Frankenstorm Sandy didn't blow out my windows, uproot my trees, or cut power to my house. Its path didn't veer within a thousand miles of my home in Texas. Why then am I writing about the hurricane-turned-nor'easter?
To tell you it knocked out my ability to focus
Small loss, you say.
I can't argue that point. In hard-hit New Jersey, houses toppled, water filled streets, and bridges washed away. Who am I to complain about loss of focus?
Yesterday morning, I edited twenty pages before I turned twitchy and had to flip on The Weather Channel. Whoa! A reporter is wading through knee-deep water. Hoboken is flooded, Sayreville's a mess, and Atlantic City is on its knees.
My parents, brother and sisters, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, nephews, and friends live in the Garden State. They're fine, and their houses are undamaged. Lack of power is their only problem, and they're quick to call themselves lucky.
They can call themselves lucky all day long--I'll still worry.
I take a break from editing to gather two, no, three pieces of publishing-industry news for a column before I Google the power company in Bloomfield, my hometown. Has the company listed what repairs it's tackling by area or street? No.
I write two and a half pages before my youngest sister texts me to say my parents are cold and she's making them soup.
My parents are cold. Shootshootshoot. I return to editing because my brain's no longer capable of original thought. Oh, oh, President Obama is touring the Jersey Shore. I click on a link that takes me to a speech he gave in Brigantine.
I visualize my parents wearing multiple sweaters and force myself to edit another fifteen pages. Hey! Maybe Amazon sells a mini-generator big enough to power a space heater. I click on Amazon. Uh oh. Everybody in the sixteen states affected by Frankenstorm has had the same idea. Generators big and small, Coleman lanterns, and other survivalist supplies are on backorder.
My brother-in-law, Mr. Preparedness, texts me to say he's fed up. No-o-o-o. If Mr. P is fed up, how will ordinary Jerseyans cope?
My youngest sister texts me again. "We got The Star Ledger today and now know the devastation across the state. Heartbroken."
I remember long-ago summer rentals in Ortley Beach, Point Pleasant, and Lavalette, and my heart hurts, too. Then I reopen the file I'm supposed to be editing.
Gah! I have a blog post due tomorrow and nothing to write about. I open my file of blog ideas. Everything in it stinks.
Uh oh, Hubs just walked in the door. Why's he frowning? A friend since high school emailed him to say their home town, Belmar, is under water. Hubs doesn't believe it and fires up his iPad.
On The Weather Channel, West Virginia residents are shoveling snow. OMG! Thank God New Jersey doesn't have to contend with snow.
I check with a high school friend on Facebook to see how she fared during Sandy. A college friend's husband is on Facebook, so I send him a message, too.
"Belmar flooded." My husband shakes his head in disbelief. "I knew the boardwalk washed away, but flooding?"
It's Halloween night, so our evening is punctuated by little Darth Vaders and princesses. Mostly though, it's memories of home that short circuit our concentration.
My youngest sister texts to say power might not be restored to our parents' house for fourteen days. I read the message aloud to Hubs.
"Invite them here," he says.
"They won't come."
"You don't know that."
"I know my father."
"Invite them anyway."
I tap out a message to my sister, asking her to convince our parents to fly to Houston.
"You're funny," she writes back.
No way will I get any more editing done this evening. I'm about to head for bed when I remember the blog post due today. See what I mean about Sandy taking out my focus?
What to blog about? What to blog about?
Shoot. I've got nothing.