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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cranky Old Man vs. Sandy

Cranky Old Man vs. Sandy

Posted from the Lowes Parking lot

The weekend before the storm all was well.  Mrs. Cranky was up-state working at a studio dance competition.  I went Friday night helping lay down the dance floor at the Hyatt.  We are packed and ready for a Wednesday flight to Disney World.  Rutgers lost, bummer, Jets lost, bummer, Giants pulled out a squeaker, yea! 

TV is warning that the worst storm ever to hit the east coast is headed directly for the Jersey Shore. 

Mrs. Cranky is unconcerned.

Sunday – Mrs. Cranky home from working at a Dance competition.  She is still not worried about the over-hyped storm.

Monday 8am – All is calm; storm getting closer…it is not going to miss.  TV weather dudes and dudettes are all having stormgasms.  It is not going to be good!

Monday 1pm – Mrs. Cranky needs to go to the dance studio to lock up considerable amount of cash collected at the competition.  I admonish her to get there by 2, lock it in the office and get home because the storm is picking up. 

Mrs. C, “Relax, I’ll be fine.” Mrs. C leaves for the studio.

Monday 3pm – I call frantically, “Get the frig home, the Garden State Parkway is closing in 30 minutes.”

Mrs. C. “Relax, I’ll be fine.”

Monday 3:20pm – After 4 calls that Mrs. C refused to answer, she calls that she is on the way home.

Monday 4pm – Mrs. C. is home. “Relax, what are you worried about, I’m fine.”

Monday 4:01pm – All roads from the dance studio to home are shut down.  Part of me wishes Mrs. C was stuck in the car.  Storm starts to intensify.

Sandy 1 – Cranky Old Man 0

Monday 7:45pm – All power is off.  I periodically manually empty sump pump so basement does not flood.  Mrs. C finds her stash of batteries, lamps, flashlights and candles.

Mrs. Cranky expects power to be back by 8pm. 

Sandy 2 – Cranky Old Man 1

Tuesday 8am – No power, no land phone, no cell phone, no internet.

Sandy 5- Cranky Old Man 1

We find an old boom box that I had wanted to junk and it works.

Sandy 5 – Cranky Old Man 2

We learn on the radio that NYC downtown is under water, power is not expected for up to 10 days, and the Jersey Shore is decimated.

Sandy 98 – Cranky Old Man 2

10am - The temperature is dropping, I am unable to start the gas fire place and I inform Mrs. C that without electric we will have no hot water and the fireplace.  Will not work.

Sandy 101 – Cranky Old Man 2

10:05 am - Mrs. C starts the gas fire place, and determines the hot water heater does work.

Sandy 98 – Cranky Old Man 2 Mrs. Cranky 3

7:30 pm - We have heat, we take hot showers, we reheat pizza on gas stove. 

Mrs. Cranky expects power to be back by 8pm.

9:00 pm – We fall asleep warm, clean, and fed.

Wednesday 8:00 am – Trip to Disney World is called off; we hunker down with heat, food and water.  Mrs. C drives around the block to charge cell phones which get 2 bars and allows occasional service.

I smell a skunk.

Mrs. C meets next door neighbor.  Next door neighbor had walked their giant dog when said giant dog ran for the bushes.  Neighbor slipped in the wet grass and dropped the leash.  Giant dog found a skunk in the bushes and got sprayed.  My day was suddenly not that bad.

Sandy 101 – Cranky Old Man 6 – Next door neighbor DQ’d.

2:00 pm – Mrs. C needs to open up the dance studio.  I object.  Mrs. C leaves anyway burning precious gas when no stations are open.  Studio has power; 18 crazy people without power show up to take ballroom dance lessons.  Priorities!

8:00 pm – Mrs. C is home safe and sound. With power, at the studio all cell phones and computer batteries are charged.

Mrs. Cranky expects power to be back any minute.

9:30pm – Cell phones get 3 bars, text messages are received and sent, internet is periodically available on cell phones.  I manage to send an old blog post via i-phone; blogging withdrawal is temporarily appeased.

Sandy 101 – Cranky Old Man 8

Thursday 8am – Still no power, food in freezer is thawing; plan to cook a lot of chicken for dinner.

6:00 pm - Chicken for dinner.  Mrs. C went to work; apparently some people cannot dance enough.

8:30 – Mrs. C is home, we listen to little old ladies call in to the radio,

“I’m in Old Bridge, and we still don’t have any power!  It’s cold!”

9:30 – Tired of old people complaining on the radio we turn in clean, warm and fed.

Mrs. C expects power any minute.

Friday 8:00 am – No power, sporadic cell service, we eat breakfast and hunker down waiting for the power to be back at 8pm.

1:00 pm – I venture out and find a CVS sore open, score some 8 D batteries!

8:00 pm – No power, Mrs. C is surprised.  Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday 8:00 am – No power, no internet, I luck out and find a gas station open with no wait (radio said up to 3 hours wait).  We drive 30 miles to brother-in-laws for nieces birthday party.  We find out that South River and the Raritan River flooded out sections of our town ¼ mile from our townhouse.  Houses and businesses had four feet of water.  The electric sub-station also was flooded out and we should not expect power until Monday…maybe.

I will try to get internet tomorrow at Barnes and Noble to send this post.

Let’s face it; Sandy has kicked the Cranky Old Man’s ass and most of the Tri-state area’s ass.  The Crank’s will be back to normal soon. The Jersey Shore will recover but it will take a long time.  We are hopeful that Aunt Catherine’s beautiful shore house remained structurally sound.  It was well built and 10’ up on pylons.  The apartment off the garage where we rent for three weeks in the summer is gone for sure.

Except for suffering from internet withdrawal and falling behind on several TV series all is good for now.

Mrs. Cranky expects power to be back by 8pm. 

I am hoping for power this weekend and praying for all those in the area not as lucky as the Crankys in surviving this horrible storm undamaged.

Sandy wins, we’re (New Jersey) waving the white flag, but we will be back.

The New Jersey Shore will rise again!

Thanks to all those linesmen from all across the country, Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio et al for leaving your home and families to help us get back up and running!   


  1. Wow! I would say that all in all you are a winner if you are in your home and warm and well fed.....even though I'm sure it has all been no fun. Take care and I hope all is back to normal for you very soon.

  2. Glad to hear you came through Sandy as well as you did. A lot of people have nothing at all left. Makes us kinda rethink what's important, huh?


  3. I spent the week with an ex-pat New Jersey Shore; the rest of the large Irish family anchor the area. They evacuated. I passed a solid stream of utility trucks on the Indiana and Ohio turnpikes. Had I not turned off at exit 180, I know I would have seen them all the way to Philadelphia. They made my heart swell. My nephew drives a flat bed and has been running emergency generators and parts for FEMA since Monday. His Facebook posts are so nonchalant. I'm humbled. Well, I have to say it: I'm proud to be an American.

  4. Cranky I am in awe of your high spirits in what must be a time of tremendous worry.

    I think the powers that be must have been looking down on your guys, to e so relatively unscathed when chaos was ensuing only a ¼ mile away from your home.

    Thinking of you guys!
    FYI - I think Lowe's have some good bargains at the moment - seeing as you are sitting in their car park making use of the free internet, you may as well window shop too!

    Hope you get through the day OK
    Lou :-)

  5. My sister-in-law (from L.A.) took her 3 adult daughters (1 from Oregon, 1 from L.A., 1 from Orange Co.) to NY for the weekend. They got back home on Thursday, instead of Monday. At least they had power in their hotel! Storms are just one reason we live in L.A. Mrs. C sounds like the eternal optimist.

  6. I am glad to here your okay. At work, I have sent a couple shipments up north to help with the power and things. I guess I will be busy this week sending more equipment to get power back to everyone up there. Heard that people from my church and other church in the area are heading up to help.

    Hope your power comes back on soon. Our prayers are with you here in North Carolina.

  7. Glad you're OK, Cranky! Been worried about my dear friends on the NJ shore.

  8. I'm glad you are all right. Looking at the pictures on the internet was like looking at movie stills from some apocalyptic movie. Ballroom dancing must be a serious past time in your neck of the woods!

  9. I can only wonder and laugh at those who thought dance lessons were important in this perilous time. Glad you're safe.

  10. WOW That was an experience I wouldn't like to go through. So glad to hear you are both well !
    How much money do they make as ballroom dancers ? Maybe I am in the wrong profession - I should be dancing to make my money, not producing financials for companies which may or may not make money !!
    Have the best day you can in the circumstances !

  11. A very effective blow by blow description of living thru Sandy first hand. I am glad to read you are both safe, warm, dry, and fed. Life will return bit by bit to normal, if it ever indeed really was.

  12. Happy to see Sandy did not rob you of your sense of humor. Keep it up Cranky, everyone needs a good laugh when things are truly awful. Praying everyone gets out of this with hope for a better days ahead.

  13. wOw! Glad to hear from you. Hang in there. Kudos to emergency responders.

  14. Glad to hear you are doing as well as you can under the conditions, hopefully the power will be back on soon and as you said everyone will be back up and running before long.

    They even sent trucks, generators, and personnel from Edison here in California out in your direction.

  15. Wow, so awesome that you and Mrs. C are managing so positively during this choatic situation.
    And very impressed you have somehow manged to blog!

  16. So happy your OK cranky. Checking on the East Coast everyday since I have friends in the area. I would love to know how people are actually driving to dance lessons that is some dedication. I know that trucks were sent from Cali to the area to help out. I am so glad you ad Mrs. Cranky are safe. Sending positive vibes and many prayers.

  17. Glad you and Mrs C are ok, thinking of you x

  18. God bless you for getting some great humor from the hideous situation you were in.

  19. Glad you're ok Cranky.
    We live in cyclone territory, so I know a little bit about what the drama is like, though we have avoided a major storm for a while.
    I think the blogging withdrawal would probably be what would tip me over the edge too!