We are gradually clearing up our apartment after preparing for the hurricane on Sunday. The computer and stereo components have been unearthed from under a pile of towels behind the table, and put back near the windows. The go-bag has been emptied, and the breakables taken out of the closet. The first aid kit has gone back into the closet. Parents have been reassured that everything is good.
Now the threat is over, we actually have more time to think about what has happened, time which was absorbed by getting ready before the storm. There was a small but real chance that our windows could have been shattered by debris, and a large part of our apartment might have been dstroyed by wind and rain. That is an odd realization, even if it did not happen. It makes you look at the apartment in a new way.
It was officially too dangerous to go outside for 24 hours, because of the danger of flying debris and falling trees. There was no transit, and no way off the island with the bridges and tunnels closed.
It was a glimpse at a strange and different reality for a day, where many of the things we take for granted were no longer necessarily there. I'm still processing that, despite all of the news coverage now accusing Bloomberg of overreacting. (I don't believe it was an overreaction.)
It is a little like 9/11 on a much smaller and less tragic scale, in that normal routine and normal life was so disrupted temporarily. We've been sleeping longer than usual, I think because low-level emotional stress is washing out.
We count ourselves very fortunate, when we see the many people who have lost power and had their houses flooded or damaged, and the tragic loss of life in a few cases.
Hopefully we will not see a return to the go-bag-at-then-world any time soon.