“Rumors generally grow deformed as they travel.”



Sugar Hill Road -- just after Tropical Storm Irene

There was a rumor floating around here that our road down toward East Wallingford was not going to be finished this year and in fact it was not going to be opened at all during the winter. The purported news made me groan. That’s just going to be a pain in the butt and I was simultaneously angry at myself for being so selfish. Yesterday, we were out and about and passed a road that was still gone and the only means of ingress and egress for residents on that road was a single person width temporary metal bridge. As we drove by, an older woman, carrying plastic grocery bags was traversing the bridge, evidently coming home from the store. So easy to forget that there are still a lot of people who are dealing with a lot more serious consequences of the storm than my inability to drive down my road and instead the idea that I would have to drive a few miles out of my way. But I digress. Could this rumor be true? I didn’t know, but I did what any self respecting resident would do, I went down to Town Hall and asked the powers that be. Imagine that. Instead of taking the bait from whatever poor source it had come, I decided to make some effort to find out whether or not it was true. I was told that the Selectboard meeting was that evening and although they didn’t have an answer for me, they did know that road status was on the agenda. 

I am embarrassed to say that in the years that I have been living here, I have not had the opportunity to sit through a Selectboard meeting other than the annual Town Meeting, which is more of an event than an actual meeting.

It so happens that another resident up this way was soliciting neighbors to attend that very same meeting to voice complaints about the roads and the progress being made.

It so happens that Tom and I attended that meeting. We wanted to hear firsthand what was the status of the road we rely on daily. Others showed up as well. While one of these residents was voicing concerns,. Tom and I were grouped with them, meant to demonstrate to the board that there was a showing of support to his cause. That did not sit well with me. I do not like being lumped in when in fact that was not the reason that I was there. I made a point to let everyone know that I was not there as part of the disgruntled citizens — I had simply been advised that if I wanted to make it past the rumors I should attend the meeting. Presumptions can be wrong and dangerous. No one asked me why I was there, it was assumed.

Turns out the rumor was not true. Sometimes things are not always as they appear.

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