Most of us see Thanksgiving break as a quick break from school. It’s seen as a time to fill-up on turkey, watch some football, bump into old friends, and go Black Friday shopping. It’s a great time to be with family, but unfortunately most of us don’t actually stop and take time to give thanks. I know I’m guilty of it. This past weekend was the first time I went back to Lindenhurst in the past few months and I quickly found I had a lot to actually be grateful for.
Lindenhurst, being a town on the south shore of Long Island was very affected by Hurricane Sandy. For weeks I had seen friends posting pictures on facebook of their homes flooded, property destroyed, home-made signs threatening looters, and even photos of the National Guard who had set-up checkpoints. My home was just a few blocks north from most of the destruction so my family had luckily only suffered a power outage for a little over a week. But I had many close friends who lost a lot of property, had basements and first floors flooded, and some who weren’t even able to live in their homes anymore.
A friend who came back from college for Thanksgiving Break actually ended up staying with me every night. All the storage he kept below his home and in the garage had to be moved into his home and there was physically nowhere he could actually sleep. He’d spend the days with his family at a relative’s house and the nights at my place. He had always been a close friend so it was great having “sleepovers” like we used to when we were younger, but obviously we wished it could’ve been under better circumstances.
I drove around some of the areas that saw the most destruction and was taken back. Most of it had been cleaned up, but debris still lay around in many places, some roofs torn off homes, and a close friend’s house I saw was completely blocked off with caution tape.
It was a very surreal but a very sobering experience. It helped me be thankful for what I had. I enjoyed thanksgiving with my family and we even began decorating for Christmas around the house a bit early. My girlfriend even came out to visit a close family friend who lives a few minutes from me and she got to meet my family for the first time. It was a great break and seeing my family was very much needed. I hope that my friends and any other victims of the storm, on Long Island or anywhere else, will soon find help in rebuilding and recovering. I know I’m waiting to get back for Christmas break and hopefully see things better worked out around my town.