The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 16, 2014

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Irene and serendipity

SHREWSBURY-Many residents of Shrewsbury experienced the emotional roller coaster that Irene brought to others. People were marooned and inconvenienced, but that was a minor nuisance compared to those who suffered more serious damage to their homes and property. Fortunately, there was no loss of life.

There were many heroes though. One man saved a home by pulling out a nearby culvert, keeping damage to a minimum.

Others were unsung heroes, helping neighbors in large and small ways. One young man raked rocks to form a two-track bridge so that those of us who live up on the CCC Road could drive off the mountain. If you aimed your vehicle just right, you could get down the road. I didn't dare drive it at night, though, for fear I would miss the rock bridge.

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With the CCC Road knocked out to the Plymouth to our east and the Cold River Road knocked out, we could only get to Rutland by going the "long way" around. That enabled John to do his work even though he couldn't get to Killington for three long weeks. A friend got into his office and faxed and emailed necessary documents while his assistant worked from a home computer in Rutland, and I did the same to help him get work done.

These inconveniences were minor compared to the devastating loss of a friend who drowned and another's loss of a home. We were grateful that we only had driveway washouts and branches to pick up, but seeing others suffer was horrible.

Also major for us was my brother's planned wedding for 9-10-11 at the Woodstock Inn. Since he and his bride were from Colorado and the inn had to cancel, we had to help find a place that could hold the wedding and reception at the last minute.

The Barnard Inn came to their rescue, and they had the proverbial beautiful day for an outdoor wedding. We all enjoyed a good time, maybe more so because we appreciated being able to be there!

Now our son is getting married on Saturday, August 25. We are amazed at their bravery on choosing a date on the anniversary weekend. We are praying for nice weather as they, too, hope to marry outdoors.

Hopefully, history won't repeat and people will be able to get to the Balm of Gilead (on the CCC Road). But the lingering emotional effects of Irene, and our respect for too much rain in too little time, has us older folks nervously following forecasts.

On the other hand, the days have been getting nicer and less humid and we just had a perfect weekend. Maybe the power of prayer will keep all safe and celebrating after all. I hope so. And I hope that those who suffered most grievously will benefit from our prayers that time has helped heal their wounds from losses that can never be forgotten.