Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hurricane Irene: Up Close and Personal

My girlfriend Angela and I decided to take a long weekend trip to New York City. Angela had not been to the Big Apple before and we were looking forward to a short getaway. After a long storm delay, we finally arrived in NYC around midnight. It was an omen.
Our plan was to fly home on Sunday evening after taking in a Broadway show and a tour of the city, but that was not to be.
On Friday, the forecast tracked a direct hit to NYC from Hurricane Irene.
On advice from the hotel, we headed to the closest Rite-Aid for supplies in the chance that the city was without power for a few days. Bottled water, peanut butter, granola bars, chips and salsa seemed to make the most sense to us, a couple of Iowans in the path of a hurricane. Times Square is always crazy, but we were joined by what seemed like thousands of others also wondering how to prepare for the pending storm. The shelves were soon bare.
New York is often called "the city that never sleeps." But sleep it did by noon on Saturday when it actually shut down. It was historic! About five hospitals in low lying areas actually evacuated their patients and others put their disaster preparedness plans into action. Shops and restaurants closed. All public transit shut down and the Mayor asked everyone to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Fortunately, the best happened and although the storm did create havoc along the Eastern Seaboard, New York City was spared and damage was minimal. All we really experienced was some strong winds and a lot of rain. By Sunday afternoon, the sun actually peeked out and the city came back to life.
When I'm in NYC, folks often ask where I am from and it's great fun to tell them I am from Brooklyn. They say, "That's funny, you don't sound like you're from Brooklyn..." When I tell them the Brooklyn I am from is in Iowa and has 1,500 residents instead of 1.5 million residents, they always get a big smile.

As you might have guessed, our Sunday flight was cancelled and we could not get a flight out until Tuesday. Because of something to do with the hurricane, The David Letterman Show needed an audience on Monday. This was a Bucket List item for both of us, so we were thrilled to score free tickets! It was really fun to see all the behind the scenes things that go on to produce a show like that every weeknight. We agree with Alan Colter, the Late Show announcer that New York City is indeed "the greatest city in the world!"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

“Untangle Life” at GRMC Women’s Health Focus and Baby Fair

Guest Blog
Jeanette Budding, Assistant Director
GRMC Communications and Development
It’s easy for anyone to get tangled up in the busyness of life that we can forget to take care of ourselves as we are trying to take care of everyone and everything else in our lives.

But for one night out of the year, women can take time to untangle and enjoy laughing together. Join more than 500 women at the Women’s Health Focus and Baby Fair. In its fifth year, this GRMC event focuses on women – a fun and educational night out with friends. And, this year will be no exception. The theme, “You: Untangled,” is all about letting our hair down, having fun, working out the tangles of life’s stresses, and learning something about ourselves and our inner beauty.

Our keynote speaker, Pat Wynn Brown, will provide a humorous performance about our love-hate relationship with our hair. She says that her Hair Theater Beauty School is a laughter and story-telling ‘conditioner’ for the tangles of life’s stresses and frets. Humor is an age-defier and a good giggle can erase years off our face. The phases of our hair and lives share a common message for all women. Pat’s message will touch each of our lives.

Young women, new and expecting mothers, as well as grandmothers will find the latest information on pregnancy and babies. Plus, we have excellent door prizes and drawings for those who sign up, like a handmade baby quilt, car seats, and more.

This year we have a new activity related to our theme and speaker – makeovers for six lucky women who purchase their tickets by Sept. 21. Winners will have their makeover during the day prior to our event. We also have local salons who will offer 10-minute hair “up-dos.” These are just quick styles for the evening.

Make plans to join us on Wednesday, October 5, at the Grinnell Newburg High School.

The evening will begin at 4 p.m. with 40 educational booths, retail therapy vendors including The Glass Gift Box and area hair stylists.

Once again, a fabulous buffet meal will be catered by the Mayflower Community with salads, pasta dishes, and incredible desserts.

And we’ve thought of everything, even childcare on site and dinner provided for the little ones over 2, all for $3 per child.

Tickets to the event are $18 and financial assistance is available. Register for childcare at the time of ticket purchase. To purchase tickets, go online here. Tickets are also available at The Glass Gift Box located inside GRMC, Dori’s Fine Fashion and Shoes, and Postels Community Health Park.