Gratitude from NJ to Texas and vice versa in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy!

November 8, 2012

A delightful New Jersey – Texas encounter this morning on the corner of Elm Street and Elmwood Avenue!

Finally a crew came to deal with a tree that blocked the street and corner since Sandy. The residents of the corner apartment building and some further toward Bloomfield Avenue were without power for 10 days and it is very cold. (I have been very blessed, only a few hours out of power!)

I awoke to about 8 inches of snow bending branches to the ground and blocking sidewalks. So I shoveled my walk, cut branches and walked to my St.Peter Claver church around the corner to see the needs there. A hard hat crew-man met me, he saw me shoveling and thought he would come and help, but I had done enough.  He was from Wisconsin. I told him I’d be back in an hour and would love to give him and the crew a nice hot healthy tea and  organic cereal breakfast at my house if they would like. He thought that would be lovely, “If they had time.”

I got to the church, did some shoveling there and visited with Father Carlson.

When I went back to the tree job, I talked to other crewmen who were now there. They were grateful for the invite but said they didn’t have time. This crew was from Texas and were the electrical linemen replacing the telephone pole which broke in half dropping a transformer and cables into the street. And there was one from Arizona! I was told my Wisconsin man was part of the earlier tree crew. Sorry I missed him.

Arriving home with no breakfast customers I puzzled what I could do for a little thank you.  “Hope For the Flowers” to the rescue. I thought there were 4 of them, but brought 8 just in case. When I arrived it was a delicate moment. A huge cherry picker truck was backing in to raise the new pole so I waited and watched, not wanting to bother them or make them worried that I might get hurt. When a crewman came near me I gave him a bag of 4 books especially autographed from New Jersey to Texas. “For each of them and their families.”  The next thing I knew a man appeared with Dunkin’ Donuts and coffee so the fellows took a break. A local neighbor and I joined the comraderie. The operations manager, Joel Michna, appeared and got a book too. The neighbor also asked if she could have one. Good thing I brought 8!

There were 60 from Texas in this crew and 40 more Texans on a separate crew. more than 4000 out of state and 700 NJ workers in our PSE&G service area. Quite a thing to think about the organization of it all.  These men all drove up and were living in a hotel at the airport but were now transferred to a New Brunswick hotel even though they were still going to be working in Montclair. That’s pretty far away! They told us that they had one very trying experience on a mountain in Caldwell. Everybody laughed, because we call it a hill and they call such things mountains. One of them advised that we get rid of all the trees which cause so much damage, and we laughed again.  They also don’t have “this white stuff!” which you see in the background.

It was a lovely morning, and I was emailed this neat picture and note too!

Trina

P.S. Joel had the picture taken and is in the middle.
 Nov 8, 2012, at 2:54 PM, Michna, Joel D. wrote:

Trina, we truly appreciated the kindness you and your friend exhibited to us ole Texas boys! We take great pride in the fact that we are fortunate enough to be able to utilize our skills to help those affected by Sandy. Thank you for the hot coffee, doughnuts, and especially the copy of your masterpiece. We agreed that we would always have a couple of friends in New Jersey. Thank you again and God Bless!
 
Joel Michna
Operations Manager
Cypress Service Center
Distribution Power Delivery
Centerpoint Energy
 
” The more you take responsibility for your past and present,
  the more you are able to create the future you seek”
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