came back it was obvious that we could not proceed. A large electrical fire had developed at the end of our block, caused by 13,000 volts of electricity caused by the downed wires. We went further up the road to investigate going through the woods on the other side. But there was a rushing torrent of water flowing through the woods! There was no way we were fording that stream, especially with the huge electrical fire nearby. We might have been electrocuted.
We then retreated to a 24/7 diner a few blocks away, where we couldn't decide what to order--we weren't that hungry, having just eaten at Starbucks! When I couldn't decide what to eat, the waiter grew visibly irritated and ignored us for the next half-hour. Finally we beckoned for him to get our order: hot tea, bagels, and buttered toast.
"Thanks," he said snippily. Huh. Somebody's grumpy. Guess we made him wait too long and then ordered too little.
From our window we could see the electrical fire lighting up the night sky. When we went back to our street the fire had calmed down. We drove around and around trying to find another way onto our apartment complex. We finally located a condo complex directly behind our parking lot. We still had to go through the woods in the dark, wading through rushing water (but a much smaller stream) and finally got to our place. It was now after 3 AM (because we SPRANG FORWARD an hour on Saturday night). But we were finally home. Of course our electricity was out but all we wanted to do was sleep at that point. We ended up spending the next night at Mark's mother's house. We finally had heat, electricity and hot water on Tuesday night.
I kept thinking about being at the A&P the other night and having our bill be exactly $6.66. Were we unlucky? But actually we weren't. At least we weren't flooded out like the people in the above video!
All right, I know what you're thinking. Today is SATURDAY the 13th. But one year ago today -- on Friday the 13th -- some more drama happened in my life.
If you read my post of March 9th, you'll know that I had just broken my foot. I was lying in my bed at home in great pain, with my newly splinted foot propped up on a pillow. My boyfriend Mark was rushing around doing errands. I was having a great deal of trouble walking but I finally managed to hobble over to the bathroom. It was the highlight of the day for me, and took quite a long time. Of course, I forgot to bring my cell phone on my one trip out of bed all day, and of course when I came back to bed I saw that I had a new message. I had begun to be a little concerned over not hearing from Mark after I called him and received no answer.
As soon as I listened to the message my heart nearly stopped: Mark had been in an accident and while he was all right physically his car was TOTALLED. His beautiful black Camry was demolished. He was now in the hospital being tested. Of course, I couldn't rush to the hospital because I could not walk further than a few feet. I tried frantically to call him but he didn't answer which made me even more worried. I knew that he said that he wasn't hurt but when I heard that his car was wrecked I knew that he would be devastated. You know how men are about their cars.
I finally texted him and he texted back. Apparently his cell phone did not operate properly in the hospital. I texted him that he was far more important than any car and we would deal with it. The important thing was that he was all right physically. I was worried about how he was dealing with it emotionally but I figured that I would deal with it later. His sister picked him up from the hospital and drove him home. The emotional fallout was about to begin.
Did you grow up in New Jersey? Do you have memories of places that no longer exist?
I grew up in the 1970's in Morris County, New Jersey. I practically grew up on Brookdale Soda. I hardly knew that Coke and Pepsi even existed! When I grew up in Chatham, Florham Park, and East Hanover, not every piece of land was as over-developed as it is now. There were still even farms in East Hanover! I remember my mother buying milk at Lone Pine Farms in their little shop. I don't think I ever even went into the shop. I would go out to pet the horse.
We would also go to the Two Guys on Route 10 in East Hanover. Route 10 didn't have 1 million stores like it does now. I remember Two Guys, Capitol Lighting (which is still there), a miniature golf course, and a few other shops.
When I was very young, Two Guys still had a full-fledged grocery section, where my mother would shop. However, I would run around my favorite part of the store -- the toy section! (this was when mothers didn't panic if you lost sight of your kids for a little while).
I would roam around the toy section, and of course being a devoted reader would always go to the paperbook section, too. I collected the little Peanuts paperbacks. I loved Charlie Brown and Snoopy. When I got a little older, I would buy 45s in the record section, and felt very old when I graduated to buying the whole albums.
Everything was so inexpensive! Here is a reminder:
The East Hanover Two Guys also had a tiny little section with a minature bowling alley for kids! I loved to play there, even though I wasn't very good. The bowling balls were child-sized and easy to pick up and throw. There were also pinball machines.
I loved going to Two Guys for Christmas to pick out the Christmas tree! They had a section in the back for garden supplies, and the trees would be there. My mother remembers the price as being very reasonable for a pretty nice tree.
Also, outside the store was a liquor store (I can't remember the name, or if it was part of Two Guys?), where my father would buy cases of Brookdale Soda. We would always get a variety, and I loved the orange, the lemon-lime and the half-and-half flavors!
I dream very vividly at night (I'm dreaming within seconds of falling asleep!) and sometimes I'll wake up and think about the dream I just had. I'll feel that I've been to the place in my dreams before. Then I'll realize that it is Two Guys that I was dreaming about.
Mark has a gigantic round glass dining-room table, which at that time was in the middle of the room. I HATE that table. I think it is ugly. It has always been my enemy (I prefer pretty wooden tables -- I can't help it, I'm a girly girl.) I skidded on my wet feet and my left foot smacked directly into the wrought-iron chair legs. The chair leg went right between my two smallest toes and my toes wrenched apart. I could feel something tearing inside my foot. I screamed in pain because it really hurt!
"What's the matter?" Mark cried, as he ran out of the closet-sized kitchen.
I was sitting down now, holding my foot, crying in pain. "I really banged my foot on this stupid chair!" The pain was intense. I limped back to bed. I figured the pain would go away in awhile. Mark looked at me skeptically. "We really need to do this laundry." I just looked at him. "I can't even walk! How can I go do the laundry?"
Mark finally realized that I was too injured to move. He went to the laundromat. We both thought that I would feel better in awhile, that the pain was just temporary, like a badly stubbed toe. I lay in bed, but the pain seemed to get worse.
The next two days I called in sick to work. I could not walk. "You know, I'm going to have to see a doctor," I told Mark. "If I'm absent from work for three days or longer, I have to have a doctor's note." Fortunately, I have medical insurance, which doesn't require a referral to see a specialist. I could go right to the podiatrist. That's good. You know, I pay over $50 a week (out of my pathetic salary) for medical and dental insurance. I deserve good care.By the time I went to the podiatrist Mark had to help me hobble into the office. I simply could not walk from the car on my own. The doctor took X-rays and showed us the results. I had a broken foot! This explained why it was so painful. That "tearing" feeling was actually a bone breaking!
It would take four-to-six weeks to heal with new strapping applied weekly. Fortunately, I was able to take a leave of absence from my job and was eligible for temporary disability. My employer took a long time to send the paperwork to the New Jersey Disability office, but I must say that the State of New Jersey cut my disability checks in record time! I definitely cannot complain about them. They were great!
March 9, 2009 was on a Monday. It was an eventful week, as I will tell you on my post on the 13th.
P.S. By the way, that stupid table has been moved into the corner of the living room/dining room/bedroom/office.
I have also learned to wear my slippers.