Well, this has been quite the almost week.
Last weekend I spent most of my time at the ice rink scorekeeping games between teams from as far south as the Carolinas and as far north as Northern Toronto. It was kind of neat seeing kids from different parts of the country, see how they play the game, the coaches, the fans. Without a doubt, the Canadian fans are the best. Flags, cowbells, banners, they had it all. And anything good that happened was met with screams, shouts, applause, and on and on.
Even the teams from New York were well-behaved and in fact, were kind of fun. When officiating we made it a point to tease them before the first puck dropped, give them a hard time, tease the kids to get a smile out of them. So all in all, it was an awesome weekend. But by the end, with Sandy approaching, it all changed.
The previously happy teams, parents, coaches, all of a sudden had worried looks on their faces. They were hearing more and more about Sandy and the most important thing for them was to get their players on the giant tour buses in the parking lot and to get the heck out of Dodge – or at least Oaks.
By mid-afternoon Sunday, the wind starting whipping around. I had an hour or so to kill and naturally my worrying wife sent me to the nearby Lowe’s for a couple of flashlights and the like. Well, that was a disaster. No flashlights but plenty of panic. People begging salespeople for generators. I bought a few cheap, little flashlights and got out of there quick.
So of course I figured I might as well gas up the car. So I headed to the nearest Super Wawa only to find huge lines there as well. I got behind an elderly gentleman who had his “posse” with him. He got out of his car, tried to pump some gas only to be baffled by an ill-timed series of questions at the pump like zip code questions, etc. A few inpatient people started giving the old guy some lip so I got out of my car, screamed at them to calm down and helped the man who was dressed oh-so-neatly with coat and tie. He obviously hadn’t met up with the inquiring gas pump but a few beeps later, he was off and running filling up that Oldsmobile.
I pulled up after he left, got my gas and headed back to the rink.
By then, the wind was really whipping up but there were still some games to go. The rink was becoming deserted but I knew I had to be there well into the night to ref another game. By the time I was done for the weekend, the rain had started full blast – I knew Sandy was here…
So how bad could it have gotten? Well, the sump pump decided to be finicky and not work the way it was meant to work. I learned there are two plugs on it for a reason. And the reason is so that people like me don’t have to get up every two hours and manually put the one plug into the outlet and empty the pit full of water and then unplug it only to have to repeat this process for 48 straight hours. By that point I was pretty mad at Sandy.
Then of course there was the non-stop TV reporting of weather people at various places along the east coast. While I appreciate what they do, they definitely go way beyond reporting to scare the you know what out of us. And of course there are the dopes who think standing along the shoreline getting pounded with waves and 60-mph winds is the correct thing to do. What would happen if one of those Weather Channel people simply got swept away? Would the camera person keep shooting? And naturally, stealing from the winter snow reporting gigs, one of them had to pull out the yardstick. Please. I wanted to smack the one guy.
And then my wife. Oh, my wife. Knowing of course I am trying to cool down on the carbs what did she buy? Enough carbs to put me away permanently. And of course cans of soup – in case we lost power to which I asked, “Just how are we heating those bad boys with no power?” She had all good intentions I know.
So with my worry-wart daughter asking, “Do you think we’ll lose power?” and the TV blasting the latest tides, rainfall predictions and video of huge waves bashing the beaches, we watched, waited and listened. We have some large windows in the back of our house and I swore they were ready to blast out at any point. But it didn’t happen. Now taking the dogs outside for their “business” as old people like to call it was also an adventure. I did keep telling my wife as we each had a dog on a leash that insisting by name that they “go” really wasn’t going to make things happen. How would you like to do that in the pouring rain – and 60 mph winds? Uh uh, no way.
So alas we made it through the couple days of horrendous weather. Our area just got lots and lots of rain. Leaves all over, stuff like that. The kids actually listened to me and brought in all the stuff to the garage. Now they just have to get it back out again.
And the worst part of the weekend? Saturday’s mail brought yours truly a jury notice for federal court. Ugh. I think I’d take a storm first…
— Andy Hachadorian