Where have I been lately? Why hasn’t there been a new post here since October 28th? That’s simple. We’ve been living our own Hallowe’en nightmare.
The snow began last Saturday afternoon, while we were happily watching Mozart’s Don Giovanni in HD Opera across the river in Hadley. Wet, thick, heavy snow it was, making our drive back to Northampton a little tricky. Driving along Route 9 we discovered that traffic lights were out and police were directing traffic at important intersections. Not a good omen, we decided. But when we crossed to the west bank of the river there were lights and we seemed to be home free.
We made dinner, we ate it, we piled the dishes in the dishwasher, we turned it on, and then —- the lights went out. And stayed out, for 47 long, dark, cold hours. Fortunately the Meeting House in our community has a generator, and so, during the next two long cold dark days we could go there to get a respite, with light and warmth and hot tea and coffee. Soup and snacks and crackers and bagels and PB&J began to make appearances as time crept slowly by– Sleeping in our dark cold house was okay, because we piled on two down comforters, even adding socks and caps. (No wonder our ancestors wore nightcaps.)
The wonderful staff at Lathrop stepped into the breach (thank you, Julie, Lenny, Diane, Roxy, Liz, you are all our Local Heroes). By Hallowe’en eve, instead of handing out goodies to trick or treat-ers, we were having hamburgers and hot dogs cooked outside on the grill, and the fancy sheet cake contributed by a local supermarket was just being passed for dessert when — our street lamps went on!
That thrill, though, was tempered by the devastation wreaked by the storm. A foot of snow, unprecedented in October, heavy snow at that, caused our deciduous trees, mostly still canopied with leaves, to collapse under the weight. Broken and twisted trees brought down power lines, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power. Some unlucky ones are still without power as I type.
Our streets are heaped with piles of debris, awful and unphotogenic. I show you just two images, which remind me of the damage a tornado leaves behind when it scours a landscape. This time it was snow, not wind, but the scouring was as thorough. We will be mourning these deaths for a long long time.
An open wound gaping:
Decades to grow, destroyed in a day — A Hallowe’en trick we won’t soon forget.