Well, I'm back, sort of. At casa Jersey Knitter the lights and heat are on; phone, Internet, and cable TV are still out. Odd-even gasoline rationing ends tomorrow morning, although many transportation challenges remain, especially for subway and train commuters in and around NYC.
Going back two weeks to October 29, the lights went out roundabout Exit 151 pretty much the same time Superstorm Sandy made landfall in South Jersey. It seemed imprudent to investigate immediately, not least because when I tried to open the door against the wind, I couldn't. So instead I cast on some hurricane knitting, the charmingly bewhiskered cowl Clowder by Cynthia Acheson, using some Zarzuela's Fibers handspun.
"Clowder" is a somewhat obscure group noun for a bunch of cats. It seemed apropos, in part because cowl weather followed the superstorm, in part because of the large numbers of people in evacuation zones who didn't. One of DH's colleagues, an otherwise smart person who has two young children, watched her basement go from dry to seven feet of water in mere minutes, at which point she decided maybe evacuation was a good idea after all, upon which her husband drove the car to nearby higher ground, leaving her to carry both children through waist-high surging waves washing over their street. He was afraid the rapidly rising water might drown the engine. One can imagine how she felt. They arrived at the shelter safely, albeit soaked to the skin and empty-handed. Another somewhat obscure word that got used a lot in this area the past two weeks is "heed," in both its noun and verb forms.
Back at casa Jersey Knitter, eventually we ventured out to discover our only access road was completely blocked by a fallen tree. That's a new Fiat Cinquecento plus two other cars under the tree. Three electrical poles also came down, bringing down phone, Internet, and cable TV lines as well.
It took ten days to clear the street and restore electricity. In the duration, an early nor'easter blew through (November 7), which made it see-your-breath cold inside the house. I was and am deeply grateful the mutual aid line crew from Wisconsin worked on through darkness and falling snow. In the photo below, the yellow crane is moving a snow-covered new electrical pole into position.
Overnight the nor'easter dropped 5-6 inches (12.7-15.2 cm) of snow. To me, the scene in the morning was surreal: trees in leaf, many still green, with snow, and repair trucks.
To round out the strange weather, today's high is 67° F (19.4° C). The snow may be gone, but there's been plenty of other strangeness. I do think people who experienced the frankenstorm and continue to deal with its repercussions need to have a care for their mental and spiritual health. For my part, I have more hurricane knitting to show off soon.