In the days since Hurricane Irene made landfall in the Green Mountain State, we have been counting our oh-so-many blessings. Thankfully, our home, property, studio, and kiln were all unaffected by the flood waters that ravaged much of our town of Bethel, the neighboring communities, and our beloved state of Vermont. (Thank you for your concerned phone calls and emails!)
I had joked offhandedly with a customer the day before that I would be putting the finishing touches on their dinner plates the day after the storm, so long as the road to the studio didn't wash away. Well, it did. And it took with it homes, roads, bridges, cars, and crops- virtually everything in it's path. What felt a very rainy day proved to be the worst flooding our state had seen in a century. In the mid-afternoon, the brook that generally runs about 15 feet below our road was rushing over the top, and our upper pond had overrun it's banks. If that was happening here, I thought, I can't imagine what's happening downstream. I didn't drive through the water to find out.
The next day was sunny, beautiful, and heartbreaking. We rode our bikes around our town- to our favorite spot on the river (now hard to recognize), the school ball fields, and across the bridge to River Street, where we saw houses teetering on their foundations, or in some cases, missing entire levels altogether. Our firewood guy (yes, we own 50 acres and we buy firewood) had 600 cords wash downstream. Our favorite organic farm lost 5 acres of crops. The state highway west to our friends' house and our clay supplier completely disappeared for miles.
It's been a very sad and strange couple of weeks, but it's also been amazing to witness the resiliency of Vermonters and see the speed at which rebuilding is taking place (thank you, State of Maine DOT dump trucks!)
If you're interested in following post-Irene news from Vermont, seeing more photos, or making a donation to help those affected by the flooding, you can click here for more information.
We'll be donating 10% of the proceeds from our upcoming Open Studio Tour to flood relief. We hope this finds you safe and dry . . . all the best, Becca and Nathan.