As I’ve noted before, I will always remember, in the immediate aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene ripping through the Catskills in August 2011 – and us, with a generator, so we could actually watch some news and have internet – hearing CNN’s Anderson Cooper actually say, “Prattsville, New York,” several times to a worldwide audience. It was surreal. We always see disasters played out in media “elsewhere,” but it never happens to “us,” right?:
That nearby town had been virtually destroyed when waters from the massively overflowing Schoharie Creek tore through it. Four years on, the scars are still there, yet it has rebuilt wonderfully – there are new stores and refurbished homes. (We venture in there primarily to shop at the well-stocked “Great American” supermarket.) It looks almost like another place now.
Being up and away from the streams and creeks, we were incredibly lucky. We lost only bits of roof in the wind and our driveway was washed away in several places. Nothing surprising about that latter in the heaviest rain I ever recall seeing fall in my life – and it went on and on for horrible hours.
So when I began writing these novels, I decided I wanted to include the area I’d grown to love as I’ve gotten to know it since we built the house not far from Windham almost 10 years ago. And what’s not to love? Here are some autumn leaves photos from yesterday:
So I set a small part of Frontiers hereabouts. To do so, as a plot device I moved “James’s” cousin “Lori” up here from Long Island – just like the real-life me, another transplanted Long Islander:
What you can get away with in novels, eh? The Catskills have been written about, painted, and photographed, for centuries, of course. Having a home here, I have come fully to understand why that is.
Have a good day, wherever you are in the world. 🙂