Cleaning Up After Irene

New Jersey was hard-hit from Hurricane Irene and although I had a foot of water in my basement and was without power until late yesterday, I am doing much better than others are.

Watching the news last night I saw towns completely washed away by the hurricane. Getting back to "normal" is going to take time.

For my family it means cleaning up our home from the flood waters and hoping that our washer and dryer still work. Small things compared to what others are dealing with.

As many as 40 lives were lost due to this storm and "stuff" can be replaced but life cannot.

I rode out the storm with 4 of my kids and after it was over I was grateful that my family members were all safe.

Losing power was difficult but my neighbor put it all into perspective for me. He is from Bosnia and he told me that growing up he was happy to have food to eat. As we discussed when the power company would restore our electric, he seemed fine with waiting it out.

I thought about the boxes of cereal and jars of peanut butter I had bought in anticipation of the storm. Sure, we would get tired of eating this but hey, we should be grateful to at least have it. So many have nothing at all.

As Americans we are spoiled- no doubt. A storm like Hurricane Irene can remind us all just how fortunate we are.

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