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Guest Column - Why Did I join Rotary?

June 6, 2017

Susan Coons
Until yesterday, May 19, I had been pondering what to write about for our newsletter after receiving Sally's reminder of my responsibility. "Why did I join Rotary? What are some favorite Rotary memories? What do I enjoy most about Rotary?" Then, in the aftermath of the crazy, wild storm in the evening of Thursday, May 18, the inspiration came to me.

That evening my daughter and I, with our two dogs, were on the bypass driving west. We could see that it was raining somewhere but here it was lovely and hot. A record high of 93 degrees. I had spent the afternoon vacuuming the pool and was proud of my accomplishment, saying, "This is the first time I've ever been so far ahead of the season preparing the pool! It's looking awesome!"

I mixed up hamburgers with blue cheese and seasoning and Catherine grilled them on the barbecue. French fries and a delightful salad were the accompaniment and homemade rhubarb/strawberry pie with lattice top was the dessert. I'm telling you all of this to let you know how peaceful and wonderful the day and early evening were.

The sky darkened around 8 so as an act of precaution, my daughter laid down the outdoor umbrellas. She came quickly into the house and told me to look out to the west. The sky was odd colors, and I, being from the Midwest, knew that could only mean the possibility of a twister. And just as I walked from the front of the house to the middle, it hit! Wind was blowing from all four directions. The thunder and rain lasted over and hour, but the battering, twisting wind only lasted about one minute. The damage left in its wake was tremendous. A tree fell on power lines snapping a telephone pole in half across the street and simultaneously ripped the wiring from my house and that of my neighbor with the wires and transformer on fire as they hit the ground.

Almost immediately there was the sound of sirens, fire trucks, police and firemen checking our properties. We learned later that, in light of the severity of the storm, National Grid turned off the power to the entire Village of Hoosick Falls. A National Grid employee stood guard in his vehicle with the yellow light flashing all night with my dog barking every time he communicated with his dispatcher. The only sounds for the next 20 hours were chain saws, wood chippers, sirens, hydraulic bucket trucks, a truck with a trailer pulling a new telephone pole, men on walkie talkies, the driving wind, and last, but not least, my dog barking at all of it. Continuously.

I still don't have cable (no phone, internet or TV) but I did find an inspiration for a little light writing! Oh, by the way, Friday, May 19, was also my son's birthday! Now I have two reasons to remember that day!

Author: Susan Coons
Sally Sugarman (Club Member & Windmill Editor)

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