We were so ready. We had food. We had water. We had brewed coffee in jars. My sister made spaghetti, I made muffins and hard boiled eggs. Garbage cans were in the carriage house, porches were cleaned off, lawn chairs stowed. Our flashlight batteries were new, the candle wicks unlit. Pat arrived with the dog and a bin full of storm supplies. By 4 p.m. we'd built a fire and were, as all the weather folks advised, hunkered down. Then we watched the fifth day of news and waited. For the rain to come, the wind to blow, the power to go out, the trees to fall. I checked my Blackberry and Facebook account repeatedly, getting reports from my friends in New Jersey and other points downstate. Manhattan was flooding, power was flickering out, the town in which I once worked on Long Island had swans paddling down the main streets. Sandy, according to the model, was headed our way.
Around 8 o'clock, the wind kicked up. Then died down. It rained a little. At 11, the treetops swayed, then settled. The roads in our county were closed in preparation for the storm of the century to plow through this small rural place 200 or so miles northwest of New York City. And...nothing happened.
The conflict of feelings was puzzling. We were relieved, of course, that the giant trees surrounding our houses didn't come tumbling down, that neighbors wouldn't have to face crushed cars in the morning. At the same time, we were........peevish, which my sister and I finally admitted to each other. Here we'd gone to all this TROUBLE to get ready and ended up with weather that, as Pat put it, was better than some days she'd spent on the golf course. Ridiculous but true: we were annoyed that Sandy had missed us.
Then I got a text message from my friend Liz, who once lived in Sea Bright, New Jersey, a lovely oceanside town with an ominous sea wall. Dear friends of hers lost their home. Not their car, not their roof, but their home.
To all of those on the east coast who were ravaged by this storm, we in upstate New York are thinking of you today. As for the Frankensisters whose eyes glittered inexplicably at the prospect of experiencing a hurricane, we are utterly ashamed of ourselves.
This afternoon I will eat some hard boiled eggs and be thankful.