Earlier this month, I read a post in a blog called Bike with Jackie that discussed three reasons to say "Thank You" more often.
Little did I know that I was going to have an opportunity to put her teachings into practice sooner than I thought.
Last Sunday, I returned from a vacation in Maine, about 8 hours from home, to a flood devastated area (as my regular readers know, as I keep returning to that topic). Now that I have been home for 6 days, I need to take a few minutes to thank some people who meant a lot to me, my family, and/or my area. Here goes - in no particular order. If you are listed last, that doesn't mean I am thanking you the least!
1. The workers of BAE Industries in Westover (a portion of the town of Union, near the village of Johnson City). This area, including the BAE plant on Main Street, was devastated by the flood. The employees did not know when they would be called back to work or where they would be reporting for work. (And, rumors still persist that BAE is going to leave our area all together.) With that in mind, what did the BAE workers did? Well, they walked across Main Street and started to help out a very hard hit Westover street, Evelyn Street. What wonderful corporate neighbors we have!
2. Area garbage people - working long hours to pick up the moldy stuff we've all dumped in front of our houses. And may I add how stinky it is?
3. The police and National Guard, who kept evacuated areas safe.
4. The desk clerk at the Comfort Inn on Upper Front Street in Binghamton. When we weren't allowed to reenter our neighborhood Saturday evening after a long drive from Brunswick, ME, we started to scour area motels for a room - rooms we knew didn't exist. Several desk clerks turned my spouse away pointblank. (In their defense, they must have been totally overwhelmed by the events of the previous 3 days) This particular desk clerk called another Comfort Inn, in Cortland, NY (about 35 miles from Binghamton) and secured a room for us. You'll never know how comforting that room was.
5. All the news people who worked tirelessly to keep us informed. The Internet, Twitter, and Facebook were a lifeline to me when I was so far from home. (I will write more about that another time). A special shout out for Chris Straub, a former copy editor at our local newspaper, who now is an "area manager" of social commerce. He took it upon himself to broadcast live, from beautiful Downtown Binghamton, as the flood waters rose, and he was another lifeline to me. I promised him I would contact his managers, and I will. I know (through someone I know at another Gannett paper, I know how precarious job positions are at Gannett.)
6. Friends. Neighbors. Co-workers. Any and all of the people who lent emotional and other support to us.
7. The people who banged on the door of my sleeping son Wednesday afternoon (he works nights) telling him to evacuate his home immediately due to flash flooding. And the people who patrolled his mobile home park to keep looters away.
8. The people setting up fundraisers, and private citizens who just set forth on their own to help out. One example, the people who set up in the parking lot of America's Attic in one of Johnson City's stricken neighborhood, and started to cook. And cook. And cook.
9. And last, but not least, the utility workers who came from out of town, and the first responders from other parts of NY (and Pennsylvania), to help our stricken neighborhood on September 11, 2011. And all the out of town cleanup specialists who are working around the clock to get businesses back up and running.
The YMCA, just as one example, plans to reopen Monday. For other businesses it will take longer but these specialists will be key to that recovery.