We settled into our New York digs just in time to get comfy on the couch and hunker down for the storm of a lifetime. We also learned that there had only been two times in the history of New York City that a mandatory evacuation was in place. The evacuation area was called "Zone A" and wouldn't you know we were living right smack-dab in the middle of this area. Since we have no friends or family in Manhattan and virtually no where else to go but a shelter, we made the decision to stay put. Knowing we had a little time before the hurricane made landfall, Gayland made a mad dash to the grocery store to get a few necessities: water, milk, Pepperidge Farms Oatmeal bread, peanut butter, raspberry jam, eggs, Vanilla soy milk creamer, broccoli, chicken breast, carrots, salad, fat free Cesar dressing, coffee, fresh fruit and bacon.
The NYC NBC news affiliate had Sandy hitting on Tuesday so when we woke-up Sunday morning and learned the storm was heading our way sooner than originally expected we were surprised. I made breakfast, the first homemade meal we had since October 17th, and then ventured to our neighborhood grocery store to stock-up on toilet paper, water and chocolate chip cookies (I had a crazy pregnancy craving). To say it was an experience would be an understatement. I'm used to mega grocery stores like H-E-B so walking into the "Food Emporium" was like walking through hallways of a submarine. What was fascinating is those people that chose to bring their children and their full jogging strollers along for their shopping excursion (really people...you couldn't leave your kid at home for once)? There literally is not room for more than 1.5 persons to walk down the aisle at a time. The lines started at check-out and went back to the meat section...it was unbelievable! OH, and you think grocery prices are high where you live, you ain't seen nothin' until you've grocery shopped in Manhattan! Now I understand why people eat out every meal...it's cheaper!
Monday morning we awakened to spittin' rain, overcast skies and non-stop news talking about Armageddon heading our way. Hurricane Sandy was steam rolling in from the east and a low pressure system was charging in from the west. According to all meteorological professionals, this was going to be an unprecedented storm. As the day continued on, we stay glued to the TV waiting to lose electricity, Internet service and our minds. After all we had experienced the previous week having a hurricane in our near future was simply par for the course.
As you know, the rest of the story is history. The storm devastated thousands of New Yorker's lives and killed hundreds. The city was without electricity for five days, public transportation was virtually non-existent and the Big Apple looked like a ghost town. It was nerve-racking for us so I can't imagine how it must have felt for those that were affected. It broke our hearts and we continue praying for those in need.
As for us, God continued to provide another miracle for the Paffe Family. We never lost electricity, our cell phones always worked (I was so nervous we would need to contact emergency services and would not have the ability to do so) and we had all the basics to not only make it through the storm but stay incredibly comfortable during the process. We were thankful! The only thing that happened that was frightening is during the storm I had increased contractions (closer together in time and more intense in strength). In a moment of panic we decided to call the doctor for advice. She told us if I was not bleeding and the contractions were not painful, stay put and drink tons of water (which we did). In keeping with counting God's blessings, we also learned the hospital we just left was the hospital all over the national news being evacuated after back-up generators failed. Had we remained hospitalized, we would have been one of the patients being relocated. I can't imagine the amount of stress that would have caused my body and both of our minds. Simply amazing!