Monday, October 3, 2011

Vermont Strong

The rains in Vermont are persistent.  While there have been some nice weather days the past few weeks, overall it has been wet.  I heard one weather forecaster say that we are on track for beating the record of the wettest year ever recorded. No doubt. No duh.

We helped out a neighbor Saturday morning with the daunting and unending firewood chores.  Jim Hasson is 85 years old and he heats his house entirely on wood - burns about 17 cords a year he said! That's a LOT of wood! And of course he lost most if not all of his firewood in the storm - swept away in the flooded Knapp Brook.  His son Jimmy's car took a ride in the brook, too.

Jimmy's car was deposited as such. As he told me, the car moved about 50+ feet from its original parked location

Well, at least it didn't go as far downstream as the wood did.  The town donated many log lengths to Jim when they heard of his plight. These were all logs cleared up from the various debris fields, so it was just a matter of getting it up the hill to him and then cutting, splitting and stacking it.  On Wednesday Annie and I drove a small pickup load of dry wood donated from Nina to Jim's.  Lots of folks have been doing this and Jim is so moved by everyone's generosity. But the real work now is in cutting and splitting, so we helped out with that on Saturday - in the rain of course!  This work is hard, but when you have 5 or 6 people it makes it far less miserable.  I was pleased to see a young kid (Matt) ride up on his bike and just start pitching in to help.  Boy, does he have the right idea!  Most kids his age would be playing video games.

That's Jim, 85, on the left. Annie, Jean, Matt and Mike L to R.

Our state is recovering, but it will be years I'm sure before some parts of the state get back to normal.  It is peak foliage season now and our economy depends on the leaf peepers to come up and spend their dollars.  Folks are still speculating on how much the storm's impacts will ultimately affect this key part of the season.  Lots of fundraising efforts are out there, so if you aren't local but want to help, just Google your way around and give how you can. One such effort is the sale of T-shirts which helps provide springboard funding for flood victims.  To find out more visit the I Am Vermont Strong website at

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