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Friday, November 25, 2011

Small Business Saturday

Thanksgiving officially marks the beginning of shopping season.  It's sad that a holiday devoted to gratitude is overrun by advertising and marketing, and I hope that you thought of many things to be thankful for yesterday.  I waited an extra day to post this, just so that I could leave Thanksgiving for thankfulness.

But now it is post-holiday and time for thinking about presents and purchasing and who will get what and where you will get it.  Some of you may have already been at Target or WalMart during the wee small hours of the morning; I'm going to curb my comments on that....  However, Saturday is Small Business Saturday -- a day to be especially mindful of the small local businesses in our community.  We have many small businesses -- restaurants, shops, and more in Hadley, Amherst, Northampton, Deerfield, Greenfield, and all the other towns around.  Please get out on Saturday (or today -- and any other day, of course) and support our local small businesses.

I hope you're looking forward to a happy holiday season!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

The Rocky Hill turkey was out this afternoon wishing all the passersby a happy Thanksgiving (the larger turkey family was out this morning with similar well-wishes).

I hope you are thinking of many many things to be thankful for this holiday.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween Storm of '11

One week ago Massachusetts was hit with what is coming to be known as the Halloween Storm of '11.  Inches and inches of heavy, wet snow fell across the region of Western Massachusetts -- up to 28 inches in some locations.

At my house in Hadley, we received something close to 8 inches of snow.  Our electricity went out around 4:15 Saturday afternoon, flickered around 5:30, and then remained off until Wednesday evening -- 101 hours later (we are so thankful to have it back!).  According to the WMECO outage map, there are still 77 Hadley customers without electricity (I know N. Maple is still closed because of downed trees and wires) -- there are still thousands without power across the state.  We fared well, all things considered.  We lost 2 limbs off our old apple tree and a few small branches from other trees at the perimeter of our property, but others in the neighbourhood and town lost entire trees and branches the size of trees.  Massive old maples and oaks were wrenched apart, split down the middle, limbs ripped down the side.

Sunday evening we went out for a short tour.  The entire Rt 9 strip was black, except for Target; Stop and Shop was open and receiving a truckload of goods.  Darkness everywhere else.  By Monday, many of the stores were open again and we were able to charge up our cell phone at The Black Sheep.  There were shelters with charging stations, heat, and food around the Valley, but we mostly stuck to our fireplace.

The pictures below show some of the story (click on the pictures for larger, higher resolution shots).  Make a comment, share your story.  I'll follow this up later.

Waking up on Hallow's Eve eve.

Low lines, broken trees.

Detour signs on many of the frequently-traveled roads.

Some detour signs were more creative than others.
Fast food restaurants were closed.

We did a lot of cooking over the open fire....

Trees split.
Branches breaking and falling like twigs.

Massive piles of brush were (are still) a common sight along the sides of the roads.

One of the old trees sent branches crashing into the cemetery.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Town Meeting -- a Go

According to signs around town, the town meeting is still a go tonight (the listing on the page linked below says the town meeting will go ahead despite the state of emergency) -- 7pm, Hopkins Academy.
For more information, visit this advisory page.