As you probably know, I’m BIG on challenges. They are fun, and they help me learn about new techniques, and work with materials I wouldn’t normally pick for myself. But not all challenges in life are chosen…some are just thrown at you, and things are not as easy to put together as a beaded necklace.
I live in upstate New York, and I’ve been updating my Facebook page since Hurricane Irene with information about the damage in my area. Sadly, it seems like most of the country has no idea what is happening here. Literally, thousands of people – friends and neighbors – have been devastated by flooding caused by Irene. This part of New York is full of pretty little mountain streams which literally became raging torrents as Irene moved through.
On Monday, Labor Day, we traveled downstate to Katonah in Westchester County to do Cord Shows Lasdon Antique show. Knowing the damage up here at home, I was curious to see what it was like down there. Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties were all hit pretty hard. There were wires hanging and broken trees everywhere. You couldn’t drive without passing by a utility crew, or a tree crew, and the Red Cross was everywhere. Many parts of the area were still without power on Monday.
Tonight, many of the upstate areas that were just beginning to clean up were hit with heavy rains, and flooding once again-in Rensselaer, Schenectady, Schoharie, Montgomery and Greene counties. Whether they wanted it or not, the residents are meeting their challenge head on. Thousands of homes have been destroyed. People lost all of their belongings. Farmers lost all of their crops-for many, the year will be a huge loss.
I’ve known this all along, but this challenge has shown me that the people of Upstate New York are tough. They are not waiting around for someone to make it all better. Volunteers have been donating time, money and personal belongings. If you were one of the lucky ones who Irene left unscathed, or if you had a power outage for a few hours or a few days, or had to take a detour to work, please take a moment to think about those who are left with nothing. There is still plenty of time to give and to help.
My friends traveled to Windham this past weekend to help with the cleanup, and they shared these pictures with me.