The weeks roll by; the months roll by; the years roll by. But seldom are we stopped so short in our lives as when a monumental disaster befalls us or those we know. Superstorm Sandy affected us all in October 2012, whether we were nearby worrying about the high tides and swaying trees or watching on television its devastation on the Jersey Shore, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Many of you wrote of your personal experiences during this storm and its aftermath. It is my hope that those of you directly affected have returned to some sense of normalcy. * “Running, running, running on my little life treadmill” is how Nancy Hammar Austin begins her reply to me. She had a great summer; she loves it when she doesn’t have to work; she hates it when she doesn’t have an income. She traveled to Ireland for a “fabulous wedding” that spanned several days of festivities. And she golfed; she loves golf. * Mary Anne Tomlinson Sullivan shared her personal story of Superstorm Sandy’s impact. A tree fell through her bedroom window, wreaking all kinds of havoc with glass everywhere in addition to other damage in her yard. She is grateful to her neighbors who came to the rescue. Mary Anne is deeply attached to the Jersey Shore and has friends there whose lives have been turned upside down. * Leslie Anderson is rejoicing that the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance has announced the “Summer Stories” short story competition that is based on her very own “Summer Stories” paintings. Check it out at mainewriters.org. You, too, might think about submitting a short story! * For the first time ever, Ann L. Bryant has written in to our column! She and her husband live in DC. He just retired and she has just begun a new career. After 25 years practicing immigration law, she has earned her doctorate in clinical psychology and is working in community mental health as well as in a private practice. They have two grown children who are the “lights of our lives.” She asked to include her e-mail: [email protected] Write in again, Ann! * Another firsthand account of the storm came from Beth Marker, who lives three blocks into what was Manhattan’s blackout zone. She could walk to get food and supplies but had to climb up and down 12 flights of stairs. She used her terrace as a refrigerator and had a little knock-off iPod on which she could listen to the radio and keep up with the news. * After several hard years, Chip Altholz is wrapping up “funding to my kids’ empowerment project” with only a few hundred thousand to go. His wife has endured unbelievable medical challenges and will be returning to her physical therapy job soon. He recounts his Colby years as a treasured episode in his life, acknowledging that he wouldn’t be who he is today without it. * Bill Hladky is another New Yorker who had firsthand experiences during the big storm. He got back over the George Washington Bridge before it really started to blow. The biggest challenge was the panic surrounding the gas shortage. * Retiring after 24 years with Northrop Grumman Corporation, Dennis Cameron looks forward to playing more golf and traveling. He was vice president and associate general counsel in the electronics sector. He and his wife are looking forward to a trip to Banff and Lake Louise in Canada and a Rhine River cruise. His house in Baltimore dodged the bullet from Superstorm Sandy, but his house in West Virginia had 26 inches of snow. * As autumn folds into winter, I am busy as one of the tour producers for the next Yale Alumni Chorus international tour to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania next summer. Still no dust gathering on me.