This weekend was the first time I was able to go down to Ocean Grove to see the House. Although the neighbors had told me the house was good after the storm (and emptied the freezer for me), there is nothing like seeing it, touching it for yourself. The train came back online just after Thanksgiving – Leo and I arrived at the station early for the ride down on Friday.
And the house is unscathed – perfect. I am the luckiest girl in the whole USA. The first thing I saw on the emptied porch was a single, perfect bloom on the climbing rose-bush. A great welcome home.
However, the same cannot be said for the beach. And although the damage is certainly much, much less than the other shore towns, I was not ready for what I saw when Leo and I went for our usual morning walk. The board walk is heavily damaged, the fishing club is gone, the pier that housed it on all but gone. The ocean came into town as far as Nagles, a favorite breakfast spot. You can track where the water was by the mounds of sand left by the plowing of the streets.
And if this is the least of the damage of the shore towns, it is going to take a long, long time for ‘Down the Shore’ to remedy the effects of Sandy.
The amazing thing however, is that the beauty of the beach remains. As well as its freedom. And the hope it instills.
It was a wonderful weekend of reconnecting with friends and the House. Having dinner, moving porch furniture back into place, sweeping leaves, washing windows. And giving thanks.