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
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Getting My Yankee On
Late Sunday afternoon, after Irene had made her appearance, I headed out to work in Boston. Usually, it is a 5-6 minute drive from Route 148 to the Pike. Sunday was a bit different. Route 20 was flooded in front of Yankee Peddler near Yankee Candle. This was the scene of the road being washed out a few years ago during a wicked fall storm that flooded a lot of our town. The culvert under the street is not wide enough to handle a swollen stream from a severe storm, so it comes up onto the road and into Yankee Peddler. A digital sign board warned me of what was to come. I grabbed a coffee at Dunkin's, and I headed to Arnold Road with the plan to take a right on Cooper and shoot over to Cedar Street. Right before I got to Cooper Road I shook my head and said something like, "You dolt, Wally. There is always water seeping onto Cooper Road". Sure enough Cooper road had a saw horse in the road with a sign proclaiming the road was closed.
Back to Route 20, and right turn to Holland Road. My Plan was to turn left onto Holland Road, and go up Douty Road to Stallion Hill Road and back down to Route 20. Douty is elevated, shouldn't have any flooding there.
I drove to Douty, and there in the middle of the road was another sign stating the same message as the last one. I didn't think about downed trees blocking the road.
I was running out of local route options to get to the turnpike. I had one more viable route: Finlay Road.
I drove further on, took a left onto Finlay, and drove up to the top of the hill. There was a lot of tree debris on the road, and along side the road. When I came to Leadmine Road, I turned left, and headed to Route 20. I hoped to reach it, I was out of options.
After a few minutes, I was at Route 20, on my way to Shaw's to return a movie at Red Box, and then onto Boston via the turnpike.
My 30 minute inconvenience cannot be compared to others who lost belongings, and property due to the water and wind, and to the loss of life elsewhere on the east coast during the storm. It just shows that we were all affected in big and small ways by storms.
Another thing my thirty minute maze-craze adventure could do is bring a little smile to your face as you imagine a middle-aged local man, armed to the teeth with the latest in GPS, poking his car into roads all over town like a mouse looking for a piece of cheddar, only to be moved further, and further away from where he wanted to be.
For a short time late Sunday afternoon, I really couldn't get there from here, and I felt more yankee than I ever had before.