Mother Earth - LIFE'S A BEACH Blog at - 301376


Apr. 20, 2013 8:42 pm 
Updated: Apr. 26, 2013 5:13 pm


Monday, April 22, 2013

After the sorrowful events of this past week, I was blessed today by the opportunity to see major corporations and everyday people working hand in hand to improve this little corner of the earth.

Long Beach, NY was one of the communities most heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy.  Even today, 5 1/2 months after the storm, over a third of our residents have yet to return.  Houses must be raised from ground level to a minimum of 8 feet above.  No living areas will be permitted at ground level.  It may be used for garage and storage space or workshop, but however it is used, raising a house is an expensive proposition.  Insurance carriers have been slow to make reimbursements and banks even slower to forward the funds to homeowners.  Many people just do not have the wherewithal to advance the type of money necessary, so it becomes a Catch 22 for them.

Today, however, in celebration of Earth Day, Home Depot, Viacom, Starbucks, the NY Islanders NHL team, JetBlue, and many local and regional businesses donated materials and employees to help the residents bring back our "City by the Sea."  They cleaned up sand that still seems to be everywhere, built raised beds and planted flowers in fresh soil, sent teams in wet suits to clean debris out of the canals that line our north shore, helped homeowners make the front of their property a place of pride.  It seemed as if everyone was involved, from the local scouts and elementary classes to teams from nearby colleges and neighbors who formed teams to ensure whole blocks were attended, not just the houses with inhabitants, so young couples with small children were working next to senior citizens.  

Now, just as an army runs on its stomach, volunteers must feel appreciated.  What better way than by offering them something to eat and drinks to keep them hydrated.  Since there were four areas of intense concentration somewhat distant from each other, there were different "feeding stations" for lack of a better name.  Folks working in the west end were fed by a BBQ restaurant, run by the most civic minded couple I have ever met, who also happen to serve excellent food.  The folks working in the center of town were treated to pizzas supplied by our city manager in conjunction with our oldest pizzaria.  East end and canals workers were fed at our soup kitchen courtesy of our smaller, family owned supermarket and a local deli and restaurant.  We offered 6 ft heros, cold salads, coffee, tea, soda, and water.  And we will all be back tomorrow to do it again.

Once again, I have been humbled by the willingness of total strangers, with no personal connection to Long Beach, to give up their time and money to help us get back as close to normal as possible.  I have also had my eyes opened to the generosity of Home Depot.  They have been a presence here since the storm with truckloads of donated materials and staff who know how to use them.  And as long as I'm sounding like their PR man, I might add, they are not even a Long Beach business.  Their nearest store is located in another town that was as badly damaged.  They have done the same for the other town.

So celebrate Earth Day.  Plant a flower or vegetable, even if it is in a pot for your window.  Pick up a bit of trash you may see on the ground, it won't kill you.  Be mindful how you use water.  Try to minimize your carbon footprint.  We only have one earth.

Apr. 20, 2013 10:42 pm
So touching! Thank you for sharing with us!
Apr. 21, 2013 12:48 am
Thank you BigShotsMom! It is so good to hear about the all of the good that is being done to help people and the environment. :)
Apr. 21, 2013 2:27 am
I'm glad there are people who volunteer to make our world a better place! There are many great businesses who help out their communities, too! What an inspirational story!
Apr. 21, 2013 4:44 am wonderful that there are those that are willing to help out.Reading this brought tears to my eyes.Thank you for sharing this very touching story.
Apr. 21, 2013 4:45 am
Touching and inspirational BSM. So happy help is still there after all these months. Wish I could load the food here and drive out, would love to feed those volunteers with you!
Apr. 21, 2013 5:53 am
What a very touching blog! It is so good to hear about the good people/businesses in our great country. I wish I were closer, I'd love to feed those volunteers also!
Apr. 21, 2013 7:59 am
Yeah, what everybody else said! I know from first hand experience with tornados that the wreckage can remain long after the news has forgotten about it and not everyone has proper insurance to return the home they lost. I'm so glad there are volunteers that came out to help your area!
Apr. 21, 2013 11:12 am
Loved this blog and the message you sent. Know too, that those of us on the west coast have not forgotten you either. Last night 4/20, my niece was involved in a huge benefit concert in Portland Or, for Sandy relief. Aaron Neville was here as a headliner and it was very well received. We are all one nation. After the events of earlier this week, I really hope that others that always think of us as divided, realize there is a common thread and a link that joins us all.
Apr. 21, 2013 11:12 am
Apr. 21, 2013 11:15 am
It really is great to see how people help each other, and without being prodded by someone. They just step up! I have to say, however, that you have spoiled my Earth Day celebration. Normally I would burn an old tire or ignite barrel of diesel fuel, but thanks to your post, I'd feel just a bit guilty. Meanie!
Apr. 21, 2013 1:18 pm
Ladybuggs, thanks for reading and commenting. It is so once to see you back on the Buzz!
Apr. 21, 2013 1:20 pm
Denise, if one can say anything good comes from disaster, then I think it would be to see how people let their best selves come out.
Apr. 21, 2013 1:22 pm
Sueb, the story was inspired by the goodness. Wouldn't it be great if it could be a perpetual circle!
Apr. 21, 2013 1:24 pm
Manella, you Canadians sent crews and Red Cross workers last fall. They were much appreciated.
Apr. 21, 2013 1:29 pm
Lucky Noodles, I have met some of the most interesting people, just by handing out sandwiches.
Apr. 21, 2013 1:32 pm
Mother Ann, we could use a good Mexican restaurant. One had opened last September but sustained too much damage to reopen. And this is a town that is really into good food!
Apr. 21, 2013 1:34 pm
Cat, I was all over Google maps trying to figure out if you are near the flood area! So I don't have to worry you'll float away, just blow away.
Apr. 21, 2013 1:38 pm
Avon, the PNW has been very supportive of us. We received a donation of handmade quilts from Long Beach! WA that were just beautiful. And we are so grateful. We are a great country, in spite of our differences.
Apr. 21, 2013 1:40 pm
Doc, I saw your garden, I think you treat Mother Earth quite well!
Apr. 21, 2013 2:39 pm
a very inspiring blog! so many great folks involved in a common good. i loved the part that volunteers were even helping restoreunihabitated homes...just to keep the home values up (imo.) yes, it's easy to forget about a tradegy when it's not in the news. home depot head-quarters is in the great state of ga. and i also have no connection to them, but yep...i'll blow their horn too. again great blog! god bless ya!
Apr. 21, 2013 4:15 pm
Gary, we have had many volunteers from the great state of GA! They came on up right after the storm and some have stayed on to help with the rebuild.
Apr. 21, 2013 5:20 pm
Given the events of MA and TX, a refreshing story like yours is a medicine we need. Thank you for writing it for us!
Deb C 
Apr. 21, 2013 6:28 pm
This is such an inspiring blog. In times of crisis, we see the best of people. The desire to help, show love and concern for their neighbors, no matter how far away they may live, gives us solace. Thank you for sharing.
Apr. 22, 2013 12:46 am
Mike Harvey, my thoughts and prayers are with you and Linda. You were high on my list of people willing to go far above and beyond to offer a helping hand. I firmly believe goodness shall prevail.
Apr. 22, 2013 12:49 am
Deb C, in light of events in and around Boston you know first hand how folks reach out to help. I am so thankful your troubles seem to be over.
Apr. 22, 2013 5:24 am
Thanks for letting us know what's happening! Sure wish the news would give us good stories like this. Can't imagine what it would be like to go through a flood and the cleanup. Glad people are helping each other.
Apr. 22, 2013 5:32 am
Thank you for such a good blog. Wish we heard more good news like this more often.
Apr. 22, 2013 6:17 am
Thanks for the reminder to love our planet and love our neighbor!
Apr. 22, 2013 6:30 am
Great Blog!! I planting "Rose of Sharon" seeds today along the sides of the wooded area behind our house. Hopefully they will take. They are seeds from my mom's plants and she passed away 2010. It would be great if they grow.
Apr. 22, 2013 9:51 am
Indiana Peggy, I so agree. They swarm to tragedy ad nauseum and ignore the smaller good things.
Apr. 22, 2013 9:53 am
Paula, thanks for reading it. Happy Earth Day!
Apr. 22, 2013 9:54 am
Bibi, the two go hand in hand don't they. Thanks for stopping by.
Apr. 22, 2013 9:56 am
Linda(LMT). That is such a lovely way to honor your mother. I had a Rose of Sharon outside my house for years. I bet it is still there, it was so pretty.
Apr. 23, 2013 9:55 am
It's amazing what we can accomplish when we put our hearts and minds to something. Even little things can make a difference. Thank you for being such a good steward in your community and inspiring the rest of us.
Apr. 23, 2013 11:46 am
Nice to hear from you 1st Lady. The residents really stepped up and the corporate sponsors were very generous.
Apr. 24, 2013 7:47 am
Thank you so much for posting this blog BigShotsMom! With so much negative in life, I love to read about the goodness that's all around us. It feeds my soul to hear about people pulling together to do good. On Earth Day, Marianne and I took a long walk around the Bolsa Chica on the California Coastline. As we walked and talked and enjoyed the beauty, she kept bending down to pick up trash. Just that one little act (if we all did it) would make a difference.
Apr. 25, 2013 10:20 am
Thanks for sharing your great photos, Candice. You are so right. If every person did one small thing the difference would be huge. Unfortunately, so many people think it is ok to litter. When did that become acceptable?
Apr. 25, 2013 1:00 pm
We should all be thankful we still have personal resources we can share! Of course nature has no gender nor does any religious God. All claim a spirit without gender. Why blame our ladies for nature, ha. Florida is a State that is blessed as are a few more. They have a fare economy! Thanks for helping your neighbors, just do not ask us to have a Hillary Community, anywhere!
Apr. 25, 2013 8:55 pm
Thanks for sharing. Know how you feel. I'm from Ortley Beach, NJ and have never felt such an outpouring of love during what I'd consider the worst thing that I have ever been through.
Apr. 26, 2013 5:10 pm
Bungal, thanks for stopping by. Florida has also had their share of weather disasters. I actually did some volunteer work down there after Rita.
Apr. 26, 2013 5:13 pm
JaynieG, my heart goes out to you folks too. I guess you know exactly how I feel. I hope your community gets back to normal as quickly as possible.
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About Me
I am a mother, grandmother, great grandmother by marriage and great aunt. My empty nest seems full most of the time and they all are ready to eat at any moment. I am busier now than I ever imagined once I retired. I now manage our parish friendship kitchen and help in the food bank. Part of what I love most is helping our clients learn to eat nutritiously on their very meager budgets and Allrecipes has been an invaluable tool.
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I love anything i can make from scratch, i like to bake breads, rolls, cookies, cobblers, pies. I like to make large dinners too and entertain frequently. I love trying new recipes out on friends and family. Sunday brunch has become a family focal point and if something new doesn't appear they act deprived.
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I didn't really grow up with any. Neither my mother or grandmother were great cooks. I learned to cook by trial and error on my own. But I married into a family of excellent cooks who went all out for holidays. All of my children cook well and we work well together preparing holiday meals.
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My first successful yeast bread. I spent years being terrified of yeast. The first time my MIL complimented me on a meal I felt like I had won an Emmy.
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My early years of cooking were one fiasco after another. I could actually cook fairly well, but had no idea when to start things so they all were ready at the same time. Some meals took whole evenings. My poor husband never once complained, although he did once mention he hoped dinner would be over before it was time for breakfast.
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