Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fixin' A Hole Where The Rain Gets In...

Ever notice something that needs fixin', but is not in your power to fix? Better yet, ever see the thing needin' fixin' bein' fixed?

I did, yesterday around 5:00 PM on Route 148. For some time now I've see the road, a little north of Clarke Road, flood a bit with heavy rains. In the winter, the north bound side of the road gets a thick, maybe 4 inch thick, coating of ice that spreads out from the side of the road almost to the center line. One morning, a Town DPW sand truck was there dumping a lot of sand on the glacier that had formed over night. The truck driver was going back and forth over the area to really cover it with sand. I had noticed the flooding there off and on since I moved to the area, but this was the first time I had seen the DPW addressing any problem there. Now I knew that they knew about it.

See, there are two "intermittent streams", as the state calls them, running north to south between Clarke Road ad Brookfield Road. An intermittent stream is, well, a stream, but only intermittently. Last year, the outer stream, which runs directly behind our house stopped flowing in late June, and did not begin to flow again till late December. That's intermittent. But, this spring, with all the rain, it flowed like the Mississippi, and the other stream, the one that is closer to Clarke Road actually flows so fast, and its volume increases so much, that there was too much water to get into the culvert at the roadway so it overflowed the road, and the lawns in the area.

Yesterday I saw a work crew at the site of where the stream comes to the culvert under the road. A new trench had been dug out and lined with rip-rap stones, and another trench was being dug parallel to the roadway for more drainage. I was on my way out of town, so I did not know what else they had in mind, but what I saw looked good.

They were fixin'.

Small towns have small budgets, but the folks that work for them have great ideas, plans, and hopes for the town that is only limited by money. It was great to see the town addressing, and making right, a potentially dangerous situation, all for the cost of some rock and labor. Maybe some other town would have left it till a tragedy happened, I don't know, but ours didn't.

They do the very best they can with what they've got.

Hard to ask for much more than that.

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