The World According to Bob

February 6, 2008

Where were you in 78?

Filed under: Daily Journal,Personal history — rjplumer @ 4:40 pm
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Where were you in the blizzard of 78? It was one of those events that you tend to remember where you were or what you were doing at the time. For those that are either too young or were not living here at the time that was the time the infamous Blizzard of ’78 hit New England.

Where was I? I was eleven years old living in Marshfield, Massachusetts. It’s a town on the coast southeast of Boston. My mother and two younger siblings were living with our grandparents at the time. We lived fairly close to the ocean. It was about two miles or so by car, bike or foot to the beach. We lived in a big old farm house. It faced away from the ocean and a small hill in back blocked the ocean view. Though all one had to do was walk up a small dirt road beside our grand parents land and go up a small hill to see the ocean off in the distance.

I don’t remember everything because to an eleven year old boy this was just another day with some snow added. I do remember starting the day off in school as normal. The snow started that Monday morning when we were in school. I knew something was different when the dismissed us early that day. They had never done that before(at least I don’t remember). Of course being a kid any time off from school was welcome. I don’t remember exactly what we did when we got home that day but little did we know that we’d pretty much be house bound for the next week. The snow was wet and heavy type and was being blown about with very high winds. The snow fell so fast then when you were trying to shoveling it away you’d look back on what you had done and it was covered again by 2-3 inches of snow. We hunkered down for the evening and we were watching I believe “The Sha-na-na show” (remember them?) at about 7:45pm the power went out. I’m not sure why I remember that but I do. We lit our candles and oil lamps for light. When we went to bed that night we could here the storm outside howling furiously. When we woke the next day the wind and snow had tapered off a little but was still coming down. Outside was a winter wonderland covered in I’m guessing at about 18 to 24 inches of snow. With a a lot of snow drifts it was hard to gauge exactly how much.

Well for the next week or so all the news began filtering in through first the newspaper and then television of the devastation and havoc the storm had caused around us. In the neighboring town of Scituate got slammed by the storm with coastal homes sometimes taking them right out to sea. I remember touring the area a few weeks later and seeing homes on top of one another or totally wiped down to the foundation. One particular one was kind of humorous in that the whole home was gone except for a lone toilet standing on the foundation. Wish I had a picture of that one.

Have we learned from this? Judging by the storm that hit the area on December 13, 2007 we haven’t. The area was hit by a fast moving storm that clogged highways and streets faster than they could be cleared. Many motorists were stranded and stuck when they were let out from work early. In my local area of Providence some school kids were stuck on buses until eleven o’clock that night. A fact that I still find appalling. Some high officials have lost jobs over this one and is still a hot subject locally. In my opinion no one took the initiative to take control of the situation. Very poor leadership and communication if you ask me. I think people have grown complacent and will be taken by surprise the next time a big one hits.

What prompted me to write this was this article by Michael Tougias called What lesson from the Blizzard of 78? I also have one of his books on this called appropriately “The Blizzard of ’78” which is an enjoyable read if you’d like to find out more about it. So where were you in ’78?

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January 28, 2008

Just some thoughts

Filed under: Daily Journal,My wife,Personal history — rjplumer @ 3:30 am
  •   Why do some people plan on having a bad day? I had a coworker who exclaimed that he was going to have a family meltdown day this weekend. This was before the weekend even started. It seems as if he plans on having bad days. Then complains about it all week. To me he’s already setting himself up for a bad time already. I just have to shake my head sometimes with him.
  • Is it bad that I still sometimes think of my ex-girlfriend even though I’m married? If you’ve noticed I’ve written a few things here and at Helium.com about both. I’m not sure I should feel a bit guilty writing about the ex or not. Were still in touch and my wife does know about that and doesn’t mind. I don’t have any desire to be with her but I still seem to think of her a lot though. Sometimes it’s distracting. Just one of those things I’m just pondering.

January 27, 2008

Melissa

Filed under: Personal history — rjplumer @ 3:08 am

I originally wrote this for Helium.com and can be seen here.

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When I think of my first love from my younger years I can’t help but have feelings of joy and nostalgia for years gone past. She was my high school sweetheart and we shared many things together for several years. Though it’s been many year’s since we’ve been together and we’ve long since moved on with our lives it fills my heart with joy that we were able to share our lives together for a time. At times I’ve wanted to share some of these thought’s with her but I don’t think for whatever reason perhaps I was dwelling in the past and should move on. I believe I have but perhaps I never had a sense of closure when we last parted ways. I guess this would be a sort of therapy for me.

There are many things that bring fond memories to mind. I remember that first kiss, how could I forget that? I remember you singing “Hotel California” softly in my ear at the prom with our arms wrapped around each other. I remember “borrowing” my mother’s car to go to Boston the next day and getting in trouble for it later. I remember the joy we shared finally graduating from high school. That was tempered by the heartache and tears shed when I left for the Army couple of weeks later. I wrote some terribly long letters of loneliness and of how much I missed you so. I looked forward to your letter’s in response with great anticipation. I remember the heartache I had when I got that letter saying we should not be a couple while I was away. I remember when you actually called me when I was away and I was in shock to hear your voice again.
When I returned we seemed to pick up right where we left off. I remember the awkwardness and nervousness of first making love to you. The passion we had when we kissed was unforgettable. I remember the late night trips to your school just to be with you. I can still feel the joy when we held hands. I remember the adventure we had when we first lived together for awhile.

I can also still feel the heartache when things seem to fall apart. Missing you terribly when you were gone. I never felt so hurt at times when we were apart. I was crushed when you asked me to leave that time, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. I don’t think I ever quite recovered fully from that at the time. I also remember leaving that last time. I don’t know how I left that day. You were full of heartache and tears.

I can’t tell you how deeply sorry I was that I didn’t stay. I didn’t live up to your expectations. I feel now that I let you down. I had no goals at the time and gave you little hope of a future so how could I blame you.I’ve long since forgiven you for anything you may have done wrong. I can only ask in all humbleness that you’ve forgiven me.

I’m so glad were still in touch even though we’ve both moved on with our lives. These are some of the words that I’ve left unspoken for fear of what I don’t know. Perhaps fear of bringing up things that are perhaps better left unsaid. For many years I wished we could have talked more but were unable or unwilling to. I think a line from Don Henley’s song “The heart of the matter” says it best. It’s a song that pretty much sums up how I still feel about us even after all these years. I think of you every time I hear it. The last line goes “Forgiveness,Even if,Even if you don’t love me anymore”.

Thank you Melissa for all the fond memories and I hope you find what your looking for. It wasn’t really wasted time as the “Eagles” sang. In retrospect it was time I wouldn’t trade anything for.

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