Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The After

It's October 31, Halloween.
The costumes are ready.
The candy has barely been touched.

However this year, our neighborhood will remain quiet.

Halloween has been postponed until Monday, November 5.

I live in New Jersey.

Add this to the list of things Hurricane Sandy has stolen.

Poverty Beach, Cape May NJ
Courtesy of Exit Zero

We are a state that has it all: gorgeous shoreline, cute suburbs, access to major cities, farms filled with fresh produce,  and one of the most diverse populations.

While many across the U.S. may joke of us, I honestly believe it's out of ignorance.

My New Jersey is a great state.
It boasts colorful scenery.
It's people are smart, dynamic, and strong.
We work hard.
We play hard.
We care.

Our beaches are beloved.

Treasures, I dare say, that many outsiders flock during the summer months. Sand and surf, warm sun on one's shoulders.  There is a place for everyone along our shoreline- couples, families, singles, gay, straight, old, young.

We have a beach for you.

At least, we did before Sandy.

In my little suburban town, we have been very lucky. A good hour from the shoreline, we weren't hit nearly as bad as anticipated. Our street went unscathed. With the exception of a few flickers, power never was lost. No trees or branches down. There were no major catastrophes. My friend eight blocks away still waits for the two trees and wires which have taken residence in the middle of her street to be removed so her power can be restored, but she is seems to be the exception.

School is back in session.
Mail has been delivered.
I just watched as public works tossed large sticks, branches, and other debris from our neighbor's yard into their truck for removal.
Life is attempting to go back to normal,
but how can we?

Not when we can't help but survey the damage that has occurred to these places we love.

Entire communities have been destroyed.

Boardwalks completely swept away.
Sand and water overtaking house after house.
Flooding forcing evacuation.

The storm is over, but it's aftermath is here.

It's real.

South Inlet section of Atlantic City, NJ
Edward Lea, Press of Atlantic City
Halloween is postponed for us this year as many in my State wait.

The Pier at Seaside Heights NJ
Fox 5
Not for trick or treaters or candy, but for the return of power. They wait for permission to return to their houses to survey their homes. They wait for insurance company calls, and promises of money to rebuild.
They wait for the hum of the refrigerator, the flicker of lights, the buzz of the television.

They wait for life to go on as usual, but have no time line as to how this can or will happen.

This Halloween will be like no other, as we in New Jersey recover from hurricane Sandy.

Wondering what you can do to help? 

Donate money here

Do you need assistance? 


  1. so sooo heartbreaking. i'm glad you are OK but man, what devastation!!

    1. It's crazy Christina! Completely and utterly insane how much damage has been done in some places, while others are fine.

  2. It is surreal seeing the photos and hearing the stories. Glad that your community was safe.

  3. I lived in New Jersey for five years and loved it. It is a wonderful state and a wonderful place to live. Although I donated to the Red Cross yesterday, I have now made another donation so that I can directly fund relief from this hurricane.

  4. I have chills just reading and looking at this post Jackie,such horrible devastation.
    Glad you and yours are safe.

  5. Thank you. This is exactly what has been boiling up inside me all day. Man I love this state. And we have to do more to help our Jersey friends down the shore. Not just because we want to go and visit again in the summer, which of course I do - I love the beaches with all my heart, but because we owe it to them now. For loaning us their sandy shores all summer so we too can enjoy what they do all year. WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!

  6. Beautiful post. My thoughts have been with your state and with NY since the aftermath of this storm became clear. Hang in there.

  7. Heartbreaking. I am glad you are safe. My heart goes out to all those who have lost so much.

  8. Such a tragedy! Glad you are okay. I live near the coast in NC and hurricanes scare me!

  9. My husband's family is from New Jersey. And my baby brother is in New York City. His parents just got their power back today. The devastation is crazy.

    Here in MA we had our fair share of Hurricane Sandy's wrath and fingers crossed that everyone will have power back by tonight.

    Last year we had Halloween postponed as well because of a freak storm. No street lights and debris all through the streets makes for a dangerous Halloween. The good news was that the kids didn't really care as long as they got to dress up and collect candy. And perhaps because of the storm people were even more generous and kind than they normally would have been.

    I know that life will never be normal and certainly the effects of Hurricane Sandy will be felt this summer but I know that New Jersey will be back on its feet. It's full of strong people.


Let me know what you think.