SHACKING UP…WITH SANDY: The Only Funny Thing About The Hurricane**
By: Carole Blake
Well, not exactly shacking up! Let me explain. I live in Jericho on the North Shore of Long Island, New York, and when Hurricane Sandy came barreling through, it was pretty scary. That storm was fierce and unforgiving, and it caused a great deal of hardship and tragic loss for many Long Island residents. We were among the luckier ones, and we only lost power for 8 days. My husband, Larry, and I are Senior citizens, but we’re both healthy, and we weren’t worried about anything serious…health-wise (As long as one of the gigantic old trees didn’t fall on our house and kill us!).
We have friends and family members who live within 45 minutes of our home – and who never lost their power – and so we stayed as guests at their homes for a few days. We had actually tried to get a room at several hotels closer to our house, but they were totally booked up. We felt lucky to have been invited to our friend’s and family’s homes, but it was quite a trek to travel there and then back to our house to get clothing and other necessities and to check everything out. None of the traffic lights were working, and it was kind of scary to drive through all the busy intersections. Also, the gas lines were unbelievable! I was especially glad that I had filled up my Hybrid car prior to the storm.
At some point an idea came to me: Five minutes from our lovely suburban neighborhood is a very commercial area with a Home Depot, Staples, Dunkin’ Donuts, etc. And it occurred to me that there were a few “Day-Rate/Sleazy” Motels right in that area. I had never really noticed or thought of them before. Now remember, I’m in my late 60s, and Larry’s a decade older. But we thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to have TV and a hot shower…and be just around the corner from home?” So we drove into the parking area of the first DRS (day-rate-sleazy) Motel. The guy in the office looked at us peculiarly and said, “How can I help you?” Larry asked, “Do you have a room available?” The guy glanced at me and then back at Larry. “How many hours?” said he. “Overnight” we both said at the same time. He shrugged and told us it would be $110 payment up front. Larry very cleverly then said, “Can we take a look at the room first?” and the guy said “Sure”. We walked up some creepy outdoor steps and got to room 27. We opened the door and took a whiff and simultaneously shook our heads NO. Don’t think so!! Too smelly for us! And so we disappointedly got back into our car.
We figured we’d give it one more try since there was another DRS motel across the street. We went through the same process…the same peculiar look…and then we took a look at the room they had to offer. Not bad! (Not great…but not bad at all!) So we paid the guy the money up front, and then we drove home to get supplies. By “supplies” I mean pillow cases and towels, and we threw some clothes into a bag and drove back to our nice warm room. What we hadn’t noticed before while checking out the room was a detail on the four-poster king-sized bed. There was a huge mirror across the top! I must admit, it was rather interesting and different to be lying in bed, looking up, and seeing the two of us as if we were on a big screen TV! Gee…I hope there was no hidden camera!
Anyway, we stayed at the DRS #2 for a few days, and we even recommended it to friends who were also without power. They actually were in the room right next door, but we refrained from putting our ears to the wall! Finally, we heard that the lights were back on in our community, and although we had already paid for another night, we happily and speedily went home. Unfortunately, neighbors just up the street lost their power again, and so we told them to use our motel room…and they did. Hope they enjoyed!
Happily for us, we’re all back in our homes now. There was damage, but not like what many people in the New York/New Jersey area faced. Just in case my story sounds far-fetched, I took a picture of Larry and me in our very sexy and sleazy motel mirrored bed! (Hey, everybody needs to catch up on their sleep sometimes!)
**Obviously, this is a light-hearted account, but the damage from Sandy has been immeasurable. As a songwriter, I’ve co-written a serious and hopeful song called “Sandy Happened”, now available on Amazon and iTunes, and 100% of the proceeds go directly to IslandHarvest.org, a wonderful charitable organization which is still helping the victims of Sandy. Here’s the youtube…but please go to Amazon or iTunes and buy the song for the charity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAB4k_CvATs
And here’s that picture!!!