We were lucky. Damage to the cabin during Irene consisted of pressure building up in our hand-dug well, which dates to the 1800s, that pushed water effortlessly through the hand pump and spilling onto the kitchen floor – for hours. But outside, along Popple Dungeon Road and many more throughout Chester – well, you remember. Boulder season.
But now, after such a dry winter – terrible news for our winter tourism economy – a wacky heat spell in March and a chocolate pudding mud season, I'm viewing these rains with hope. The south branch of the Williams River is running strong – without the bouldering booms of August. And drying creeks are filling up. Wells are getting recharged. The air is cleaner, if a bit chillier. And the weekend's road dust is non-existent.
It all feels right – for now. Earlier this week, a winter storm watch was issued for western Maryland, western Pennsylvania and New York state. Thankfully, it didn't take a right at Harrisburg. Aren't we already in growing mode? Like other growers, when the weather warms, my brain goes to seeds. The greenhouse is filled with thousands of plants – from herbs to veggies (those cuke plants are huge) to ornamentals.
The wasps are back, as well. They hang along the ridge pole, sluggish in the morning but partying when I toss some sticks on the fire. But it wasn't until this past weekend that I began to go through the wood at any regular pace. So, we'll just continue with hope, that the warm weather will return, that the rains will come back when needed, that the plants will survive a cold snap, that the tarps will hold as well as they have till we re-tar the roof, that our neighbors and friends and fellow Chesterites will be comfortable, happy and healthy. And that the visitors who missed the snows this winter will return for our beautiful spring and summer, to enjoy the heat of the day, the cool of the evening, the swimming holes, the hiking and biking paths, the good companionship that we also enjoy in Chester.
--Cynthia Prairie, Editor