As many of you know, my CoRo mystery, Body Wave, features a mystery wrapped around an incoming hurricane named Seraphina. Mobilians nickname Seraphina, the Fiend. Well, Sandy is a real life storm, nicknamed the Frankenstorm, and she’s ruined Halloween for thousands of kids, plus, she’s wreaked the normal lives of hundreds of thousands.
In writing the second book, of the Text-A-Nurse series, it’s two months later, and my characters are still dealing with the after storm problems. It will be the same for real people who had a visit from Hurricane Sandy. Words of advice for East Coasters: Take it slow. Stress after mega storms causes a lot of chest pain. No one will respond or repair it quick enough for you, so reduce your expectations and save your health.
I want the people suffering in the storm path to know a lot of people they don’t know have them in their prayers. You will dig out and life will resume, but it will mess with your head. Insurance payouts will not come fast enough or big enough. Sorry.
The rarely discussed fact after hurricanes is depression. It’s normal. Even if you’re untouched by the storm, your friends, work, colleagues, and neighbors may be grossly affected. If you find yourself wanting to smash your cell phone, kick the dog, or scream at the kids, that’s a storm induced stress reaction. Take time out and appreciate what you do have. Even if its just the shirt on your back.
Some good things do come out during blackouts after storms.
If you’re without electricity, you’ll gather in the dark with your family and before you know it you’re doing fun things you haven’t done in years. Kids will star in impromptu talent contests, parents too, if they wish. The old singing circle resurfaces, and parents tell old family stories about long dead relatives. Believe it or not, kids enjoy such stories.
Lights out time can make you feel closer to family and to your neighbors. I’d say the camaraderie between neighbors often grows after storms. Cookouts, warm coke parties, and dancing to the battery powered radio. Then, there is that rare moment of clarity that comes from “digging out after a storm.” People decide to turn over a new leaf or make a career change.
I guess what I’m trying to say is after a hurricane leaves it’s a good time to appreciate your life. You’re not living until it’s almost swept away.
Tonight, my street had a Mayberry type of Halloween. I kid you not, it was fun sitting outdoors on the street beside my pumpkin waiting for the little goblins to shout, “Treat or Treat.” I thought I was on a movie set. In strange moments, I wondered how the Easter Coasters were doing. My town, Mobile, Alabama, has had a Halloween canceled, so you’re not alone in that. I also hope kids in blackout zones had a little bit of Halloween fun tonight.
I wish all of you a fast recovery with minimal stress. You’ve spent years sending help, prayers, and good wishes to Gulf Coasters, now, we’re happy to do the same for you. Can’t wait to see your lights back on!