Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Flooded School That Teaches Us

Welcome, Blogathoners.

I live in an area of upstate NY near the Pennsylvania border.  I am from New York City originally, but have lived in several parts of the United States.  I've lived the past 20 plus years near Johnson City, New York, a handful of miles from Binghamton.  I've been blogging since April of 2009.

On Sundays, I blog about the Civil War. (not as a historian or a reenactor, but as someone who has always loved history. On Wednesdays I blog about Spring Things, which are usually nature or flower related.

In between, I blog about many topics ranging from local food, travel, farmers markets, flowers, vegetable gardening, library book sales, and walking.  But I also blog about area's recovery from devastating floods last September caused by a summer of record rain and then over 10 inches of rain from Tropical Storm Lee.  I live in one of the flood stricken neighborhoods but was fortunate to be spared the majority of what many of my neighbors had to go through.  Blogging has been so important to me through this process.

On the 15th of each month I participate in a Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (which I found out about from another Blogathoner.).  From time to time I will share photos I've taken on my walks.

Today, I wanted to share with you some philosophy brought to us by a sign in front of an elementary school in Binghamton.  The school was severely flooded, and may never reopen.

The school sign, which at one time posted information about school events and holidays, now says "Prosperity is a great teacher.  Adversity a greater."

I thought the quote was so appropriate, sitting as it was in front of a ruined elementary school.  Many of its students were themselves flooded, or had other family members who were.  The building may be ruined, but it still teaches.

So I looked up the quote.  It was written by William Hazlitt (1778-1830) who, I read, was esteemed as possibly the greatest English literary critic after Samuel Johnson.  The entire quote is "Prosperity is a great teacher, adversity is a greater.  Possession pampers the mind; privation trains and strengthens it."

This is so true.  There are a lot of very strong people throughout upstate NY, Vermont, Missouri, Kansas, Japan, Thailand, and a lot of other places.  Adversity brought us here in the Binghamton/Owego area together, and sometimes, as time passes and forces us apart, one can sometimes wish for that community spirit again. But we have to hope that the rebuilding will change all of our lives - for the better. 

Adversity is a great teacher indeed.

Join me in exploring this month of May, and beyond, as we strive to rebuild and enjoy the wonders of our upstate New York area.

Do you have a favorite quote?  Have you been through a natural disaster - if so, what wisdom can you offer us here in the Binghamton area?


  1. I enjoy your posts and was a sometimes participant in last year's WordCount Blogathon. I love your area of America.

  2. Your area has had more than its share of challenges in recent years, Alana. I used to think living near Florida's Gulf coast was daring, but experience has shown me that our infrequent hurricanes (in this part of the state) are no match for the blizzards, floods, fires, and tornadoes that have beset my friends and family. LOVE the school sign! So very true.

  3. A friend of mine does a lot of reenactments. Besides doing War of 1812 stuff here in Ontario he also travels to the States for Civil War events like Gettysburg.

    I expect extreme weather will become more common, so we all have a lot to learn from your community's experience.

  4. Thank you, everyone, for your comments. Good luck to all of you in this year's Blogathon.


Your comments sustain me, as long as they are civil, are on topic, and do not contain profanity, advertising of any kind, links or spam. Any messages not meeting these criteria will immediately be composted, and my flowers will enjoy their contents.