Seven Years After Hurricane Irene Struck Schoharie County, There's A Silver Lining

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

If you were to read my Directory (and I wish you would) you'd see that I have some favorite places, places I visit and share here on the blog.  Most of them are right here in NYS within an hour from home.  Those places include, in no particular order, Easton, Chatham, Galway, Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties.  Aside from the fact they all appear a shameless number of times in the blog, they are all rural countrysides.  They all have miles and miles of open fields and farms, they're each quite photogenic and over the past four years, I've met some truly wonderful people who live in each of these locales. Most of these places were fairly new to me when I started the blog, that is except for Schoharie county.  I've been visiting Schoharie county for a good four decades.  My dad's job often took him to Schoharie county and when the Blenheim-Gilboa Visitor Center opened, we visited.  A very close family friend, Ruth LaPan, moved from Saratoga Lake to Blenheim where, in her 70's or so, she ran the Blenheim House until her death.  When our girls were little, we visited the Power Authority and Ruth, and we took my grandmother to Shaul's for her annual trunk-load harvest.  Oh how she loved food, especially fresh, local produce.  With such a long love affair for Schoharie, you can imagine how heartsick I was when John and I drove through the village of Schoharie seven years ago a couple days after Hurricane Irene unleashed her fury leaving everything covered in mud and debris.  Destroying homes, crops, belongings, livelihoods and lives, there was a time when things in Schoharie county looked pretty bleak.  Here's a glimpse of what we saw that day in 2011 that I'll never forget....







I have more, but they're just too sad.  A year later we took our granddaughter to the Pumpkin Patch and while things were looking more normal, there were definitely still signs of the flood that no one would forget.
Sign in the lower left corner indicates water levels from previous floods.

Blenheim-Gilboa Visitor Center

Schoharie isn't the only place to have lived through such a devastation of nature, not this year not other years. Seeing these photos reminds me that driving through the destruction of Hurricane Irene, seeing the chaos it brought, knowing the lives it changed....we spectators have no idea of just how much was lost in the course of one terrible storm.  We saw it on the news, we read about it online and in the papers, but just like any other form of tragedy and loss, we haven't a clue of the depth of loss that those affected had to overcome.  To drive through this area today, one would probably never know anything happened back in 2011.  They wouldn't know the struggles of the farmers whose crops were lost.  Houses along Main Street are mostly recovered, though not all.  To the uninformed tourist, one would never know.  But that doesn't erase the pain, it doesn't fix the broken, it doesn't ease the worry - worry that such a flood might happen again one day, even when things look like this....
This past weekend we visited some of our favorite spots in Schoharie county.  We had lunch at Schoharie Valley Farms, always a perfect stop for a delicious lunch, a baked dessert, fresh produce and beautiful things for your garden.  From there we went on to Middleburg to Under the Nose where we split one of Lin Quinn's delicious homemade ice cream sandwiches.  We made sure to bring home a 'Booger" for the grandkids too!  If you've never been or if you've never heard of a 'Booger', check out my post:
https://www.lifeasiseeitphotography.net/2017/10/discovering-treasure-right-under-nose.html
Then, with tummy's full and the weather perfect, we spent the next few hours driving the back roads of Schoharie county.  Some people may say there's no God, but the people in Schoharie county might beg to differ.  I don't know if it was the crystal blue sky or the puffy white clouds, or just God smiling down on the anniversary of the victims of Hurricane Irene, but I might say the photos I took that day are some of the prettiest I've ever captured.  For that one sunny day, the black cloud that was Hurricane Irene was a distant memory.  For those who read this that endured the Flood of 2011, know you are strong, you are resilient, you are survivors.  Your struggles may seem unnoticed but there are many who look up to you and remember your defeat that awful August day.  As in most dark clouds, there was a silver lining and in that lining exists one of the prettiest places on earth.  I know - I've seen it.  I've savored it, I've captured it and I share it.  Here's a small glimpse of the many photos from this weekend.  The rest will be featured in a short movie montage on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/GAWelter/

Thanks for stopping by Life As I See It.  I hope you'll share today's post with people you know who love Schoharie county as much as I do.  This post is for all of them.  To read more posts about Schoharie, check out my Directory (https://www.lifeasiseeitphotography.net/p/directory.html) under Destinations-New York.  If you enjoyed this blog and want to read more, consider subscribing!  All you need to do is enter your email and every new post will be delivered right to your inbox.  No more waiting for Facebook to bring it to you.

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