One of us lives on the east coast. One of us lives on the west.

One of us lives in a rural community. One of us lives in a city.

Both of us wander. Both of us witness. Both of us write.

This is a record of what we find.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Flood of Gratitude

Irene wreaked havoc on Vermont last week. Water, water, water, everywhere. Roads washed away, covered bridges collapsed, homes fell, and memories disintegrated. This is the worst flooding we have endured since 1927.

My street. (Jared Katz:

My town got hit hard. And my street was at its epicenter. Two of my across-the-street neighbors lost the foundations under their houses. One of those neighbors was in her basement when a wall of her foundation collapsed. My friend at the top of the block had so much flooding in her house she has to rebuild her first floor walls. And the farm at the end of the block lost their crops as well as a dozen or so sheep and pigs.

My friend's house.
(Jared Katz:

Saving a sheep.
(Jared Katz:

My own basement flooded up to three feet from the ceiling. We lost the vast majority of our photos, books, clothes, boots and—hardest for me—my three children’s art and school work. Most of it disintegrated. Even the plastic bins I so smartly packed papers in filled up with water. So much of it lost.

A photo of my grandmother that someone
 managed to save. She seems to be guarding
our belongings.

But we are all safe and sound.
All of my family. All of my friends. All of my neighbors.

We feel eternally grateful for that. And the outpouring of pure support and help and positive energy from friends, neighbors and strangers (who are not strangers anymore) has been staggering. We feel grateful for that too. Just look at what they did for me.
Photos that volunteers peeled apart, waashed and hung to dry.

Being in a crisis—facing difficult logistical tasks and feeling painful emotions—is a lonely process… so having people who care about the details of your life makes all the difference in the world.

All.  The.  Difference.

Today, my gratitude rises and spills over for all of the people who have helped me and family over the last week and a half. And my love and healing thoughts go out to other Vermonters still dealing hard and deep with Irene.

Tam Smith


  1. So so thankful you are safe and sound... and ready to kiss the Earth.


  2. Oh, Tam! How heart-wrenching! I'm so sorry for all that you've lost, and so relieved for all that you've salvaged. Thank goodness for the love and support that surrounds you.