I missed a few weeks of life there. It was funny how my world that was once centered around work, fishing and fun dinners out with my wife narrowed for a long 14 days down to a grind for warm food, sources of heat, ways to recharge my cell phone and gasoline.

Most of it is a blur. I remember a few things with some coherency. I remember the people from the beachfront houses sprinting down the middle of McLean Avenue trying to get away from the rising water at 9:00 at night. I remember the motion of the trees at the height of the storm—I had never seen them sway so much. I remember the wind coming down my chimney and almost blowing my fire out. While everything else is pretty much tough to recollect with perfect clarity, these few things are less blurry.

But there is one thing that I will never forget. I will never forget the Tuesday morning after Sandy moved through. It was 7:00 am and still a little windy. I remember how cold it was as I rode my bike past smells of broken natural gas lines, downed hundred year old trees, still draining streets and a noticeably overstrained police department to the local marina. I remember how I rode the hell out of my bike. I was in a panic and I remember shedding a tear out of pure overwhelmed emotion—emotion at seeing the devastation. It was all sorta ok until 6:00 at night when darkness fell and the power went out and then dawn showed an ugly scene. When I made the last turn onto the marina’s road, I was out of breath and my heart was pounding. I didn’t care. I was tired, but didn’t feel tired.

As I jumped off the bike while it was still moving I ran in a dead sprint to where I last saw her. And like the stubborn thing she is, through all the broken belts, corroded wires and bent props, I saw that lovely lady on her blocks and I broke completely down. She had leaves on her, was a little wet, but she was there. Life was going to be ok. The house looked at the time like it may need to be totaled. The boat stayed on her blocks. I was going to be just fine. And at 7:30 am, for my own sanity, I started to rebuild. I grabbed a hose and washed all of the broken leaves and dirt off of her. The storm had ripped a lot up in my life as it did with all of us who are reading this. It bent what is the very core of our existence, the beach. But at 7:30 I began to move on. I felt good.