Another day, An Earthquake and a Mandatory Evacuation for Good Measure…

We have had a rather stimulating week in the NYC Metro area…and when I say stimulating I mean completely overwhelming and traumatic, I was just being nice.  There has been a myriad of interesting weather patterns occur as a gentle reminder (another nice expression) that we still live in a very unpredictable world and must rely on God for His protection and guidance through all the storms of life whether they be spiritual, emotional or physical.
Irene moving in...
Things started off on Wednesday by our building swaying back and forth, the floor rumbling, my earrings which dangle upon my earring tree began a tango all of their own along with the laptop tray which normally safely houses my MacBook instead began to dance across the floor all on its own.  It took me a minute to pull all my thoughts together and register, we were having an earthquake…actually it was the tremors of a 5.9 quake in Virginia but it made itself known to us.  Since I have never been in a earthquake before I was not accustom to the rather helpless feeling that accompanies your world literally shaking beneath your feet.  If that's not a metaphor for something, I don't know what is...  It does do a little to put life in perspective.  Then to some, like our honorary daughter Julie, the earthquake meant little.  Having grown-up in California, she wasn't about to budge from bed as long as the bookcases were still standing upright.  A good lesson for all of us in perspective.

Truck and Trailer being packed.
After recovering from the few seconds of our world rumbling, we move right into the anticipation of Irene coming to visit.  Since I spent part of my youth growing up in Houston, Texas, so I feel about hurricanes about the way Julie feels about earthquakes…just let me know if you think the building is going to get swept away because I'm tired of taping windows, buying water and stocking up on candles only to be sitting there a week later with a drizzle of rain to show for all my efforts.  Of course, Irene was to be different…
Victoria and Sam waiting in the truck.
Our plan was to stay put atop our perch on the 36th floor we call home.  We were prepared for power outages with two small generators to give us hot water and charge at least one cell phone if service was still available.  We had a small cookstove, more water than our apartment could safely hold, instant foods and bottled juices for me.  We were truthfully looking forward to watching the storm roll in but over our far too '1984ish' loud speaker located in the living room of our apartment, we were told by the powers-that-be to evacuate…and we had less than 2 hours to make it happen.  Just to encourage us and indicate how serious they were, they turned off the air-conditioning which made packing more difficult but did indeed encourage us to hasten our retreat.  
In the truck and on the run.
So, after a hurried hour of packing, you could find us waiting for the highly popular and extremely difficult to come by elevators to head down to the packaging garage:  2 parents, 3 children and 2 dogs all sporting the necessary gear to get us through the next few days of an uncertain future.  Packing for the two hour trip to our house in Sussex was a bit difficult since the needed trailer was full of tools and required being emptied before we could begin our journey.  After some clever rearranging and camouflaging of the things we had to leave behind in the garage, we started on our way.
Quick Kitchen Set-Up.
As we embarked on our journey to safety, the winds had picked-up and the rain had begun to fall so we were slipping out just in time.  The drive to the house was not fraught with peril as anticipated, instead, we had smooth sailings, almost no traffic and little weather.  Our greatest challenge was trying to find additional bottled organic juices for me to used since we had no way to cart our Norwalk Juicer with us.  Once at the house, the work began.
Josh, Sam and Victoria at our 'Evacuation Command Center'
Josh and Ben went in first and moved the tools to give us a couple of clean and clear spaces to set up since we are at the last of the remodeling in the house.  Once that was complete, Josh carried me out of the truck as he always does and got me settled into the house.  We made an area for the beds and a command centered set up with Josh's 4G to give us access to the internet and much needed information regarding the apartment and Hurricane Irene.  We also had the kitchen well stocked and even managed to bring the things for my treatments so I didn't get too off-track during our adventure.

My Command Center Set-up
A little rearranging so Josh and I could be at the
same table during the night.
All was well at the house and we even managed to make it a little fun.  The children made a huge 'nice bed' (what our kids call a pallet), put up one of the five laptops present the in house and watched Korean Dramas…I believe 'Dream High' was on the schedule for that night.  They were laughing, joking and wrestling back forth while the wind began to howl outside.  To them, it was an adventure and the making of memories.  Josh and I sat-up a good part of the night keeping track of the storm and waiting for the email updates.  Josh made me a nice bed using my reclining wheelchair and a tub with pillows on it for my feet while the rest of the family slept on the floor.  I definitely got the better deal on that one although I don't think Josh slept much at all.  Every time I woke I found him pacing the house and checking outside to make sure we were safe as all good husband's and daddy's do.
Kid's made their 'Nice Bed' and settled in for the evening.

Sleep came quicker than expected.
In the end, we got more damage in Sussex than we did in Jersey City.  At about 10am in Sussex, we lost power and to this date, it is still not restored.  So, after we got the 'All Clear' from the apartments, we packed up and headed back to our little home in the city with its running water and electricity and left our place of refuge with no electricity, trees down on almost all the roads and in our yard, streams and rivers flooded, crops beat to the ground and other miscellaneous storm damage everywhere.  
Forging the stream on the way home.  At least
this road wasn't close, most were.
Once we managed to wind our way around all the road blocks and difficulties, we arrived in the city to find the apartment never lost power and the city itself didn't even look like it had gotten wet.
Jersey City in good shape after the
Everyone was relieved to get showers and melted into our own beds.  The house only took about an hour to get back into place.  Josh had taken all our electronics and TVs and moved them into the bathrooms since they were the only rooms without wall size windows so they had to be put back into place but all in all, for a forced evacuation, it wasn't too bad and an experience the children will always remember.  It also gave us pause to remember, once again, God is in control and our trust needs to be in Him.

May God Bless and Keep You in His Grace,


  1. Hello Lynne! Isn't it amazing how this storm affected so many, yet others saw no damage or loss of power at all. For us, we never lost power, didn't lose one tree limb; yet my parents were completely flooded on their street, and friends were stranded in their homes due to fallen trees, wires and loss of power. God is sovereign in all, isn't He? So glad to hear you are all well!


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