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December 20, 2014
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Power to the people?

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, sometimes one couldn’t get from here to there without taking the long way around.


Waking to howling winds snapped me into reality and the next few days are a blur. I made my way to gal pal Ellany Gable and her studio (www.honeyhillpottery.com) in Callicoon, where she had revved up a generator and hung out a shingle for the downtrodden, powerless folks like me. Normally, Honey Hill is “just down the road a piece” but that day I had to snake my way through the hills and was turned away by more than a few roadblocks, downed trees and power lines sparking on the side of the road. I was beginning to freak out a bit, scanning the horizon and observing the damage, but Dharma (the wonder dog) kept me grounded, and the cozy fire waiting for us soothed my frayed nerves. Communications down, I settled in for the duration, unsuspecting that eight days later... I’d still be in the dark.

By mid-week I was frantically wondering whether my power had been restored, and set off through the war zone (I mean Obernberg) two more times before giving in, thrilled that Callicoon’s power had flickered on, allowing us to immerse ourselves in the news, which (as it turned out) wasn’t a great idea. The images were scary, although they did make me realize how lucky we were to have heat, coffee and a satellite signal high atop Honey Hill. Still, I was cranky and not very good company, so once again, I took off in search of power. Good friends are hard to come by and I thought it sensible to make myself scarce for a night, rather than be tossed out on my ear. So, I made my way back to G.A. to meet up with yet another good friend (thank you J.W.!) and the portable generator that he had scored for me in Liberty, NY.

We huffed and puffed, running miles of extension cords from the genny to lights and (fingers crossed) the magical line connecting me to entertainment and information, but alas, no such luck. Shouting at each other over the roar of the gas-powered engine, we ruefully acknowledged that running water, heat, TV and a phone were (sadly) still out of reach, so I piled under a mountain of blankets (forcing the dog to snuggle) and bid adieu to Jamie, bound and determined to rough it. Teeth chattering, I gulped a few (I mean eleven) sleeping pills and was blissfully unconscious by eight. Rudely awakened by hail hitting the roof, I shivered and rose, peering out the window only to observe (with horror) snow beginning to fall. “Oh Em Gee,” I howled, “Why on earth am I being such a martyr?” Gathering my (now frozen) milk, donuts, oatmeal and toiletries, I warmed up the truck (my only source of heat) and zoomed off in search of adventure.