Monday, April 29, 2013

No Springtime in the Rockaways

My in-laws' front yard in the Rockaways.
We visited my in-laws this weekend, for the first time since the hurricane.  It was, for me, an unexpected consequence of Sandy:  all the vegetation in the Rockaways is dead, killed by saltwater and sand.  The typical suburban landscape with trees, bushes, flowers, and lawns looks strange--desolate and barren. I don't remember noticing that about post-hurricane New Orleans with its urban landscape or devastated beach communities with no lawns.  Or maybe it's because I didn't know those communities as well in the first place.  I wonder if this is what the tsunami-inundated places looked like a year or more later--brown where there had once been green?  People in the Rockaways, who have hurricane fatigue, are again cleaning--this time clearcutting gardens and lawns, piling dead wood on the curb for pick up, shoveling up inches of debris-filled soil.  My in-laws have lost all their greenery, front and back, their little bit of yard filled with glass and sand.  And, having only just completed repairs inside the house, I'm not sure they can even contemplate repairs outside.  Especially with Ma having a cornea transplant next Tuesday and Gong starting cancer treatment on Wednesday.  For all of these reasons, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

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