Monday, September 5, 2011


A week ago today we had bicycled up to the village to see an elder friend and how she was post-Irene. All was fine. While up there we came upon three FairPoint phone service trucks and maintenance workers. They looked as bewildered as anyone at the moment, so with mystery swirling in the air as to how the world was (we were soaked)we told them that our phone was out, par for the course.

Well, it's still out a week later, while we have neighbors who have never lost their phones. Sweetheart hiked up river a few days ago to see if someone/anyone had a phone and she found a nice clutch of folks all in phone heaven. She called our son. We told the FairPoint crew the lines were down in the river and a utility pole or two had gone with the flood. To their credit all three guys hoofed it down the road for a look and when they returned and we ran into them again they said what we had said: the wires are down in the river and some poles are gone. That's how the week's been since Irene.

Who knows when we'll hear the phone is on. All week we have traveled between three states to grab access so we can respond to book orders coming into our bookshop from around the globe. The mail must go through! We nab the addresses, titles, make careful notes, fill out addresses and then get back home sometime late the same day and find the books and pack them out for the next morning. It used to be difficult: when we lost power we were coming home and finding the books in three buildings with a flashlight. Now the power has been restored.

We mentioned to a CVPS engineer friend how maybe-what-do-you-think they restring wires down for power and tie into other lines coming from other directions. Lickety-split he was down the next day with two other workers and a tree crew to blaze a new trail. Power was on by day's end. We wish the phone line crew had come along for the ride.

We have films made during the flood and still photographs but no way to set them to sail on the Birdhouse. One of these days. Right now we're working in a busy student union that has a pair of computers and kids galore talking, flip-flopping, coughing, screaming, music noise music, moving around at good kid speed. I have no idea how I'm concentrating.

Yesterday, back on the river, we climbed down to the new shore of a million new rocks and a train wreck of full trees twisted and pulverized onto what was once an island of woods on our land. Sweetheart doesn't recognize it. I see it as a wealth of new stones and mucho firewood. We've already started at cleaning it up and we'll stick to it until snow flies. Plenty of time. After cutting almost 100 four foot length small logs and shouldering them over the shallows to a dry spot along the river, I threw them up to Sweetheart who loaded them into two truck loads. We got all of this back home to the woodyard before the next threat of flood-warning was just coming in. After supper I went back down and hunted up in the new rock pile eight ideal size stone steps I'll begin to lay into a new staircase up from the river and to the road. It's about a 14 foot bank from the river to the road and the staircase will make the shouldering of firewood up from the river all the more accessible by the stone stairs. The river looks mighty wonderful now locked into place by all the stone. From the road it looks like it's just gliding by.

But we aren't fooled.