Hudson - Litchfield News July 22, 2011 - 3
The Word Around Town... Letters to our Editor
Benson Park 9/11 Memorial
I was so proud to live in Hudson, NH, when I read about the 9/11 Memorial planned for Benson Park. That pride was only bolstered when I learned of the beautiful and fitting Memorial planned for dedication on 9/11/2011, the 10-year anniversary. “There will be two tall beams to replicate the
Twin Towers, granite and glass will be shaped in five-tiered walls above ground and around the steel beams to represent the Pentagon, and the grass around the memorial will represent the field in Pennsylvania where the hijacked Flight 93 crashed.”
I still get the chills when I read that. To me, 9/11 is not about what happened to us, but about how our great country responded. The firefighters, EMTs, and police who bravely entered burning buildings, the Congress singing “God
Bless America,” our President making us proud at Ground Zero, and our valiant armed services showed the best of America. The memorial groups needs our help, though, and I have made a small donation in support of the only 9/11 Memorial in NH. Donations can be sent to: Hudson 9/11 Memorial Fund, c/o Hudson Firefighters Association, PO Box 156, Hudson, NH 03051-0156. Thank you to the Hudson firefighters and
town volunteers who are making this important memorial possible. I look forward to attending the dedication ceremony on September 11, 2011, knowing that I had a small part in its success. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” Margaret Mead. God Bless America.
Anonymous - Hudson Will Anyone Even Notice?
by Helen Downing, UNH Extension Master Gardener Living on a busy rural highway can have its
advantages: We don’t have far to plow in winter and hardly ever suffer power outages. On the downside, I can’t just run across the road to open the chicken coop in my bathrobe. That’s because the road divides our property; our house is on the west side of the road, and the barn, chicken coop, and gardens are on the east. The road, I need to add, has only been around since
1810. At that time, if the state decided to expand its highways, residents on the road itself were required to help in its construction. The once-quiet, unpaved highway between the county seat and the nearest district court has evolved over time into a paved thoroughfare. It still connects the court with the county seat, but now serves a stream of tourists, businesses, and local traffic. That same visibility from the highway also caused me some embarrassment with our scarecrows. One year while I was away, my husband put up two scarecrows. One looked kind of like him—plaid shirt, baseball cap— and the other looked like me—straw hat with flowers, flannel shirt, garden pants, and … chubby. (Gasp!) It’s amazing how looking at a scarecrow that resembles you and includes negative attributes can make you feel crabby. Needless to say, that scarecrow got a change of clothes and lost some its stuffing in a hurry. It’s one thing to fight the battle of the bulge, and another to scream our overstuffed condition to every trucker, bus, and RV that goes by. Anyone passing by must have wondered if we’d finally lost all of our marbles the day we dragged our chicken coop across the highway. This was a brand- new coop built by my husband, who is well known for overbuilding even the most trivial of wooden devices. He had built in our dooryard (Yankee for front
driveway and place to work on really big projects). He and our adult son, also genetically inclined to participate in projects of dubious and complicated strategies, dragged it on skids across the road to its resting place using our Ford tractor. With four grandkids sitting beside the road staring in disbelief and cheering wildly, the coop made the trip smoothly and remains in place to this day, housing 20 chickens who just don’t know how lucky they are. Two generations of chickens and their byproducts have lived in that coop and keep the garden compost
8 THIN & TALL filler (self promo)
heap and perennial beds healthy and fertile. A few years ago as part of a fall display, I placed a four-foot-tall, smiling scarecrow dressed in red, yellow, and blue in my garden facing the road. My dentist’s receptionist, who drives by daily, commented as I entered the office one day how much she enjoyed my “frog.” It took me a few days to realize that from her viewpoint, in a car traveling along the highway, a scarecrow could resemble a frog! Ever since, frogs have become another staple in my garden—only now they don’t look like scarecrows. A few autumns back, while I weeded in a bed of perennials, my husband mowed across the field from where I knelt. He could see a medium-sized bear approaching from the opposite direction, getting closer and closer to where I was stationed, head down and oblivious. There was no way he could warn me, since I was too far away to hear him yell. Cars passed, the sun felt warm on my back, and all seemed well with the world. I remember having the distinct impression I could hear a dog panting, but rather than look up, I just continued to exist absentmindedly in the moment. Later, my husband would tell me he watched as traffic
distracted the bear, and it crossed the road heading for the woods behind our house. I doubt that the bear ever endangered me, but still my mind’s-eye view of the near encounter made me realize that we all remain too oblivious to our surroundings, including most of the passing drivers. Over the years, I have noticed that rarely do the tourists and shoppers look left or right as they pass our house and grounds, so my fears of being as the crazy old lady were unfounded. (Okay, my reluctance to become the topic of local gossip still inhibits any urges I might have to cross the road in my PJs and fetch some eggs for breakfast). Like my obliviousness to the bear in my garden, most drivers are focused on their immediate business. Whether beauty or danger confronts us, we’ve often become so accustomed to our surroundings that we forget to pause, look, value, and anticipate the amazing choices we have each day. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll add a life-sized bear facsimile to our garden displays. Will anyone even notice?
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