Boomeresque:Definition
1. Adj.: Describing a person born between 1 Jan. 1946 and 31 Dec. 1964
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3. See also, Boomer, Esq.: A Baby Boomer who is also a licensed attorney (See, e.g., About).

Another Victim of Hurricane Sandy — Moi :(

by Suzanne Fluhr on November 12, 2012 · 50 comments

Hurricane Sandy Damage, North End of Brigantine, New Jersey

Hurricane Sandy Damage, North End of Brigantine, New Jersey

Hurricane Sandy Damage, North End of Brigantine, New Jersey

In October of 2012, at our Center City Philadelphia apartment, Hurricane Sandy was almost a non-event for us. We had flashlights ready, canned food and bottled water, but while a cousin who lives in Red Bank, New Jersey didn’t have her electric power restored for eleven days, we barely even heard the wind. Our closest call came when my husband, Steve, took our dog, Dino, out for a walk as the storm was winding down and a large tree branch fell between them, just missing them both. Yikes!

Yesterday, we finally drove down to Brigantine, New Jersey, to see first hand how our vacation house and the island had fared. Brigantine is the first barrier island north of Atlantic City. We had been told that our house, on the southern end of the island, had survived. The northern end of the island—-not so much.

Our drive to Brigantine was eerily uneventful. The Atlantic City Expressway was pristine, with leaves still on the trees.  This was in contrast to a drive to Brigantine during the summer when a thunderstorm with derecho (straight) winds of 60 miles per hour had strewn the highway with debris and downed signs.

Our Brigantine street and our house were indeed intact. In fact, if you didn’t know the eye of a hurricane (or technically, a post tropical cyclone) had passed over it two weeks ago, you would never have guessed that to be the case. We decided to take our dog, Dino, on one of our favorite walks, a two mile loop along a jetty, across the ocean beach and then back through the dunes to our house. As we walked along the street paralleling the inlet between the ocean and the bay, we saw that Sandy had not been so benign a presence a mere three blocks from our house. There, we could see that the sand had been plowed like snow to clear the street and driveways.  The jetty extends along the inlet behind a row of upscale houses.  On the jetty side of the houses, there was extensive wind and water damage.

Stranded Boat on Brigantine Beach; For Sale - As Is

Stranded Boat on Brigantine Beach; For Sale – As Is

We arrived at the ocean beach at dead low tide.  A “permanent” life guard tower had obviously been not so permanent and was completely missing. The dunes facing the beach had been eroded, but were still standing. We walked along the beach until we came to the path through the dunes leading back towards our house. We walked about a quarter of a mile into the dunes before we were confronted by an impassable flooded area.  So, with Dino panting along, we headed back to the beach and tried another path.  Same problem. We had to retrace our steps back to the jetty to walk back to our street and house.

After giving Dino a drink and positioning his dog bed near the front glass door from where he likes to keep an eye on the world, we drove to one of our favorite island restaurants, the Macedonian Grill. There were few customers, but it was open. In fact, it had just re-opened. The waitress explained that it had been flooded with two feet of sea water during the storm and the floor had been replaced the previous night.

After lunch, we drove two and a half miles to the north end of the island. There were piles of sand and debris outside all the houses, including the one we almost bought five years ago. (Thank you for not accepting our offer!) During the storm, we had seen photographs of waves crashing over the seawall that “protects” (or used to protect) the last few streets of the town of Brigantine. The cement promenade atop the seawall was still standing, and we climbed the stairs so we could walk along it to see what had happened to the beach beyond.

That’s when I became one of Sandy’s “victims”.  Mesmerized by the devastated beach — now more of a sandbar — I didn’t watch where I was walking and didn’t notice a place where the sidewalk had been lifted. My splat onto the sidewalk, face first, happened in slow motion (or so it seemed). Through a wave of pain, I was aware of Steve by my side, helping me up as I watched blood spatter on the sidewalk from what had to be my face. We got back to the house and cleaned me up. Miraculously, nothing was broken—except my glasses and my confidence. Judging from the scrapes on my hands, I must have broken my fall — just enough to protect my bones.

After My Face Plant on the Brigantine Seawall

After My Face Plant on the Brigantine Seawall

On this, the day after my inelegant dive, I’m sore and look like I was on the losing side of a fight.  Final score—a shutout by the Sandy rearranged seawall pavement.  Me — zero.  Steve came home from work to walk Dino so I can hide inside, but tomorrow, I am going to have to venture out and face the stares. It’s too bad I can’t become a temporary devout Muslim and don’t have a burqa I can wear until I heal.

I’m only allowing myself this one day pity party. Tomorrow, I’ll “face” the stares, get on with my responsibilities and be immensely grateful that Sandy didn’t take my life or the lives of any loved ones, and that we don’t have to live in a storm shelter or FEMA trailer — and I’ll make that contribution I’ve been meaning to make to the Red Cross.

This post is now part of a blog round up on the theme of “Fall” — get it? You can check out the other entries at: One Road at a Time.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Lucretia Coleman November 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm

O-M-G, Suzanne! I’m so relieved to hear that you survived your fall without serious injury. I’m also glad to learn that your Brigantine home withstood Sandy’s fury. As I read your article I cringed with pain. I, too, fell a few years ago in the same manner–face first and I braced my fall with my hands as my face plunged toward the asphalt. My fall felt like “slow motion”, too. It felt like something or someone (maybe, an Angel?) grabbed me by my collar and slowed my descent.

Feel better soon!

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer November 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Thanks, Lu. Judging from the pain in my arm muscles today, I would have to say that I definitely must have used them to break my fall—-although I like the notion that maybe it was angels.

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avatar Steven Albelda November 12, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Still painful to hear about it.

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avatar Gill November 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Ouch! Suzanne, here’s hoping you’re a quick healer. I’m sorry that you bore the consequences of Sandy like that – how unfair! Hopefully you’ll receive more sympathy than anything else when you venture out.

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer (Suzanne) November 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Fortunately, it is cold and rainy here in Philadelphia today, so I put on a hat with a wide brim, applied some make up to try to cover my wounds and ventured out to walk Dino. I kept my head down (and my eyes glued to the pavement!), but I hope I didn’t scare any other animals or small children.

I hope it’s mostly healed by the day after Thanksgiving 😉

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avatar Nancy November 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Sorry about the fall. I’ve done a face plant or two and the results are never pretty. I am glad your home and neighborhood are intact and your face will heal quickly. In the meantime, you have a great story to tell!

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer (Suzanne) November 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I’m very grateful that I did no more damage than to soft tissue and my pride.

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avatar Ruth Banks November 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Moment I saw your injuries, I recognized that fall: Shellshocked, distracted, the slo-mo splat, shattered glasses. I looked exactly like that after my last hospital visit to my mom. I think (hope) those “stares” will be knowing ones filled w/empathy. What Sandy caused is traumatic and people will be suffering in many ways for a long time.

Thanks for sharing your trip back. Glad your home is safe & sound, and hope you heal quickly!

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer (Suzanne) November 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Clearly, we have to pay more attention when we’re distracted by worries—and we’re at that age when worrying about aged parents is often right at the top of the list.

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avatar David Eskin November 13, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Thanks, Suzanne, for the on the spot Brigantine report. I thought about you all during the storm. I know the walk you described very well and am glad for the update.
I agree, Center City Philadelphia was spared pretty much everything. We were very fortunate. See you soon!

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avatar David Eskin November 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Thanks, Suzanne, for the on the spot Brigantine report. I thought about you all during the storm. I know the walk you described very well and am glad for the update.
I agree, Center City Philadelphia was spared pretty much everything. We were very fortunate. See you soon!

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer (Suzanne) November 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Thanks, David.

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avatar Stacia November 13, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Oy vey! On the one hand, I’m so sorry this happened to you. On the other, I’m relieved. It means I’m not the only one who loses her balance and goes face down into the macadam (or boardwalk). I did it last winter and can’t blame it on a hurricane. I just wasn’t looking where I was going and SPLAT! I was lying in the street with bloody hands and knees. I really understand the SHOCK you must’ve experienced. Kids fall all the time and it’s no big deal. But after you’ve kissed 40 goodbye….falling takes a major toll on the psyche. Am I down for the count? What the hell happened? But you fell in the best possible way. Right next to a DOCTOR! Way to go, Suzanne!

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avatar Leslie In Portland, Oregon November 14, 2012 at 1:32 am

I am so sorry that you suffered that fall and hope you fully recover from your injuries very soon. In the meantime, don’t worry about how your face looks: your abrasions are heroic storm wounds that pale against your great bone structure and beautiful eyes. (And I bet you have a great smile too! How wonderful that your teeth were not hurt…)

May the route from your Brigantine house to the beach heal along with you, and may Dino offer you incomparable canine consolation along the way!

Go, Suzanne!

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avatar Roz Warren November 14, 2012 at 2:00 am

I’m glad your shore home remains standing and wish you’d been able to remain standing yourself.

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avatar Darylene November 14, 2012 at 3:26 am

Sorry to hear about your fall, but glad you are ok and didn’t break anything.
Feel better soon.
Darylene

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer November 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Thank you Darylene. My pride is still a little wounded—good for humility. The other stuff is slowly healing. I realize that I’m very fortunate to have injuries amenable to the tincture of time —- and ibuprofen.

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avatar Jenny Gonzalez November 15, 2012 at 1:10 am

Suzanne
I’m glad you warned me before seeing your picture. I hope it is not as painful as it looks. Feel better. Jenny P.S. Don’t forget to tell your Mom before she sees you.

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avatar Barbara Cacao November 16, 2012 at 8:29 am

Suzanne,

so sorry to hear about your accident! I hope you feel better now. Here in Europe we ‘just’ hear the news stories about the hurricane, with little detail about how it affect people. So, thanks for sharing your story!

Barbara

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer November 16, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Thanks, Barbara. I’m actually one of the very lucky ones. Over 100 people lost their lives and many lost their homes.

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avatar Lane November 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Wow. What a story. Glad you’re OK.

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer November 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Thanks. Now I have headaches 🙁 My husband doesn’t think it’s a subdural hematoma 🙂

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avatar Beth November 17, 2012 at 10:52 am

OUCH! When I saw your picture, I was sure you were going to tell me you broke something! How you managed not to is beyond me! Hope you have a quick mend!

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avatar Irene November 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I’m so sorry! It’s horrible how these things happen in one minute of inattention. I once fell like that when I was at a parent college orientation with my son in Boston. Needless to say, he was mortified by my clumsiness 🙂 Hope you are healing. Best, Irene

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer (Suzanne) November 19, 2012 at 1:01 am

I was glad no one but my husband was there to witness my tumble. However, some passersby were very solicitous and kindly provided some tissues and wipes.

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avatar Madaline Fluhr November 23, 2012 at 5:45 am

Been meaning to respond to your tale of woe, a tale heightened, of course, by the larger tale of woe that is the setting of your mishap. Your expression in the photo is so intense! For some reason I think shaken up as you were, you appear to be channeling Dad, Minnie and even Mom! You look like all 3 of them rolled into one in this photo. In the photo you have Dad’s intense eyes and mom’s bone structure and, as for Minnie….I can’t quite place her, but she’s there! You look very raw (literally & figuratively, of course) and I hope you are feeling enormously better and are on the mend. I tripped yesterday in my house and did a number on my shin! I immediately thought of you! Luckily, it was just bruised.

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer November 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Moral of the story: we are at a Baby Boomer age when it behooves us to watch where we’re going at all times. I have new found respect for our mother. She’s not slow. She’s appropriately careful!!

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avatar Koren @ City Gal December 7, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Oh my! It really is so terrible! I live in Manhattan and my neighborhood was barely affected either, but then you see the aftermath and it’s tough to escape!

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Suzanne Fluhr Just One Boomer December 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Around Philly, the main problem was power failures in the leafy green suburbs caused by trees and tree limbs falling on wires, but certain parts of the South Jersey shore really took a pounding. It’s strange, our son has lived in Miami for 6 years without a significant storm, but up north it has been two in as many years: Irene and then Sandy.

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avatar Neva Fels September 7, 2013 at 12:28 am

At first I didn’t recognize you. You really “took a digger.” Glad you healed without any scars. The damage of you and the area was heart wrenching to read.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr September 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm

And today the almost repaired boardwalk and a block of stores in another NJ Beach town hit by Sandy are burning. Some folks can’t catch a break.

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avatar Patti September 7, 2013 at 12:53 am

Okay, so taking the fall really sucks or bites (as in bites the concrete) so to speak, but aside from my empathy for your fall, I couldn’t help but giggle that you took a photo of your face because after all, as a blogger, everything is prime for a blog post! Thanks for linking up!

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr September 12, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Come to think of it, you’re right! My husband is still getting used to me asking him to take photos of me here and there (check out my Thanksgiving turkey posts — me with a raw turkey, me with a cooked turkey, me with turkey bones). This is after years of giving him a hard time whenever he wanted me to be in a photo. “No, I don’t think I need to be in the photo with the German World War II bunker in Normandy.” (PS: I’m in the phot — not smiling.)

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avatar santafetraveler September 7, 2013 at 12:54 am

Actually, score was even, Sandy 1 and you 1- the house was fine. Hard to imagine that storm from afar. The area I grew up in in Manhattan was totally flooded. Seeing the photos on the Internet was weird and sad.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr September 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Billie, you are exactly right. Actually, my score was more like 100 if we’re going by bad stuff that DIDN’T happen to me and to my loved ones.

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avatar Cathy Sweeney September 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Face first — never a good way to fall. It’s funny how those events always do seem like it’s happening in slow motion. You really did have a lot to be grateful for that day — everything could have been so much worse.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr September 12, 2013 at 8:35 pm

As I said to my husband on my last birthday (and his big 6-0), the rest is gravy. We are grateful every day—even when our flight is delayed (yay, we’re on a trip), the pipes freeze (yay, we live in a country with safe, indoor running water) — you get the picture.

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avatar Marcia September 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Sorry to hear/read about your fall, Suzanne, and relieved for you that it wasn’t too serious. Falls tend to shake us up in many ways so I’m also glad you decided to face the stares and resume your life. We can’t let things like falls get the better of us.

When Patti posted the theme, my fall was the first thing that came to mind. Although it’s been several months now, it still felt immediate and raw. I’ve yet to turn my notes into a post — I’ve not even re-read them. Maybe now I will. Thanks for sharing.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr September 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Marcia, please do. I don’t want to be the only Boomer Travel Blogger with a fall — as in fall down blog post. 😉 It really is unnerving. When I watch toddlers play, I am always intrigued by how little a fall means to them (for starters, they don’t have that far to fall); whereas, every time I speak to my 88 year old mother, she tells me about another fall among her friends — usually accompanied by time in a hospital and often broken bones.

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avatar Mike September 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm

I could have sworn I commented on this before! I’m glad you guys were all safe. And this made cringe a second time seeing that photo of you, Suzanne! 🙁

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr September 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Mike, I could have sworn you did too. Maybe you mentioned it elsewhere. Anyway, thanks for cringing a second time 😉 , but take a look at my response to Cathy Sweeney’s comment above. That’s how I feel

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avatar maxwell ivey November 15, 2013 at 5:26 am

Hello; Decided to stop by after you left a comment on one of my posts. As a lifetime texan who has been through several storms, none of which were as bad as sandy thank goodness, this story caught my ear. I’m blind and use a screen reader. I applaud your decision to look forward not behind. sometimes you have to allow yourself a few minutes hours or maybe even a whole day; but then you have to get on with life and move forward. Its lucky that your home wasn’t damaged like all the others. And your doggie sounds cool. Our penny likes to sit outside and watch the deer or chase the squirrels. thanks for sharing and take care, max

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avatar Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) November 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Thanks, Max. We really were very lucky. Just a few feet of extra elevation can make a big difference. Still, I’m not sure we were brilliant to buy a house on a barrier Island.

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