Saturday, September 3, 2011


Remind me to tell you about the two Federal Agents who shook us down yesterday in a wildlife preserve where we were hiking in Massachusetts. Mutt & Jeff, and one was a rookie with a fire in his pants, which is always a treat. His 'teaching' partner was right out of Robocop. I was in a tee shirt and jeans, barefoot, supposedly having to listen to them. They asked me for I.D. I answered, politely, "You're looking at it." Me.

Me and Sweetheart then hightailed it north into New Hampshire where we can at least have Internet access to catch all the good mail coming in from friends. Believe me, each of you, it's been nothing but pleasure having friends asking how we are. How our house is. The books. Neighbors. Friends.

Last count: everyone was there. Books dry. House still 220 years old up on its tiny knoll.

At 7AM this morning I borrowed a New York Times off a bookstore shelf to read how things were going for our friends Mary & Greg Joly up in Jamaica, Vermont. The last I knew Greg had phone, but we didn't, and then again he'd lost one or two or all bridges from his house into town and then either way to larger towns. A real mess.

In the library where I'm working one of the pleasant librarians just notified us that the Appalachian Trail has been shut down all through this section. One reason why the town has had an influx of bearded hikers for the past week. They all might be turning around, or catching a bus to the next dry spot to continue on the long leg of their journey.

Down river from us where Alex and I lifted that motorcyclist over the jagged hump of once-road, a temporary passage has been filled in with pine logs, what-rock, gravel, and the kitchen sink for neighbors further south to at least get their vehicles over and parked. We sailed down through that part on bicycles a day or two ago and then got to the Massachusetts border where all road has vanished and moon surface is left. Getting a bicycle over 500 feet of this stuff is a workout. Hiking it is billy goat stuff. This could take months to rebuild with everything else there is to rebuild. The road has shutdown as quiet as I remember it as a boy. Hear a leaf fall.

They say our phone will be on tonight. We've been out late traveling and working and have seen FairPoint trucks out and about way past normal working hours. Everyone's tired, but somehow spunked and vital and energized with a purpose to make~do; the everlasting make~do.

A moment ago we heard a storm from Louisiana and a hurricane barreling up the coast just might converge and make life interesting and very wet all next week. The rivers and streams will again change.

Our covered bridge in the village just escaped with the river at a torrent missing the wood chassis by inches. In a normal situation you'd need a very tall ladder to reach from the river bed up to this wood structure. The square stone cribbing looks water bleached, confused and clean. The waterfall has just started to unmuddy; whereas driving north along the Connecticut River early this morning is nothing but a big muddy.

Whole towns and pockets of neighborhoods in Vermont are now about to be readjusted and rebuilt with rivers, streams, brooks forcefully in mind.

I saw a handmade sign on a post this morning someone was selling firewood, green and split, delivered, at $160. That's cheap. Now, if he can get it out of the woods?

writ in N.H.