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Norwalk Neighbors Notes: Getting Back to Serene

Let’s face it: We’re weather weary. Exhausted. It’s no wonder we feel worn out. We had a lot to do. We had to scour stores to find supplies. Fight brother against brother for the last battery at Wal-Mart. Fight sister against sister for the last bag of ice at Stew Leonard’s. It was stock up and buck up. Gear up or get out. This was going to be a storm . Our generation (not to say our generators) would be tested. And tested they were.

For Karen Stark of Guilford , it was gear up, get out and come to Norwalk for two nights. Armed with life’s essentials such as flashlights, filet mignon, fine wine and cheese, Karen was ready to hunker down. Good thing, too. Back in Guilford, trees came down and docks, decks and roads were washed away. Guilford was without lights and water for nine days. How did she regain her serene after Irene?

“First thing I did when the power came back was to take a shower. I took a long, luxurious shower and then I did my laundry. We didn’t have hot water for so long, I’d almost forgotten what clean feels like. It was challenging, but it did force you to innovate and develop survival skills like grilling ... which had been a phobia of mine.”

For Sue Vandeventer of Weed Avenue , vacuuming was key to regaining her serenity. “My dog sheds so much, I have to vacuum every day, otherwise you can see clumps in the corners. So for me and my peace of mind, I thoroughly cleaned my house. For my kids, it was getting back to SpongeBob, Xbox and the Internet.”

When the stores ran out of everything, and we discovered just how ill-prepared we were, we relied on friends and neighbors. Jennifer Magnoli of Clinton Avenue came to the rescue. She had sterno to spare. How else to make that first critical cup of morning coffee? Raveis real estate agent Chris Titus of Wolfpit Avenue joined his next-door neighbors for his cup of java.

Chris said, “The storm brought people together. There were so many people outside walking in the neighborhood. We had nice conversations with people we usually don’t get to see. That doesn’t happen when everyone is home on their computers or watching television. It felt like we were transported back to the 1930s or '40s. It was so unusual.” How has Chris regained the serene after Irene? Cooking. "We’re so appreciative to have the stove back and, of course, the Internet. It was exasperating not having power, but we are so grateful that it was only for 36 hours.”

Have a case of insurance adjuster blues? Serenity guru, Master Yogi Brian of Park Hill Avenue advises getting out and walking. “There are huge benefits to getting back to nature. Look for ways to get outside and walk around your neighborhood.  If you eat right and walk right, you feel much better. It’s also good to remember ancient yoga wisdom: Material things will bring suffering if you are deeply attached because material things crack and break.” Or just have gone with the wind.

To have your social event, announcement or honor included in Norwalk Neighbors Notes, email Jeanne at .

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