What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

On This Day


I would like to interrupt my regularly-scheduled Halloween shenanigans to acknowledge how far we’ve come in the 7 years since Superstorm Sandy. The video below was shot on November 5, one week after the hurricane, when we were all battling cold, mold, vermin, and desperation. We had to wait another week for Sanitation to get to us. The sopping-wet contents of everyone’s houses – including all of our food – was in the street for 2 weeks. By the time they got to us, well, you can imagine what it was like. Those poor sanitation workers.

In the video, our house is at about minute 1:27 (the one with the Amazon River Mermaids sign on the deck). (I mean, obviously.)

During the first week after the storm, we all split our time between pulling down walls, piling up garbage, figuring out where we were going to live, walking around like zombies, and standing outside desperately watching for the garbage trucks. When you finished tearing out what you could from your own house, you went down the block to a neighbor’s house and helped out there. As hard as it all was, both physically and emotionally, I’ve never felt more a part of a community than I did in those early days.

Whenever I think about that time, I imagine how much worse it must be for people who don’t have luxuries like insurance and income and hope and help. We were very, very lucky, and we agree that our house is much stronger post- hurricane than it ever was before the storm. I’ve said it before, and I’ll never stop saying it. My main takeaway from this experience has been gratitude for how lucky we were and are.

Though they were a bit slow to get to us, we were still very grateful for the help that the Red Cross brought. I now make an annual donation to the organization to help out victims of other disasters. If you’d like to know more about the organization’s relief efforts, check out the American Red Cross website.

And finally, I published the real-time updates and photos that we were able to post to Facebook during all the craziness (and you don’t need Facebook to see them). Click the link below!

Hurricane Sandy Opens a Can of Whoop-Ass on Broad Channel and Rockaway: A Tale Told Via FaceBook

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

20 thoughts on “On This Day

  1. Wow…you lived through /that/? -hugs-

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you thought the Red Cross was helpful because down her on our cost I have heard horrow stories of the lack of help from them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It broke my heart to see BC like this. I was on the phone and emailing every organization I could to get help there. It aggravated me that BC was last on everyone’s list to bring water, blankets, foo, etc!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It wasn’t great, but that just meant we had to rely on ourselves and on each other. I wouldn’t change a thing. I so wish you could come visit. I’m going to take a video of the new-and-improved neighborhood just for you. Will you let me know what roads and landmarks interest you? I’ll make sure I get them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well my father, Everett Smith (aka Smitty) grew up at 207 E. 9th Road and it’s where I was born. Smitty’s – of course!! My father often tended bar at Grassy Point as my godfather’s brother owned the place at the time.
        I’ve looked on Google Maps and see that many places I remember are now gone, like at the corner of 9th and Crossbay Blvd. there was a bar, Johnson’s? and Sal’s deli?

        Liked by 1 person

      • The shops are all different for sure, but I’m guessing Grassy’s hasn’t changed much. This weekend, I’ll take a walk and put together some videos for you. I can email you a link or come back here and put a link in the comments when they’re done. If you want an email, drop me a note at

        Liked by 1 person

      • Here would be great – this blog is for Smittty!! I hope BC Historical Day went well. Barbara Toborg sent me pictures last year, Almost time for me to send her my money for the BC calendar too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It must have been a truly awful experience, both the storm itself and the aftermath. I really cannot even imagine how desperate your whole community felt.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow oh wow! I had no idea! I can’t even imagine what this must have been like. When I first started following your blog I gleaned that you were in NY and waiting until you could get back to your home but I had no idea this was why. It must be so good to be back there again.
    And I get why you feel lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Such a Cute Age… | My OBT

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