"I keep thinking what would have happened if that was us, so I have to help somehow."
My very dear friend just texted me this, and I think it perfectly sums up how I've been feeling since last week. How a lot of people around the country are feeling.
I didn't come away completely unscathed from Sandy, which ravaged the east coast last week.
A huge limb from a tree in our backyard broke off last Monday, just as the wind started to pick up. The whole tree is going to have to be taken down.
Luckily, someone or something was looking after us, and it only bent our neighbor's fence slightly. Were it a different limb — or the whole tree — our air conditioner, gutters or roof could be badly damaged.
Honestly, I'd be more upset if I didn't know that people had their homes destroyed by the same storm that is just inconveniencing us.
We didn't even lose power, and water coming into the house was so minimal that a couple of towels and creative thinking by my husband took care of the problem.
While I worked from home Monday and Tuesday, comfortable and warm, people in Ocean City, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, etc. were fighting just to stay alive.
If something like this doesn't give you perspective on life, I don't know what will.
My friend who texted me those wise words above has a relative in New Jersey whose neighborhood was basically demolished. Thankfully, she wasn't there during the storm and has a home to go back to.
My mother-in-law is in New York with her mom and brother, who are still without power.
The one thing that's comforting during horrible events like this is that it seems to bring out the best in people.
My friend is getting warm clothes together to donate, and I'll be dropping off cleaning supplies and toiletries to Looney's Pub in Bel Air tomorrow.
Like she said, if it was my family I would hope people would do the same for us.
More selfishly, it's been nice to have a break from all this political nonsense, cut out the finger pointing (for the most part) on both sides and focus on the bigger picture.
I realize Election Day is tomorrow (or yesterday for those of you reading this in our Wednesday edition), but this is a little more important than campaigning.
And, I'm sorry, but it's kind of disgusting to see people using Sandy as a chip in their political game. When death and destruction is involved, keep your personal agendas out of it.
Don't worry, that ends my political ranting for the year.
I'll be glad to see everyone start rebuilding their lives and getting back to the normal. I'm glad Harford County and the majority of Maryland was able to bounce back.
If you're still thinking about donating money, time, or that bag of clothes you were going to give to Goodwill months ago but haven't gotten around to it, this would be a good time to go ahead and do it.
Looney's is accepting donations at all of its locations to the American Red Cross and will match all donations received this week. Want to donate directly to Red Cross? Get information at redcross.org/hurricane-sandy.