We have walls! The wooden frame is dry enough, the wiring is in, and the insulation is installed. So now, it’s time for sheet-rock! I have included some photos of the walls in the living room and dining room. We have purchases two lamps that are similar, but not identical. The larger one will be in the dining room and the smaller one in the music room, which is adjacent. Then we saw an area rug online that looked like it would go well. So, we have moved to the decorating stage of this project.

This past Monday, Halloween, was my birthday. Our youngest son Nathan had been in Mexico, and returned that day. So we picked him up at the airport and brought him to JJ and Kate’s apartment to meet Noah for the first time. We ordered take out food from a recently re-opened restaurant in Middleburgh, and had a wonderful meal together. Through the miracle of modern technology, we were able to see Christopher, Rashell, and their two sweet boys, Robert and Alex using Skype. Nathan gave me a beautiful hand-made ceramic platter from Mexico, and JJ and Kate gave me a new bird feeder, seed, and a pole to hang it on in my garden. I have included a photo of that, too.

My cardinal has been coming to eat, even though the shrubs have been pulled up. I am delighted when he visits. Sandy and I have begun walking around the neighborhood again. Most of the debris is gone now, although we have to avoid the occasional broken shards of glass. We walk early in the morning when it’s still dark, so I don’t see all of the remaining flood destruction. So some more normalcy is returning to our lives.


October 2

Rain, rain, go away! We have had rain every day for about a week. My outlook is also gloomy. When going through muddy possessions after the flood, I found a little wall hanging saying, “Count Your Blessings” and decided to hang it where volunteers could see it. Well, even that is growing mold. And I have a cold.

Our lab Sandy came home on Friday. She has been staying with friends, and we have been visiting her to play almost every day, but we missed her. It was heart-breaking to put her back in her outdoor pen at at Bob and Debbie’s house and hear her cry as we walked back to the car to leave her. She couldn’t be at the house because of the multitude of health hazards including¬† flood mud, debris, nails, staples, etc. But we decided to figure out how to make it work to have her back home. So her crate is upstairs and she has to be on a leash all the time, and it’s been too rainy to play outside. Of course, she can’t play in our yard, but Lasell Park did not sustain very much damage, so we will be taking here there frequently.

However, walking her is proving to be very sad for me, because everywhere we go we see destruction, debris, mud, and empty shells that used to be homes for my neighbors. I have loved walking around my neighborhood ever since we got our first family dog, Honey, in 1990.¬† I would enjoy seeing beautiful homes, corn fields, autumn hillsides, sunrises, starry dawns, and thank God that I lived in such a beautiful place where I could enjoy His creation. My walks with Sandy these past few days have involved dodging muddy puddles and steering her away from building debris and hoses draining water from basements, and seeing the businesses on Main Street vacant and filthy.¬† The laundromat still displays the hastily-scrawled sign: “Closed due to Hurricane Irene” that was posted on the 27th of August.

OK, moving on to good news: We have a room with walls! The utility room has Sheetrock and will soon be ready for the furnace, hot water heater, water softener, and new washer and dryer. We continue to have wonderful volunteer help for building and cleaning. After-school or Saturday cleaning is enjoyable for me because it is chance to visit with the people who come to help. This past week I reconnected with a young lady who was in a few TMP shows and now about to enter her life as a nun and one of my cousins who has been coming to help. I also got to know some new friends of Nathan’s who came to help even though they barely knew us. Seeing how many generous and caring people there are in the world has been one the many blessings of this time in our lives.

I am posting some photos that I took on walks at various times have the past few years ( since I have had an iPhone). I hope and pray that beauty will one day return to our neighborhood.