My family lives in Florida so I know a thing or two about hurricanes. I’ve been in them, standing at the front door with my dad while my mom and sister were in the closet. We’ve driven around to survey damage and search for gas. We’ve been without power for awhile.
But Hurricane Sandy taught me a few lessons this week — the biggest one being that I’m not that young anymore.
I can hear you groaning now. She’s only 27 years old, boy howdy does she have another thing coming.
There was a hurricane during my first weeks of freshman year in college. Instead of preparing, we played on the fields in the rain and got to go home early. The dining hall even stayed open for us.
This week, when news of Sandy became ominous, I was a little worried. Not just because I had Yorktoberfest tickets for the weekend, but that my sister, Emily, was coming up from Florida for a visit.
Turns out, we did some emergency prep — getting water, cash, batteries, the usual. I even filled the bathtub with water. She laughed, until I said it sure will be nice to flush a toilet if we have no power. (The tub drained on its own and we lost the water so it’s a good thing we didn’t lose power.)
I ended up having to leave Emily at home Monday evening and travel to York to work the overnight editor shift. I used to be able to pull all-nighters — in college and since then for events. But working 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. kicked my butt. I’m usually up past 2 a.m., and later on some nights, but knowing I had to be up that long and back by 4 p.m. took its toll.
Hurricanes were way more fun when we were younger and had no responsibility. Especially when others took care of us and it was just a day off school for us. Being fully responsible for my survival during a storm was sobering.
Oh my God. I’m getting old.
Having to explain to my sister that I couldn’t just stay at home because it was safe, was a new thing for me, too. I’m used to being in not-so-great situations for work. But I was anxious about driving from Hanover during what was supposed to be the windiest part of the storm. I can’t ask my reporters to go out there and report if I can’t come to work.
Storms and natural disasters are just plain stressful. Having to work during scary situations sucks. But this is what we do. Those on the outside find it hard to believe, but who’s going to inform the public if we’re not there?
But naps would be nice, too.
I’m grateful this isn’t a common occurrence, and that Sandy spared us for the most part. And even more thankful that Emily was patient (or as patient as she could be) with the fact she came up here for the weekend and spent most of the time alone in my apartment.
Her flight was also canceled, but by the time you see this, we’ll be on the way to the airport. Then I’m going to nap for days. Or at least until work that afternoon.
They’re right when they say getting old isn’t for wusses. And man, I’ve got a lot more years to go.