Featured, Phyllis Merriam, The Buzz

By Phyllis Merrimann — The Buzz

The Village Soup reported a dozen households severely impacted by the Halloween storm. In actuality, at least two-dozen homes’ basements were damaged with water and mud along with an unknown number of water-damaged vehicles.

As we move into the holidays, not even murmurs of compassion – never mind money to mitigate Lindsey Brook – are forthcoming from the city council. Wright-Pierce, the engineering firm contracted by the city seems to be saying mitigation could be done on public properties but not private properties. The city is responsible for Lindsey Brook. What will they do to help Rockland property owners inundated by storms?

An older, very thin woman, afoot, approached me on the Harbor Trail asking for directions to the AIO Food Pantry. She said she was also homeless. I gave her directions and encouraged her to ask for the emergency assistance AIO also offers. It’s obscene how so many suffer while so many billionaires like the Bezos and Musks have made gobs of money during this pandemic

Mango went on a rampage during the night while we were sleeping. He made a full frontal attack on a dried flower arrangement with which he had previously just been toying. Wandering the downstairs with my first coffee of the morning, I came upon a large pile of shredded debris in the dining room that trailed off to most of the rest of the downstairs. For some unknown feline reason, Mango has since been settling in more and becoming less aggressive. We don’t know his early history, which is short as he’s very young – perhaps just two. I’ve worked with human children who were so-called, out-of-control and know that is just takes a lot of patience, compassion and in Mango’s case, easy access to food and affection. He follows me closely, making soft cat trilling sounds as we “talk.”

November’s colors may seem to be all boring browns. But if one looks closely: There is still bright green grass; the few orange and gold leaves still clinging to trees; ornamental grasses with their graceful paleness; Japanese Maples showing off their magnificent garnet leaves; bare tree branches like wire sculptures tracing cloudless skies; White Birch trees against the ecstatic reds of Winterberry and Red Twig Dogwood.

We went on our first real outing to Hallowell with cousins. It seemed surreal to walk down Hallowell’s streets in the warm November sunshine. We went to a favorite bookstore that has been open for forty years by the same proprietor. The return trip required a stop at Elmer’s Barn. It hadn’t changed. The interior was still dimly lighted with an overwhelming amount of used merchandise. It was as though the belongings of hundreds of the deceased somehow ended up on the shelves in Elmer’s Barn.

Covid cases are soaring ever higher in Maine as the surge results in many more cases, hospitalizations and deaths. More than 1,000 new daily cases as reports mount. More Maine schools close and return to remote learning as covid cases rise among students
and staff. School personnel hoped for a more “normal” 2021-2022 academic year. The virus impacts the economy.

Supply chain delays result in some empty store shelves. Hannaford had only two checkout lines yesterday. More Covid refugees are moving away from urban areas to retire or work remotely in Maine.

This story was first seen in The Buzz newspaper, a media partner with Maine Coast TV. The Buzz printed version is distributed in Rockland Maine each week at these locations:

Good Tern Co-op • Dunkin’ Donuts • Jensen’s Pharmacy

Rock City Cafe • Southend Grocery

The Buzz online version is available each Friday at www.TheBuzz.me.

If you’d like to contribute an article to The Buzz or be an announcer or volunteer at WRFR.org, email steinberger@gwi.net or call Joe at 596-0731.

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