2017 Life Logs, Day 293: Connections
Date: Friday, October 20, 2017
Weather: Fantastic Fall Weather; High 70, Low 49 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

What a day. I’m not sure I really got anything done, but I was busy the entire day making connections. My first contact of the day was a call from Mark’s sister Mary Ellen. She has been battling a health issue since returning home after evacuating for Hurricane Irma. She is feeling a bit better and wanted to know what the most important things are that they could send to Justin and Jo. For the past couple of days, I have been focusing on solar and internet issues and had to jog my mind back to the day to day survival issues. As I talked about food needs, I mentioned that Justin and Ziggy have been craving beef. Mary Ellen said Mark’s brother Steve makes his own beef jerky, so she’ll get him moving on that. Then I talked about how Jo is trying to grow food and will start sprouting seeds as soon as the seed sprouting stuff arrives. I ordered the sprouting seeds and sprouting trays from Amazon on October 7 and, not surprisingly, the shipping has been delayed. Now it is not arriving until October 29. As Justin said to me on Wednesday, everything is taking so long. Deep breath. But in talking about this to Mary Ellen, she asked if I had thought of dehydrating veggies and fruit and send that to Justin and Jo. I had not thought about it, Mary Ellen is going to work on that and I am going to check with Heather. I think she has a dehydrator and maybe we can do that as well.

After I hung up from the call with Mary Ellen, I checked email and found a most interesting message from my friend Sue Wolowitz in New Hampshire. She sent a news clip from NH local television news reporting that a New Hampshire businessman that Mark knew well is headed to Puerto Rico on a one-man relief effort. The report wasn’t dated and I was moving so quickly that thought he had not yet left. So, I sent out an SOS email to friends in New Hampshire to get contact information on Alex Ray. Shortly thereafter, I got a call from my good friend Alan Kanegsberg who is a man who says that when he is gone he wants people to say about him, “He’s a man who got things done.” He had immediately called Alex Ray’s Common Man business headquarters, found out that he is already in Puerto Rico and probably unreachable. And then I heard from the President and CEO of New Hampshire Public Radio saying she had email Alex and was forwarding me his contact information. I sent Alex a text, but I doubt that he will get that until he returns home. The reason I wanted to reach him while he is was in Puerto Rico was to get him connected with The Rincon Beer Company that is doing so much good in Justin’s little corner of Puerto Rico. The Common Man, Alex’s business, is a chain of restaurants, and I think that The Rincon Beer Company, now the official non-profit relief center for Rincon, and Alex are a natural pairing. From the news report, Alex will return home after finding out first-hand what the people really need, do some fund raising, and then return. I will do everything I can to get in contact with him once he is back home. So, thank you to Sue Wolowitz, to Alan Kanegsberg, and to Betsy Gardella for your timely responses and actions. Connections are the name of the game.

Then the adventure continued. In response to last night’s plea for suggestions, a number of people responded that I should contact Elon Musk and Richard Branson. I wish I had some connection to either of them, but I don’t. They are definitely out of my league, but I will still consider how to them and other wealthy people like Bill Gates. They are probably already doing something if they are so inclined, but you never know. It can’t hurt to try. Thanks to everyone who made those suggestions.

Next, I continued to try and contact HughesNet about satellite internet information. I called so many HughesNet numbers yesterday with no results that I was exhausted, but I started again this afternoon. I’m still trying to learn who provides the equipment versus who provides the service. So, I once again tried to call a business called GroundControl who is advertising satellite internet coverage for Puerto Rico on the web. I called the same number I had called two or three times yesterday, and this time someone answered the phone. Hurray! A man named O.J. answered the phone. He explained that he is in a California office that is totally overwhelmed with supplying satellite internet equipment for military, fire departments, police stations, and big businesses in Puerto Rico. And I think he is the only phone contact. He has family in Cabo Rojo which is about 25 miles south of where Justin lives. He listened to my story and took the time to explain to me in detail what GroundControl provides, how much it costs, and how much it costs to ship the equipment from California to Puerto Rico by ship (takes two weeks). But he thinks their must be a cheaper alternative for residential use. He gave me numbers that he thought should connect me to another company who should be able to provide residential equipment and service. Unfortunately, after we hung up I tried those numbers and found out they were just different numbers for HughesNet and I got the same song and dance I got from them yesterday. There is only one person in the DC area that they say will be able to give me the information I need, and when I call that number, I get a very strange answering machine message. I keep leaving my number with no response . . . maybe on Monday.

In between all of this, I got the sweetest little text message on my phone from Ziggy. But when I saw the message pop up and clicked on it, my phone was totally frozen for about four minutes. My phone just went black and there was nothing I could do. Finally, the message came up and I responded, but he was gone. So wonderful to hear from him, but so frustrating that there is no way to respond.

In my evenings, I am watching an internet docuseries called, “The Broken Brain.” I’m sure I have one of those, so I’m watching to see if there is anything I can do about it! This log entry pretty much describes a day in the life around here right now. Thank you to everyone who is contributing to Justin and Jo’s cause and supporting me through this. It is just not easy for a mother and grandmother to stand-by and watch this catastrophe play out. Words cannot express how appreciative I am of your suggestions, donations, actions, and support.

2017 Life Logs, Day 295: Pumpkins and Soccer
2017 Life Logs, Day 292: Seeking Suggestions