If you read “The Family Business” in the December issue of TQL and know New Jersey geography, you may have realized that Manalapan, where Linda Hahn and her family live and work, was right in the path of Hurricane Sandy. We were really relieved when we heard from Linda last week. She and her Frog Hollow business partners are OK. With her sense of humor intact, Linda wrote, “Wow, it was awful. Thankfully we didn’t have much damage–a tree down in the yard, a squirrel moved into attic–but we were out of power for 6 days.”
I saw Linda before the storm at Quilt Market in Houston, where she was signing copies of her new book, New York Beauty Simplified, in the AQS booth. “I was so worried,” she admits. Linda arrived home to find her husband Allan and daughter Sarah evacuating the long arm studio, design studio, and office.
An emergency worker, Allan was called out on Monday, just when the storm was getting really bad. “To get to the office, he has to drive over a really high bridge,” Linda explains. “By then, we were in a state of emergency and had lost power and cell service. Sarah and I weren’t able to find out if he got there or not. We camped out in the living room, by candlelight, listening to the trees cracking and breaking.”
At noon Tuesday, with still no word from Allan, Linda got in the car and drove around, trying to find cell service. Most of the streets in town were blocked by downed trees and power lines. “After a half hour of zigzagging through streets, I got to the police station (Allan is retired from there) and I promptly burst into tears,” she recalls. “Allan finally came home Tuesday night, and he brought a generator. We had to chain it to the porch and then only ran it two hours on, two hours off to conserve gasoline, which was being rationed.”
Allan was finally home to stay on Friday night. “We went out to try to find a bar! I had been so worried about him all week. Once we got cable TV back, we were able to see all the damage at the Jersey shore. The National Guard had to be called out to prevent looting. It’s very, very sad.” She concludes, “We have a gas stove, so we were able to cook, and I could have my coffee! We kept the laptops charged using the car charger and we were able to watch DVDs. I am very thankful that I was able to get home, and that we still have a home. Being without power for six days is a mere inconvenience compared to the losses of others.”
Linda wondered if her answer was more than I’d asked for, but I told her that summing it up with a short “Oh, we made it through OK” just wouldn’t suffice. Wow indeed.…Jan Magee, The Quilt Life