During Hurricane Sandy, I worried about my friends who lived further south than I do. In the relative safety of where I live, the streets were barren, but not wind-tunnels; I was able to walk my dog with no issue. One of my friends called me from the lobby of his building, on East 9th. The concern in his voice is still so palpable to me, all these years later. He stayed with me and The Teenager, as well as her middle school best friend who lived downtown, for the duration of the Hurricane. We ate pasta and watched movies. And of course, we had the television dial set to NY1, keeping tabs as to Sandy’s path. Irma has me back in that mode, this time eyes on CNN, Governor Rick Scott and the constant swirl of the the Hurricane sitting in the corner of the screen. My mother lives in Florida, it’s where she and my Dad moved to in 2013. My father was happy in Miami, he preferred the humidity over the dry heat of Las Vegas, where he’d lived for ten years with my mother. He liked that he could walk out the door of their home and see the water, just across the way. He didn’t even mind the other alta kakers. This was their home now. And, here I am, a few years later, watching Irma loom ominously over what is home to my Mom, now a widow. My Mom? Well, I’ve been concerned about her well-being. On Thursday, my childhood friend rang my Mom up and successfully laid out the worst-case scenario for my Mom, who was planning to stay at her friend’s house in Zone B. Propelled by visions of mold, my Mother left her apartment and went outside, planning to walk along the water, that beloved path of my Father’s, where she often goes to bask in his footsteps. It was still quite sunny, blue skies, cotton-candy clouds. My Mom bumped into a neighbor in the elevator on her way out. They got to talking. This neighbor’s daughter had driven from Orlando to come pick up her parents (said neighbor); the neighbor offered my Mom a ride out of Miami. The two women had never exchanged a word before that moment. A true mitzvah, a kindness of a stranger extended. And at 1pm on Thursday, with Irma charging towards the Florida coastline, my Mom found a way out of the city, inland, to veritable shelter. I slept well knowing my Mom had a solution. Watching CNN right now, Friday morning, and seeing people stranded at the airport is heartbreaking. They have no way out. There are no planes available. There are so many people stuck, or who won’t leave their homes or who don’t have neighbors offering a ride. I’m so lucky I have the Mom I do, a woman who is a survivor, a woman who is not shy, a woman who will speak to a stranger. A woman who has found a way out, driving northbound along sunny 1-95 to safety.
Peggy Whitson. 665 days away. From EARTH!
Sandra Alfonso: “There are so many bike shops in the city. Imagine if each one could raise the money for one of these kids? It would be amazing.”
Kate Millet, RIP. What a pioneer.
Alanis Morissette had post-partum.
Jane Wiedlin: “I had no idea you shouldn’t form a band before knowing how to play instruments.”
Tori Amos: “That’s the harshest teacher I’ve met; harsher than fame. I was in the thick of it during [her 2014 album] Unrepentant Geraldines. But I’m on the other side of it now. I can see possibilities again.”
Miriam Shor: “Ageism is interesting for me because I’ve been playing someone in my 40s since I was 20 or so, but I have experienced it. I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t had to play the ingénue and feel that slip away. So I have to count myself lucky because I don’t feel like anyone is penalizing me for getting older.”
How to spot a garbage person: “Every survivor of sexual misconduct must be taken seriously. Every student accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined.”
Sex toys. A recap.
And now have a laugh with Marsha Warfield.
If you’d like to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, here are some organizations to check out.
Airbnb: Thousands of hosts have housed individuals, families, and relief workers during emergency situations worldwide.