Monday, January 7, 2013

I'm Back. No...Really This Time

Hey, remember me?  My two week blogcation somehow morphed into a couple months.  Hope you haven't given up on me. 

First, let me wish you all a very Happy New Year. 

I'd love to say I got a ton of writing done while I was offline but I have to be honest and admit it didn't quite work out that way.  Now I'm hoping the wonderful energy from everyone's blogs will get my creative juices flowing again.

In the meantime, I'll share a few moments from my disaster relief assignment in New Jersey.

Our first day we arrived too late for in-processing so we were referred to our lodging for the night - The Regency Plaza Hotel.  Wow!  Not the usual accommodations, believe me (in fact, I spent the following night on a floor on my little air mattress).  We entered the address into our little GPS and headed that way.  The nice lady in the GPS got a little irritated when we kept leaving our designated route because of closed roads and detours but she finally got us there.  At least, she said we were there.  But there was no hotel. Just a bunch of darkened office buildings.  Then it struck us.  Why would Red Cross workers get to stay at the Regency Plaza?  Because the Regency Plaza had no power.

We figured out which of the darkened buildings was our hotel and parked the car.  A bellhop, manually pulling back the "automated" doors, greeted us warmly as he ushered us into the dimly lit lobby.  The ridiculously cheerful young lady at the desk explained that the hotel's generator provided just enough power for emergency hallway lighting and the hotel's security system (door locks). 

Then she said, "Welcome to the Regency Plaza.  Here's your key card and your glowstick."

And off I went, down the deserted hallway, clutching my little glowstick.

Hmmm.  Dark hotel.  No power.  Deserted hallway.  Pale light of a glowstick.  Why did it all seem so right?

Oh, of course.  It was October 31.  Halloween.


I'll have more on disaster relief in New Jersey on Friday.  Watch for some Hump Day funnies on Wednesday.


I'm looking forward to visiting everyone and seeing what you've been up to. Please forgive me if it takes a few days.  And if you stop by here, please say hi. I've missed you.


Thought for the day: When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

28 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

All you needed was your little Trick or Treat pumpkin.

Were there actual guests in the hotel?

So glad to see you again. Welcome back!

Stephen Tremp said...

Great to see you back again! And that's pretty funny. I've missed your humor at the end of your posts.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Welcome back, LD! Don't think I've ever been handed a glowstick at a hotel before.

Linda G. said...

"Welcome to the Regency Plaza. Here's your key card and your glowstick."

That says it all. Welcome back, and thank you for your Red Cross service. You make a difference. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Happy New Year and welcome back!

Glowsticks are so much fun. You guys should've had a glowstick fight in the hallway.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Welcome back to blogging! It was good seeing you on Thursday, too!

Mike Keyton said...

Happy New Year, Linda. Hope you still have the glow stick!

Carol Kilgore said...

I have SO missed you!!!

"...and your glowstick." Priceless.

I've also missed your thoughts of the day. Today's is very true :)

Welcome back!

And Happy New Year to you, too.

LD Masterson said...

Maria - I'm not sure if there were any non-volunteer-worker guests there. But then, it was a little hard to see. :-)

Thanks.

LD Masterson said...

Stephen - Thanks. I'll try to keep a good flow of funny postscripts going for you.

LD Masterson said...

Alex - If was definitely a first for me. I think my room was probably lovely - had I been able to see it.

LD Masterson said...

Linda G. - And she said it with such style.

Thanks.

LD Masterson said...

Diane - Thank you.

Had we not gotten in so late (15+ hour trip), we might have thought of that. Would have been fun.

LD Masterson said...

Stacy - Thanks, Stacy. It was good to see you, too.

LD Masterson said...

Mike - Nope. I tossed it. But I still have the text I sent my husband the next moring: "Just finished a quick wash in ice cold water by the light of a rapidly fading glowstick."

LD Masterson said...

Carol - Thanks. I missed you, too.

Jemi Fraser said...

The glowsticks were a brilliant idea! Glad to see you back and hope you have a stellar 2013!! :)

Clarissa Draper said...

Well, I'm glad you're back. That was wonderful that you helped the NJ relief work. Some of it sounded scary. But, I'm sure your help was greatly appreciated.

Mason Canyon said...

So glad to see you back and Happy New Year to you. Love the story about the hotel and the glow stick. I hope you're keeping a journal of your adventures with the Red Cross. You do wonderful work with them and the side stories would make a great book. Looking forward to your 'Thought for the day.'

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

LD Masterson said...

Thanks, Jemi, and back atcha.

LD Masterson said...

Clarissa - To be honest, that whole appreciation thing is kind of a mixed bag on disaster relief. Maybe I'll do a post on that. :-)

LD Masterson said...

Mason - Never kept a journal but I've got some great stories in my head. Of course, if I told some of them, no one would ever volunteer for disaster relief work again.

Arlee Bird said...

Good to see you back. Sickness tried to do me in for a week or so but I refused to let it rule me and I'm making my way back.

Your NJ adventure sounds interesting and it was a good thing to do. My daughters all live in NJ but were not affected too badly by Sandy. One daughter and her husband lost both their cars to flooding, but their house is high enough off the ground and was not damaged too much. Good thing is that now they both have new vehicles.

Welcome back to the blog scene and to 2013.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Liz Fichera said...

"Here's your glowstick and key card." That's a new one. :)

Glad you're back safe and sound but, wow, how fabulous that you took the time to go to NJ and helpout. Truly wonderful.

LD Masterson said...

Lee - Very happy you're on the road to recovery. And I'm glad your daughters' homes escaped serious damage.

LD Masterson said...

Liz - It was a first for me as well and I've had some pretty interesting lodging experiences with the Red Cross. :-)

Cate Masters said...

Glad to have you back! I can only imagine the conditions - hope you had better tools than a glow stick.

DL Hammons said...

Welcome back! I think glow sticks should be a mandatory hand-out at every hotel! :)