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Friday, November 2, 2012

The Hands of Time

All I do all day is sigh. We lost our power Monday night @ 8:35 P.M. and now it's Friday @ 9:10 P.M. It should be a sigh of relief, b/c we are all ok, even Sug, our home is standing, we have hot water and candles. But no, these are jittery sighs--Did I leave a candle burning downstairs? Did I leave the lantern on the front stoop so H. and Fig can find their way in? Did wild animals eat the fine chocolate pudding I left cooling outside? Will we run out of matches?

Two more big sighs now b/c I'm wasting gas sitting in this car with Sug outside Starbucks and also b/c I wrote and edited this post and then somehow erased the whole thing.

8:15 A.M. Text from Patsy telling us all where boot camp is, since Brookdale Park is closed. We’re meeting in the field near the pool @ Mountainside.
8:40 A.M. Battery-powered alarm clock goes off. Pull myself out of bed but feel stressed already, not rested. Everything seems so hard. Can’t find sports bra. Deep sigh. Too overwhelmed to look too hard, so go in regular bra. No support.
8:50 A.M. Put on Sug’s winter coat, take her out and then put her in Figgy’s bed, since Fig is still sound asleep. Leave Sug’s coat on. Fix covers over both of them. It’s cold in here.
9:10 A.M. Toast a slice of rye bread from the loaf our friend Anne left on our table the other day. Put it on a cooking fork over the gas flame. Eat it with peanut butter. Go to front stoop to get skim milk. Pour a nice cold cupful. Return milk to stoop.
9:20 A.M. Off to boot camp, thankful I have gas in the car to get there. H. doesn’t go. Goes to the church where Anne works to write instead. He has not been handling Sandy stress too well lately. I also remember him this way in Hurricane Floyd, when our basement was badly flooded.
9:30 A.M. Hour-long boot camp class. It is hard and I feel sluggish. Pats has us run up a big grassy hill across from the field five or six times. “Come on, Alice, push yourself,” she calls. I try, I try. We also do stations--lifting weights, doing crunches, shuffles, more. I drag myself. My friends Heidi and Michael don’t show up. I miss them.
10:45 A.M. Recklessly use gas to drive to Walnut Street, near the other end of Montclair, to get a mocha @ Redeye. But our tank is still almost full. Pass long, long line of cars waiting for gas and of people huddled in blankets, holding red gas containers for their generators. Call Anne and Elly to see if they want to go or if I can get them coffees.  No answer. Park in front of Gina’s Bakery. Go in and buy a spinach-topped foccacia pizza to bring home. See sugar-dusted brioche donut filled with Bavarian cream. Get it, sit down to eat it. Hope Patsy doesn't walk in. I am human. Two customers enter. They both ask how I am. I have never seen these women before. They both have power on that end of town. I think I must look worn out.
11 A.M. Get my medium mocha; $4.50 plus 50 cents in the tip jar. Notice Redeye has WiFi. Wish I had my laptop.
11:15 A.M. Sit with mocha outside Gina’s and call my brother Will. He and Kelly still without power in NYC. Good to talk to him. He makes me smile.
11:40 A.M. Pop into antique store on corner of Forest and Walnut, since I’m here, and it’s open.  Have never been in before. Look @ old typewriter, juice glasses, books, platters, jewelry, mason jars and fur-collared lady’s coat.
11:45 A.M. Drive back home, detoured by fallen trees, yellow caution tape. Cannot believe size of some uprooted trunks. Mighty giants, felled. Sad.
11:55 A.M. Back home. Run up to attic room to check on Fig and Sug again. Still sound asleep.
Noon  Turn radio on. The people at WCBS 880 AM have become my friends.
12:04 Light candles. Even though it’s not dark in here, the dancing light and Tahitian vanilla scent are comforting.
12:49 P.M. Starting dishes at sink. Feel like colonial woman, knowing she needs to do chores in the daylight. Just lack ruffled cap. Hope to take a shower and change out of exercise clothes after this. Will report back.
4:27 P.M. Well, I still haven’t taken a shower. Better now before it gets dark. First our friend John, who lives down the block, stopped in while biking by. He, Fig and I had tea. John said our house feels warm and checked the thermostat: 58 degrees. Not bad for several days with no heat. Then I was going to get into the shower but Figgy wanted to take a bath, so I let her. Since then, I have: eaten Halloween candy, regrettably; made Sarabeth’s Triple-Chocolate Chocolate Pudding [great stovetop recipe] and put it out to chill on the front stoop; whipped some cream [we have an old-time egg beater] to put on top; done more dishes; walked Sug around the block [and talked to neighbors Mary and Beth along the way]; tried to reach Moey; and talked to Sis. Fig has now headed out on foot to find a place to power her phone. Let this be the moment I really get into the shower!!!! I just feel worn down and want to nap but will make myself shower first. Thank goodness I worked hard on a writing deadline on Friday and Monday, before the power went out.

Finally did shower at 5:05, my big accomplishment of the day. Also read a little with my tiny book light, and ate @ Cozy End with Mernin family. Better go. Almost bedtime. First want to light fire H. set in fireplace and lounge on couch. He and Figgy @ movies.

  1. Boot camp, even if I was slow as molasses.
  2. Water.
  3. Read something very helpful.
  4. Walked Puff around block once.  
  5. Saw my friends. 
  6. About to hop on myfitnesspal. com to log day before laptop battery croaks.


  1. ah, Alice, I'm sorry you guys are still suffering. You guys are on my mind.

  2. Thinking of you. Meg

  3. I'm guessing no new post means no good news on the electricity front. I bet its cold, and I hope you had sun like we did today.

    I enjoyed H's article in the Times.

  4. Hi Kim, Meggy and Nan...thank you. And Nan, glad you liked H.'s article. He worked hard on that one. It did come out good. love, alice