Lorinda Henry

Lorinda Henry

Well, it rained. Then it rained. After that it rained. My son-in-law was dispatched to buy umbrellas before trick-or-treat time. He returned with three of them (and pizza) in time to watch the three-year-old get gussied up as a baby tiger. Then they were off, juggling everything they had before plus an umbrella each. I stayed behind to hand out candy to the kids who braved the storm to come to our door. Some were very bedraggled looking, but all were cheerful. I stayed over because I hate driving in the rain. I hate driving at night. And I especially hate driving on Halloween when little monsters can dart out from anywhere, no matter what the weather.

So early morning saw me coming back to Milton before full daybreak, looking at the way things look new after rain and at dawn. Nothing seemed particularly unusual. At first, anyway. But there were puddles where I had never before seen them. And scattered tree limbs. And a few orange cones designating watery areas. In Colchester I turned on to Rte. 2 & 7 headed for Chimney Corner. As I expected, the creek under the bridge at Munson’s Flats was high – not over the road, but high. Then within a short distance, there was water in the road. And right after that it covered the road. I know you aren’t supposed to drive in it, but the cars ahead of me navigated well, so I followed. I heaved a sigh of relief – too soon, for around the bend in a low area the road was once again inundated. By the time I got home that road had been closed and River St. was closing. I pulled into the driveway and stayed put.

It’s November. There are still those of us whose thoughts turn back 92 years to The 1927 Flood. Or just The Flood. It took me quite a few years to understand that when people described something really old as being before “The Flood” they did not mean 1927 at all, but the whole Noah’s Ark saga. I don’t remember The Flood (either of them!), but every person of my grandparents generation had stories to tell. Our Cousin Clara lived in Johnson by the river. She let me explore her attic once, and told me how during the flood they hand been forced by rising water to stay up there on the third story. Further toward Cambridge, Gramp used to nod across a field and tell me there had been a house there that floated away. My friend, Velma, was a school teacher. She got home to Milton, but the bridge by the dam gave way and she was trapped here a while. At my house there are water stains upstairs about 3 feet up the wall. My neighbor said when he rebuilt his house in the 40s he found a dead fish in the wall over his front door. When I was a kid there were many concrete bridges with “1928” embossed signifying the year they were built. Many if not most have been replaced by now, but it was sobering as a child to realize a road I was on right now had been under water and the bridge washed away in 1927.

So the rain we had last week was really not such a big deal, considering. My younger daughter and her husband are temporarily homeless because the whole basement of their apartment house was flooded to the top; utilities had to be shut off. They have been couch surfing with various friends, which they admit was way more fun when they were in their twenties. But here we are, all well, all glad it has stopped raining. Hope you are all drying out, too.

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