My house and my mother's house are still without power after the hurricane. Her basement is flooded, so far ours are not. We do have hot water and a woodstove plus candles, a transistor radio and a hodgepodge of food. On Sunday night, transformers and a cell tower exploded, so that we could not even dial out 911, something I had not realized was even a possibility. Ironically, my husband had left early Saturday morning to visit his daughter in Colorado. She has no television...which made it extremely difficult to explain the situation here with words.

My daughter couldn't get through to us and began to worry, so she hopped in her Jeep and arrived with tales of downed power lines, uprooted trees, and closed roads. On the grounds of where she lives and works, they had rotating generators, so we headed over there. I have lived in New Jersey most of my life and have never seen such destruction, mostly caused by trees down. We are all in a mixture of shock and crisis mode, with occasional bouts of silliness and thankfulness.

No gas stations are open, grocery stores and restaurants are closed. This afternoon, just after we arrived, power was restored but only in this small section of town. Schools are closed so the house is filled with people aged 2 to 88. They are playing board games or running around a small, clear area outdoors with hockey sticks.

Halloween was postponed, so the consumption of candy has added another dimension. Last night, in a fit of exhaustion I had some candy corn, which judging by my subsequent behaviour, is mood-altering and uplifting. Highly recommended during hurricane aftermath. There are conflicting estimates regarding when we will have power back, ranging from 7-10 days to 2 weeks.