Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Superstorm Sandy a year later......

This picture was taken in 1986.  Notice the tape on the windows above.  Glen ended up building a beautiful deck with a firepit, corner gardens and benches all around.  We celebrated the firemen winning the County Bowling championship and had many summer evenings spent back there.  We sold this house.  We survived many storms living there, before selling it about ten years ago.  The house is just an empty lot now.  Sandy knocked the house right off it's foundation.  It was torn down and not even a piece of wood is left there.  The same goes for the house Glen grew up in and later renovated by putting in a brand new kitchen.
     Now, that Glen and I are in our fifties we have made a lot of decisions.  For me, I was tired of watching Glen work so hard.  He worked physically hard as a union carpenter.  Financially a very tough way of living.  Building in this country has had it's highs and lows.  So, during the lows Glen would work on our houses.  Once, the children were born we had two houses for him to spend endless hours not only renovating but, making larger.  Always having the big picture in mind.
     Circumstances and finances started to change when our house values became better.  But, on our income it became harder and harder to afford our property taxes.  It was time to sell.  When, we sell our first home we invested in finishing our home we lived in.  We changed the liner in the pool.  The utility bills were huge and way beyond our means.  When my dad died, we still weren't completely finished with the house.  But, we had family come up from Texas and a week to get ready.  So, Glen put wallpaper on the walls and we were proud to show our house as finished for the first time.  We had savings and investments and the stock market tanked along with what we had put aside for the children for their education.
     So, long story short we ended up selling that beautiful home that you could call our dream house.  Glen had changed every wall.  Built a second floor with a master bedroom and bath and a room of their own for Ian and Kaylyn.  Built me a kitchen that I designed.  Put in a  bathroom where you would walk in the back from the pool.  We had many celebrations in that back yard.  Prom pictures were taken by our fireplace and we felt proud to have this be our home while the children were in their teenage years.
      Senior year the department store I worked at closed.  But, I was able to see every activity my children were in.  We had the time to throw the cast party for a play Kaylyn starred in.  We went to every Jazz band concert and marching band activity Ian was in.  But, as the decision came for college they both decided on the same.  University of the Arts.....googled it.....oh my god.....$30,000 a year......times 2 !!!!!!!
        So, the real estate market is bad.......really bad!!!!!   I get a full time job in Princeton for a year.  Glen wants to retire and he should there is no building going on.  But, their education is going to cost $240.000!!!!!!  Yes, scholarships and grants helped.  But, here we are and they did have to take out student loans that become due this month.
    So, when Sandy hit we are in our new home.....five miles from the beach.  No big trees,  utilities are all underground.  Glen is still a fireman, but he stays home for the first time.  Ian is a fireman and sleeps at the firehouse for three nights. We have a store in Convention Hall on the boardwalk in Asbury Park.  We food shop and watch the storm unfold on tv and on the computer.  The wind and rain starts early and there is a constant worry.  When I am watching tv I see Anderson Cooper on the boardwalk and what I see is devastating and realize it was filmed earlier.......the tv goes off and total darkness sets in.  I still have the battery on the  computer and then my son starts posting pictures and I ask him to stop I can't take it.  I see the medallion in the Casino building in Asbury Park is blown in......I see trees falling around us. I see pictures of trees on houses.  I close the computer and vow not to open it again.   I hear the wind howling for hours......candles our blown out and we go to bed and end up sleeping until daylight.

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