It’s been a week since Hurricane Irene set her scope on us and made a last-minute cut to the west.
We were so lucky that not only did Hurricane Irene get downgraded to a tropical storm after she hit Coney Island, but that she changed course just a little more and turned inland. While my thoughts and prayers are with the people in Vermont, I am thankful we were spared the brunt of the storm.
There were some trees and branches down and we didn’t get much of the rain they called for. Overall, things could have been much worse.
Which is why I have to say I’m disappointed with the general post-storm attitude.
In Portsmouth and across the state, I feel like we are forgetting how lucky we were and focusing on the fact we lost power for a couple of days (OK, some of you maybe a week).
Let me ask you, what did you expect would happen after a hurricane/tropical storm? In comparison, I think Hurricane Bob was a little worse, but not by much.
For those who remember, we were without power for almost a week! And what if it had been worse? Would everyone still be complaining?
It really should have come as no surprise. When the governor declares a state of emergency TWO days in advance and a multi-star general tells you to expect to be without power for a week and to take all necessary precautions, why wouldn’t you listen? When they tell you to prepare by buying canned goods and to fill your tub with water, and to get a gallon of water per person per day for drinking and bathing, why wouldn’t you? They certainly aren’t saying this to hear themselves speak because they already know this stuff.
Have we become so dependent on other people taking care of us that we can’t be self-sufficient anymore? If our great grandparents, and in some cases even our grandparents could hear us, they would be rolling in their graves.
We should all have expected to be without power for a week and we should have been prepared to deal with it. Like adults. I heard someone call into a radio program to complain that they had gone out before the storm, bought $300 worth of groceries, and got upset because they had to throw it all out. Really?! Why would you go out and buy perishable good knowing a hurricane was coming? In fact, at that point it was headed straight for us.
The Marine’s unofficial motto is, “Adapt and Overcome," and I feel we fell far short of that this week.
Why? Because we’re soft. Almost 20 years have gone by since we had a major storm and we have forgotten what it’s like to be “uncomfortable."
New Englanders are supposed to be hearty folk and we let a few days without power choke our humanity and turn us into a bunch of sniping gripey animals. We’ve become too dependent on what is basically a convenience.
Now, I love my laptop and wifi as much as everyone (probably more) but I was fine without power because I was expecting it. Yeah, it was an inconvenience, but I dealt with it.
I read. In fact, I read a REAL book (remember those), and I ate canned soup for dinner and I washed dishes by boiling water and adding it to the sink by hand.
We all seem to think electricity is our right and how dare National Grid take so long to restore our power, when in fact, it is not a right and I applaud National Grid for restoring as many homes as quickly as they have. If you remember, Sunday night National Grid said it could be next week before we got power back.
Are there ways to help prevent a repeat of the past weeks power loss? Sure. But then we’d all complain because our electric bill was going up. AGAIN.
I’ll tell you one thing, though. As long as there are trees, power lines and transformers, WE WILL LOSE POWER. Even moving them underground can’t prevent power loss. There’s always something that can go wrong.
Look, I hate to make this article all ranty and everything, but this is something that has frustrated me since I first heard people complain about their lack of power on Sunday night. Not even twelve hours after the storm. Talk about our first-world problems.
Yeah, I was disappointed I was gonna miss True Blood, but oh well, life happens.
Maybe instead of wasting our time griping about what we don’t have, we should instead turn our attention to the people of Vermont who got hit much worse. Many people in Vermont lost a lot more than electricity. Some lost their homes, their places of work, and even their lives. And we’re too busy being ticked off because we can’t get cable.
How about we take all this unnecessary (power comes on whenever it comes on, people) negativity and turn it around and say a prayer for those who really need it.