Thursday, August 2, 2012

Goodnight Irene (or, flowers in the parking lot).

There are flowers all around Margaretville. The little garden above is in an alley.

Main Street is lined with planters. These are all the handiwork of Sue Ilho and high school students doing their community service. Sue owns The Cheese Barrel, which was devastated by floods following Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011.

The ice cream cone marks The Cheese Barrel . (Those are bales of hay, not giant marshmallows). Inventory was ruined and the store had to be gutted. Sue set up shop in temporary quarters. I remember how great it was to be able to get a cup of coffee in town, something that wasn't possible for a month or so after the flood, with 2/3 of the town washed out. Sue's a hard worker (when I think of her the words pluck and gumption come to mind); she rebuilt the Cheese Barrel, and opened the doors in May.

This year, there are even flowers in the parking lot. 

Margaretville is starting to feel whole again.


  1. sounds like a great community you have over there... :)

  2. It is really encouraging story after the devastating flood, especially for Japanese who occasionally have damage by typhoons and unexpected Tsunami.Flowers are quite comforting.

  3. Hello Jen:
    The video clip of the flood waters really does reinforce how very alarming it all must have been and how widespread the damage and destruction. What an amazing recovery has been made, and what resilience shown by so many people, and how attractive it all looks now.

  4. Parts of britain were devastated by flooding this year.Looking at your pictures was like looking at those places on tv. I hope those parts soon get back to their best. The town in your photos looks beautiful now Jen. I am always amazed at how people affected by these natural disasters dig in and find the strength to get on with things.

  5. Just about a year ago's been on my mind these past few days.

    So glad to hear of and see the bravery and beauty in your town.

    Here's to a quiet August.

    xo J.

  6. I like the way young people like high school students do their community service. We had a torrential rain and caused flooding in some area of southern part of Japan this year too. There has been no news coverage since it was over but I do hope they are restoring their usual lives and stepping forward.
    Thank you for sharing a good story.

  7. I second Jane, Irene's been on my mind as well. We had water in our basement for the first time ever and I was horrified then I found out the next town over was devastated just as Margaretville was and thanked my lucky stars. Sadly, some businesses didn't make it back but most did. Says a lot about people. Glad to hear your happy ending.

  8. Charming! One of the sweet pleasures of a small town is the flowers that shop owners and residents plant.

  9. Gorgeous flowers. I'm amaze by the unity of the community. Its inspiring. Hope all the towns would look like this place.