Tropical Storm Irene

It was supposed to be a Hurricane and Miss Irene certainly did enough damage as she rolled up the East Coast. Here in Taunton we fully expected to get slammed. My office in Plymouth actually closed and shifted the work to other locations so I got an unexpected day off with pay.

By the time Irene reached us on Sunday it had been downgraded to a tropical storm. Even so she left her mark. I was lucky. One neighbor had a tree come down on their car. Another had a huge tree come down in their yard. That tree was so big is covered the yard and blocked the street.

Give credit where credit is due…the police and fire department responded in the storm and cleared the road.

The rain came first. Torrential downpours that came in bands, almost like an ebb and flow. Once the rain moved on the winds started. Highland St was first flooded then the tree came down and blocked it.

I saw the tree limb come down on my neighbor’s car. It was surreal. It looked like it was slow motion even though it wasn’t. I would have thought it was my imagination but another neighbor asked me if I’d seen it come down. His comment was “I saw it and it looked just like it was in slow motion.”

But even with the downed trees and power outages that we have it could have been worse. Vermont’s rivers are flooding and washing out roads and bridges. A ski lodge has collapsed and the guests are stranded because the roads off the mountain are washed out.

Lake George in New York, the area where I grew up, has overflowed into the Village of Lake George. I don’t think I can ever remember that happening.

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When I thought I was going to have to go to work I’d planned to try to get down to the ocean, one of the beaches or some such vantage point to get some pictures but when they called and told me to stay home I took their advice. So no award winning photos to share from this storm. Just a few local shots.

P. S. Still time to vote in the NH dream vacation photo contest!

All’s Well Here

Editor in Chief

We survived hurricane Irene with only the minor inconvenience of short power outages. Some of my neighbors weren’t as lucky as the winds brought down a lot of trees and tree branches.

Smokey has his Vet Appointment today so I’m off to take him there. More Later! In the meantime, here’s the link for the NH dream vacation. The Voting continues. 🙂

When Violence gets too close

Last Sunday night I arrived home about 9 pm after a very long day (12 hours) at work. All I had on my mind was getting home, feeding the cats and kicking back so you can imagine how I felt when I reached my street only to see it blocked off by the police.

I tried going around the block and coming down my street from the other side thinking to go into my parking lot the “back way” but that was blocked too. The cruiser blocking the street was running with its lights on but no one was in it. About this time a large pick up truck came out of the street and maneuvered around the cruiser to exit. I flagged the driver down and asked him what was going on.

He said the police had shot an old man at the corner of Winthrop and Highland. He said he had gotten close enough to see that the man was on the ground but still alive. The man said he heard that the injured man had attacked the police officer with a knife.

I went back to my car and tried another side street. This one was blocked by the Animal Control Van but at least the officer was in the van. I explained that I lived in the condo complex and asked if I could go in. He backed out-of-the-way and motioned me through. He smiled and didn’t seem particularly upset.

I thought of going over to see if I could get a picture for this space and get more details but I was really tired and just figured I’d only be turned away. I don’t have any press credentials or anything like that.  I spoke to a couple of the neighbors but no one seemed to have any more information than I did. Nothing came on the news that night or the next morning.

When I picked my friend and her family up for our day on the Cape, she mentioned that the victim was a 64-year-old man who was a cancer survivor who needed a mechanical larynx to talk. I knew immediately who she was talking about then. He is one of my neighbors from the next building. He is disabled but maintained an electrical contractors license and I had hired him for work in my unit when I first moved in. At the time I thought he was a little strange but chalked it up to what he had to go through in his life. “Ernie” was always pleasant enough and would always wave when I saw him.

I wasn’t aware of his history but according to the Taunton Daily Gazette, he had a history with the police and had been involuntarily committed in the past. There was some speculation that Ernie was trying to commit “suicide by cop”. Witnesses  said Ernie flagged the patrol car down and then approached the officer while he was still in the cruiser. When Ernie reached the side of the cruised he pulled out a knife and tried to stab the officer. The police officer pulled away and into the condo complex and called for back up. In the meantime Ernie came at the officer again and refused to drop the knife. That is when the officer shot him.

These things are supposed to happen somewhere else to other people, not to people I know. I feel very bad for Ernie as he must have been very distressed to try that and I also feel for the officer. My brother is a police officer and I know an incident like that would be very traumatic for him.

It just shows that you never know what or where violence can spring up. This time is was way to close for my taste.

Seals and more beach, Chatham Ma

We had a great lunch on the patio at the Kreme and Cone in Chatham, MA. Over fish and clams, shrimp and  onion rings we planned the afternoon. It was going on 2:30 pm by then anyway. The kids wanted to go to the Zooquarium in Yarmouth but they also wanted to see the seals. Since we were right there in Chatham we adults made an executive decision to go to the Fish Pier and see the seals.

We had great timing because the fishing boats were coming in with their catch. When we first got there a boat was off-loading lobster. Another boat had dogfish. Alex loved watching the unloading process.

The seagulls were swooping and there were 3- 4 seals that kept diving and swimming around the boats.

The nice thing about the Fish Pier is that a 2nd floor wrap around deck with a railing gives spectators an awesome place to watch the whole process. There’s a takeout seafood restaurant and a couple of picnic tables too as well as a decent restroom. Parking is a challenge. The parking lot is very tiny and always packed. Once you park you walk down to the pier.

The activity here held the kids attention much longer than I expected and we had a great time. When it was time to leave the kids made one last request. They wanted to walk the beach to look for shells. So it was back to the car for their buckets and flip-flops so they could wade in the water.

It was really neat. The little beach combers were very cute. A couple of the seals came around the dock and played in the water just off shore. This is the inner harbor and there hasn’t been any problem with sharks this far into the harbor but even so Nancy & I went on high alert to keep an eye out. Better safe than sorry.

We wrapped up the day by stopping for soft ice cream at the Seafood Shanty in Bourne. While we were eating our ice cream at the Herring Run recreation area across the road a huge barge passed us and traveled under the Sagamore bridge. It was just nearing sundown and it was easy to see why these are considered the golden hours for taking pictures.

The Sagamore bridge seemed to glow a burnished gold. It was the frosting on the cake. I had a great day and I think the kids had fun too. Next time we’ll have to get to the Zooquarium.


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