Sunday, September 11, 2011

Update on September 11, 2011

Today is 9/11.  I have to admit that I don't feel particularly moved by this anniversary.  This year that's partly because I am at last actually working on publishing my family history cum genealogy, and have already put some of it on the web. (at  

A month ago our famiy was here -- Jane, Scott, Amanda and Juliana.  They arrive Thursday, August 11, and left Sunday, August 14.  It seems such a long time ago now.  The day after they left, I drove to New York for a meeting.  After I came back, for a week and a half I worked fairly steadily on my family history project and on a sermon I was scheduled to give at the Heart Lake Church on August 28th.  Meanwhile, Liz worked on a proposal for a grant related to a new boiler at St. Mary's.  On Tuesday, August 23, we felt the cottage shaking -- it was the earthquake in Virginia.  Then on Sunday August 28, Hurricane Irene broguht large amounts of rain to our area.  We had lost power hear in the middle of the night, so we had no power when we woke up Sunday.  Church at Heart Lake was cancelled, so I didn't get to deliver my sermon.  For about four hours on Sunday, starting around 10:30 AM the winds off the lake was strong and drove large amounts of rain straight at us.  Water came in around the glazing in our porch windows and under the door.  Without power, Liz was unable to work on the proposal.  We had planned to drive to New York on Sunday afternoon, but we rescheduled for Monday.  When we left, the power was still off.  Our drive on Monday was uneventful until we hit the intersection of Rte 17 and the Thruway (I-87).  Both the Thruway and Rte 17 were closed and everyone was trying to cross Long Mountain on Rte. 6 and take the Palisades Parkway. A trooper told us that the parkway was a parking lot and advised waiting a  few hours, which we did in a park in Monroe.  When we finally left Monroe about 4 in the afternoon, it was slow but steady going over the mountain, but on the parkway itself we moved pretty steadily. 

The remains of Irene did a lot of damage north of us -- in the Catskills and in Vermont.  Where Jane and Scott are in North Middlesex was spared the worst, but there was a lot of flooding not far from them. 

After mailing off the proposal, we returned to Heart Lake on Wednesday, August 31.  Along with our cousin Tim, we hosted our by now regular Labor Day Sunday family gathering.  My mother's two surving siblings were there with spouses, as well as other representatives of each of the four families of my grandparent's children.  There was also one family of second cousins.   The threatened rain held off, and it was a vey pleasant gathering.

Then on Monday afternoon the rain started.  The rain was light the rest of Monday and on Tuesday, but got heavier on Wednesday and serious flooding began on Thursday not very far from here.  Finally the rain stopped Friday afternoon.  The remnants of tropical storm Lee raised our lake as high as I have ever seen it.   We are near the top of a hill.  Down in the valleys, the flooding was devastating.  Binghamton, my home town and just forty minutes from here, was flooded and in the surrounding area lots of homes were inundated.  20,000 people were evacuated.  The Susquehanna River in this area isn't expected to subside below flood level until late tomorrow. 

Tomorrow, I go to New York for evening meetings both Monday and Tuesday.  Liz will stay here at Heart Lake and I expect to be back Wednesday afternoon -- I hope fairly early.  In addition to the laundry, I'm taking home the first load of genalogical materials to aid me in writing through the fall and winter.