Friday, November 23, 2012

Autumn 2012 HURRICANE!

The end of October and beginning of November have been chaotic to say the least. Just before Hurricane Sandy struck a horrible crime was committed across the street from us. The police presence and media blitz outside our window continued for about 48 hours. I was in Pittsburgh so Miranda had to deal with the nightmarish scene by herself.  My return flight from Pittsburgh was cancelled due to Sandy so I rented a car and drove the 7 hours home.

As I approached the Lincoln Tunnel there were fewer and fewer cars. The always crowded NJ Turnpike was virtually car-free as was the tunnel. Sandy struck with shocking devastation to low-lying areas however we on the Upper West Side survived unscathed with only branches and debris in the streets.  We walked outside near the height of the storm and felt the strong winds but retreated before being hit by a flying branch.

Central Park had scores of trees blown apart or uprooted. We walked through after they reopened the park and were shocked at the damage. Also a crane collapsed above a 90-story construction site. School was off for an entire week so the boys were at home. We spent our time raising money and collecting items to donate to the hurricane victims. That was fine but by the end of the week they were looking forward to seeing their friends again at school.

The next week brought the election and another day off of school and then next week was another holiday, Veteran’s Day, and finally the next week was Thanksgiving with two days off from school. This combined with the two weekends that I was away working or visiting Mona, Jess and Lily caused a complete lack of consistency in our normally routine lives.

The weekend in Minneapolis with Jess and Lily was a blast.  Lily is such a lovely girl, smart, pretty, confident and happy. Jess is very involved in building her photography business and it was fun to watch her in action. The weather was glorious.  On Saturday afternoon we took a grand walk around Lake Calhoun. It must have been almost 70 degrees and the sunshine felt great. Sunday we ventured onto some of the rides inside the Mall of America.

The next weekend I saw Sue and Mona and used Sue’s home in Charlotte as a base.  I had rehearsals in Winston-Salem for upcoming Nutcracker performances and it’s an easy drive between the two cities. Mona was as lovely as ever!

I got back just in time to buy a turkey and help Miranda prepare for Thanksgiving dinner. The afternoon before Thanksgiving Max and I watched the volunteers inflate the balloons with helium. The crowd was already huge by 3:30pm when we walked around the perimeter of the Natural History Museum, and it was very busy outside our window until about 10pm. We did have great seats along Central Park West for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was a beautiful day here and the parade was wonderful.

Starting this Monday the boys will have their first full week of school in a month and a half. Despite all of the free time they have had lately, I think they will enjoy it.