July 17, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Musings on Winter Storm Jonas

Don and I moved into our home in May 1987. When we started shopping for a home over President’s Day weekend, we looked at about a dozen houses before we came across the one we eventually purchased. It had been on the market for a few months, and it was the dead of winter. We saw the house, and then came back with my parents to get their opinion. I remember walking in with the realtor, and my father said to Don and me, “You’d be crazy to pass on this house.”

Don and I visited the neighborhood a third time and brought our dog. We parked in front and walked around the property and up and down the street. Neighbors greeted us with open arms, and we felt so welcome even though we had not yet made an offer to buy.

Fast forward to January 2016. Thanks to the news media, we had several days to prepare for Winter Storm Jonas. Everyone in our area was taking the warnings seriously. Events were postponed and shops were closed for the weekend with the expectation that the weather prediction would be correct.

I had done food shopping for a client who is unable to leave the house and made sure all her prescriptions were picked up at the pharmacy. My husband went shopping earlier in the week than usual and reported that the pickings were very slim. This storm was being taken very seriously by all!

Once we got word of the pending storm, Don was wise to start the snow blower to make sure everything was still in working order from last year’s tune-up. We were prepared with rock salt, snow shovels, a working snow blower and a fridge filled with food. We prayed for no power outages since we never got a generator after Hurricane Sandy.

When we went to bed on Friday night with the prediction of 100 percent chance of snow, we felt comfort that we were prepared as best we could be. I prayed for the safety of our friends, family and community. My thoughts went out to the workers who had no choice but to be there for their jobs; policemen, firefighters, doctors, nurses, home health aides, the staff at my uncle’s assisted living facility, the workers at PSE&G and the list goes on.

Sunday morning at 9 (as early as the town of West Orange allows), Don was outside cranking up his snow blower and working his magic on the driveway. I decided to pitch in and use the old-fashioned shovel to clear the front walk and steps. The mood on our street was like something out of the happy parts of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Everyone was excited to be out in the sunshine with their shovels and snow blowers, and catching up with neighbors.

It was heartwarming to see how everyone pitched in to help each other out. The snow was heavier than expected and the drifts were higher than our waists. In spite of the physical effort that we were all making to clear our driveways and walks, it felt wonderful to be outside with our neighbors and working together. On a typical day we are all busy with our careers, our families, and getting through each day with our sanity. It was fun to be outside in the fresh air with rosy cheeks and catching up. The storm gave us permission to be “in the moment” and not worry about anything except getting the snow cleared while having some fun. It made me think back to our first visit to our home in February 1987, and how our lives have evolved as a result of this important choice.

Happy Organizing!

Eileen Bergman is a professional organizer, a proud member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). Eileen may be reached at (973)303 3236 or [email protected].

By Eileen Bergman

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