It has been a difficult week to say the least. Hurricane Sandy brought unparalleled devastation to this area, unlike anything seen in generations. My patients, those state residents with MR and other developmental disabilities, were temporarily inconvenienced as they were relocated to safer, though unfamiliar, locales. For folks used to a certain routine and schedule, there is always the fear that change will affect them adversely; bringing about unwanted behaviors that have been kept in check by familiarity and reinforcement.
We too were inconvenienced by Sandy; we still don’t have electricity, but listening to the radio to hear tales of devastation and despair have reminded us how very fortunate we truly are: we have our health, our family, our home and our neighborhood, all of which are intact. Last year during Hurricane Irene we were without power for 8-9 days, helped during that time as well as this one by being able to use a generator lent by my brother-in-law. It keeps our fridge cold enough to keep food, and powers the microwave and coffee maker when we need it, as well as a lamp, and as of yesterday, our internet connection which supplies our phone line too. Luckily we never lost our hot water, so the luxury of a hot shower also never left us. We had no physical damage to our house, unlike the property behind us whose toppled tree landed on the electrical lines that feed our section of neighborhood.
The one thing that this hurricane has done is that it has forced me and my family to do things not internet-connected. We have read, listened to the radio, played music, played board games, and in general used our imagination to flex our minds and our bodies. My older sons hung out together, played football with friends, and generally have improved their tolerance of each other’s teenaged existences (LOL).
Mike generally would prefer to continue without the burden of going to school. But he knows this is an emergency, and school will likely start again on Wednesday. Mike has taken this situation to expand on his vision of expanding the various theme parks of Orlando by drawing up plans of new rides, attractions and 3-D experiences. It’s his contention that Disney, Universal Studios and Seaworld are woefully lacking in rides with themes that showcase sharks, killer whales, crocodiles, and of course dinosaurs. He is in the process of drawing up such rides and wants to mail his ideas to the powers of said theme parks. He has enough drawings to fill a 2 inch thick binder; in all fairness he came up with this development plan well before Hurricane Sandy hit. His teacher, who called last night to check in on him and us, had full knowledge of these plans, so clearly he was devising during school hours as well.
I have also discovered that Mike is a big fan of so-called oldies music; probably more than he likes rock music. I just find it amazing that he can differentiate between 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s music from today’s pop music; granted the music is in fact good as compared to current music which is decidedly hit or miss. He doesn’t flinch if someone sings along to a girl-group or ‘wall-of-sound’ group like the Supremes, but fusses mightily at the whisper of a Carly Rae Jepsen song playing in another room. Thank you, Mr. Music Teacher.
So life goes on, slowly and with limited juice, but like the Rabbit and the Hare, ‘slow and steady wins the race’. We are blessed to be only inconvenienced; blessed even more so that we are intact.
- PHOTOS: Hurricane Sandy’s Path Of Destruction (huffingtonpost.com)
- Disaster relief for families of kids with special needs (lovethatmax.com)