Commencement

This is graduation weekend in New York State.  Last night was Middleburgh’s ceremony and this morning was Schoharie’s. Much has been written in the local papers in recent days about the resiliency and strength of the Class of 2012. Many of these kids were among those whose homes were flooded, and almost all of them helped family, friends, and neighbors clean and rebuild.  In Middleburgh, students helped to shovel out mud and help rebuild ruined equipment in the tech rooms. The gym was flooded as were the athletic fields. The large key that is handed to each newly-elected senior class president from the graduating president was among the many casualties of the muddy waters.

This is a link to one of those articles:

http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2012/jun/23/0623_middleburgh/

This has been a very difficult year at school. Financial pressures, many employees flooded, concern for the students and their families, facilities rendered unusable all combined to create even more stress than we usually see at school. Sometimes, tempers were short, but more often, colleagues were very supportive and sympathetic.

Now that I am finished with school, I will begin the work of trying to organize the upstairs rooms and the garage,which have been housig rescued belongings. Many volunteers cleaned and boxed up households items that were not ruined or could be cleaned, and most of them have been untouched while we were busy with the rebuilidng of the downstairs. So now I will be spending much of each day with this next project.

The area has seen many volunteers this past week. Some finished painting our garage. Attracting volunteers to our area, and then matching them with the appropriate work site is a huge job, and we are so thankful for the people at Schoharie Recovery and Schoharie Area Long Term Recovery for all their efforts.  You might want to take the time to follow these links and read more about what is going on with the recovery effort, as well as some interesting media attention to our little village. Another example of the help and care we receive is the $10 gift card we received to purchase bedding plants. Since we will be doing some digging around the foundation later this summer, I am using lots of containers for my flowers this year.  

We cannot say “thank you” enough for volunteers and donors from near and far that have helped us rebuild and have encouraged us every step of the way. And, of course, we thank God for using so many people in so many different ways to provide that care and help for us.

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Nine months

Yesterday was a very big day in the Meredith family story. It Noah’s first time staying at Grandma and Grandpa’s house! His Mommy and Daddy were with the summer theater group on a trip to New York City to see “Newsies”. So Noah hung out in our new digs.

The thought of having a home where our grandkids could come to stay and play has been a big factor in our decisions in the rebuilding process. When the entire downstairs was gutted down to the studs, it was hard to imagine that anyone would ever be able to play in it, but now that dream has become a reality. Thank you, Lord, for sending all those helpers and encouragers!

Another big day was May 28th, exactly nine months after the flood. That was the day that our new digital piano arrived at the house. It sounds great and has lots of amazing sounds and applications. I hope to be able to learn how to use it with my new laptop and music notation software to be able to create choral arrangements much quicker than I have in the past. I have made myself a rule to practice piano every day. I am re-acquainting myself with some of the literature I learned when I was taking lessons high school. And, I love playing hymns.

Early last week, as Sandy and I were returning home from a walk, I saw a planter on my front porch with beautiful flowers. I have no idea who put them there! It was a lovely surprise. Every time I see that planter I will remember that we are loved and cared for.

The downstairs half bath is finished. It is very small because before we owned the house, it was a closet under the stairs. Frank found a little pedestal sink that was intended for an RV, and that is now installed. A volunteer came to the house recently to offer help with removing old paint from the stairs. He said the way I was trying to do it was very inefficient, and showed me a much better way to do it. So I will be able to make progress on that project. We are hoping to get the stairs and the upstairs hallway completed this summer. (Flood water did not go upstairs, but the process of gutting and working in the house necessitates and makeover up there.)

These are links to two recent TV news reports. While our home and many others are well on the way to recovery, many others are not. Please pray for those that are still in need, and share this with anyone you know that may be looking for volunteer opportunities this summer.

http://www.cbs6albany.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_1279.shtml

http://hudsonvalley.ynn.com/content/top_stories/586611/volunteers-still-needed-in-schoharie/

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

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