This past weekend Hurricane Irene was little more than a nuisance for the east coast.
Or so you thought.
A sleepy little county in upstate New York, just 90 miles outside of NYC, would say otherwise. It has been declared a disaster.
This county is Ulster. It is home to the Ashokan Reservoir, the water supply to NYC - the same reservoir featured on the rotating header of my blog. It is home to one of the most well known stories taught to children throughout elementary school - Rip Van Winkle.
This is where I grew up.
I've been gone for 15 years. Married, had children and lived all over the United States with an Air Force husband.
Yet, I always manage to come home.
I bring my children there every Spring for Easter Egg Hunts on my parent's 22 acre property. We spend three lazy weeks there each summer, laying in the hammock enjoying cool mountain breezes and watching the clouds float across a heavenly blue sky. We fish at local lakes, swim in creeks, collect Red Efts and chase the chickens when they stray from the property. We hike mountains, pick strawberries and visit historic sites. We walk through towns still frozen in time with quintessential shops supplying items for every need and whim.
And now it's gone.
All of it.
Unfortunately with unprecedented tax hikes and little to no media coverage this town will be hard pressed to recover from this natural disaster more catastrophic than Katrina.
I'm hoping my writer friends will support me in my efforts to help this devastated area. I've tried to organize an online auction, but apparently I don't have enough clout to get the attention of agents or editors to help me in these efforts. So I hope you will help me...because there is strength in numbers! Spread the word. If you're a writer, offer your time with a query crit or chapter crit. If you have an agent/editor, spread the word to them. Tweet this post. Facebook it. Whatever you have to do to get the word out!
Donate. Volunteer. Pray.
Thank you friends, for your support. This week has been a difficult one at best, filled with tears and grief.
On a final note...please take a moment to watch this video made by a local resident.
Thanks to my high school classmate, Derek Stapleton for use of these photos...and for his efforts with Hurricane Irene.