As my regular readers know, my neighborhood near Johnson City, New York, was one of many neighborhoods impacted by a massive flood caused by a record year of rain, capped by two tropical storms in a couple of weeks time - Irene, and then Lee.
So many people this year have been impacted by three hurricanes in our country (and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, whose residents are our citizens). They have a hard road ahead.
This email is intensely personal to me, but I shared it once, during the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in 2016, and I would like to share it again.
The "BAE" in this email was a defense contractor plant, housed in what was once the largest wood framed structure in the United States, now torn down and replaced by vacant land beloved by grazing Canada geese. At the time of this email, contractors were (unsuccessfully) trying to rescue the building from the flood damage.
|Burning bush in front of former BAE structure, fall of 2013|
I didn't look to my left, towards the Johnson City Y. It is still closed. It was flooded, and reopened, but then, last Saturday, a fire hit. Right now the estimated reopening date is November 4.
On the BAE side of Main Street, restoration employees arrive to begin their daily shift. The crowds of day workers who did the initial muck-out and waited in lines on Main Street to check in at a tent are gone, and the relative silence is eerie. There is still a lot of equipment there, tents, and people smoking cigarettes before their shift begins. Here, the lights glow almost like day through the fog.
The future itself of BAE is in doubt, but they continue to clean up the property in the meantime.
I walked on Main Street along the BAE property. On the other side of Main Street, the flooded side, Westover Plaza, stands empty. Lights glow in only one store, an Aldi, which has been totally remodeled. They are moving groceries into the building and I expect their reopening will be announced soon.
I stood at the fence in front of the front entrance of BAE, and a song from the 80's popped into my head. I don't know why, because this is not how I usually behave, but I suddenly sang out the song in my mind. It was a Simple Minds song called "All The Things She Said":
(I probably shouldn't be quoting this without permission but, in the Year of the Flood, I take this liberty) These may not be the exact words but this is what I sang in the fog:
"She said, this is the time
She said, this is the place
She said, this is the place* my heart wants to be"
And then I started my day."
*the actual lyrics say "space", but that morning, "place" seemed so right.
Day 24 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost