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Letters: Kindness in heart of a storm

Dale Fischer (right), of Youngstown, Ohio and a

Dale Fischer (right), of Youngstown, Ohio and a volunteer with Crisis Response International, hugs Mary Splaine, a local resident who has been in her home since 1975, after helping with the overwhelming clean up effort near the waterfront of Lindenhurst in the wake of superstorm Sandy. (Nov. 6, 2012) Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Superstorm Sandy, with its death, destruction and devastation, has brought about a new, kinder social order, one that is often seen in times of communal sadness. As it brings us all a little closer, we think less of ourselves, if only for a few moments. Those less affected count our blessings for being spared in the wake of such awesome forces. Others whose lives were drastically changed weren't as lucky.

I see the generosity of neighbors helping one another, and it's reminiscent of those days when people were genuinely concerned about the welfare of others, and selflessness was the standard. Having grown up as a teenager in the '70s, when "peace, love and happiness" was the mantra -- when "make love and not war" was in the forefront of youthful minds -- I am pleased and surprised by their return to the heart of my community.

Some say the storm was karmic balance fracturing a society that has long strayed from nature's path. Whatever the catalyst, Sandy's result doesn't matter much to me much in the short run if it makes us a more loving and caring community in the long run.

Glenn Weiss, Island Park

This is about the only time I would say I was fortunate not to live near the water. Nonetheless, we did have to deal with an extended loss of power and keeping 5-year-old twins well cared for and, even worse, occupied for an undetermined number of days without computers or television -- especially SpongeBob!

We lost power at 2 p.m. Monday in the heart of the storm. My neighbor's ancient 40-foot oak tree -- with a loud boom -- blew out our transformer and took out our power, phone and cable lines, instantly ending our modern-day lifestyle.

When the clock stopped, it also seemed time had stopped with it. It felt like the longest Monday of my life, anxiously waiting for the storm to pass. We all drew silly pictures, read stories and played every board game known to man. I don't think I could ever play Trouble again. It took an entire hour for someone to finally win, which was pure torture to parents who are used to multi-tasking and surfing the Web at warp speed.

They say you never truly appreciate anything until you lose it, and I believe this to be true. I wanted to run and call my mother, but the cellphones were down. I wanted to get a nice cold soda from my fridge, but it was warm. I wanted to run to my laptop to write this, but I had to do it the old-fashioned way, writing by a lantern with pen and paper.

It was nice not to have everyone rush off to work or school, not to have to answer phone calls or write out bills -- the world seemed to be on hold. Perhaps it was to give us this opportunity, even as difficult as it was at times, to truly appreciate the things that matter most in life -- each other.

Carolyn Mandelino, Massapequa


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