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gulls

Calm gulls in Hoboken pre-storm

My family and I are safe, warm and fed, but my heart goes out to those who fared worse in Hurricane Sandy: many have lost so much. But amazing things are happening: from so many friends and family checking in on facebook, twitter, texts, calls and emails to neighbors and businesses offering free food, heat and charging stations to the NYU team who transported babies down 9 flights of stairs in the dark to Ben Stiller helping out in Brooklyn to a single kitten being rescued from a storm drain. These are just a few pictures before this week. And hopefully after a while they’ll be as they were.

belmar

Belmar, New Jersey, before the boardwalk was swept away

After A While by Veronica A. Shoffstall

“After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul

magnolia

My parents’ magnolia is no more, but a new flowering tree will be planted soon

and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t always mean security.

battery-park

Battery Park, NYC before the flooding

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child.

path

Hoboken PATH Station is still closed

And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

hoboken-pier

Hoboken Pier where the water rose and ran all the way through town

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

hester-flowers

Flowers from my last sale at Hester Street Fair in the Lower East Side, hope they can be up and running again next weekend

And you learn that you really can endure you really are strong you really do have worth

tribeca

Tribeca, downtown NYC

and you learn and you learn with every goodbye, you learn.”