If you are of a mind to volunteer in New York City or donate money or supplies, please consider assisting the ferocious efforts of the Occupy at Occupy Sandy.org. They are delivering food, heat, shelter and medical care to the people of Lower Manhattan and Queens and you can help.
Also: yesterday, the cable finally came back on, bringing phone service and internet. Twelve minutes ago, the tiny town shut off the water.
This interesting object that resembles a urinal but isn’t one was installed a couple of days ago in the unnamed university’s library just outside my office. It is a water fountain and water bottle filling station. I’d heard they existed and the unnamed university even had some up and working – somewhere. No one seemed to know precisely where or even what they looked like. Ta da!
These contraptions serve as water fountains for the passing thirsty, but also also the more stationary thirsty to refill bottles of all portable sorts. A bottle-bearer holds said bottle up to the sensor – the round thing that looks like a camera lens – and a stream of water pours from just above. The green screen keeps count of how many bottles of Poland Springs were not harmed in the refilling of this bottle. Outside my office, that number currently reads just about 30. I’ve refilled my quart Ball Jar three times and explained to anyone who’ll listen why this is great, great news.
The Occupy the Highway marchers we saw nearly two weeks ago here in town arrived in Washington D.C.
In other news, Miss and Mr. Sasha and the two sticky little grandchildren are driving from frigid Minot to cool, damp New Jersey just in time for additional coolness and dampness. This morning, they report from a location near Chicago. I’m exhausted, just thinking about it.
Wednesday night on Facebook, a friend remarked casually that Occupy the Highway would be passing through New Brunswick. Because I am a person of poise and elegance, I said, “Wait, what?” After a mess o’ research, I found the march route that didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but that wasn’t important. I contacted everyone I knew would certainly be interested and only one person knew what the hell I was babbling about. That’s a record, even for me.
I called my sisters Thursday morning to tell them the marchers would walk right past the family store. Everyone was all aflutter. Next thing you know, half the tiny town was talking because a whole lot of people are in contact with OWS about food prep and where the marchers would sleep because about every fifteen minutes the marchers changed their minds about where they would sleep and how they would eat. This plan that shifted under our feet all afternoon drove us crazy. Should we cook dinner? Should we make breakfast? Should we scour the neighborhood for spare pillows and cozy comforters? Conjuring up the ordinary miracle of food and shelter takes time.
Eventually, the marchers stopped tweeting where they were and what they’d decided. For about three hours, we couldn’t figure out what to do and reluctantly went about the business of being us waiting for something nobody knew what to do for. About. To. It doesn’t make any difference. We waited, waited, waited, went to dinner, picked up dinner for my sisters, waited, waited, made plans, waited, waited. Suddenly, a little guy on bike skidded to a halt in front of my sisters Anya and Corinne, Pete, Brian and me and said, “They’re a block back.” We believed him because the blocks are very short in town and we could see a bunch of kids we knew jumping up and down on the corner. Pete took pictures as the first marcher declared, “Ninety-nine percent coming through!” We cheered and slapped hands with them. They implored us to march with them, even a little way. Friends of ours who are dogs and their people brought up the rear of the group and when we turned to look back, Anya, Corinne and Brian were gone in a flash. No, literally, a flash: Pete took the picture below and then I noticed the people standing next to me were gone.
On Facebook last night, Anya posted pictures of a rally on that bridge I bicycle across all the time. It looked fantastic and I recognized dozens of familiar faces. Later, the marchers posted their own photos of a general assembly on the College Avenue steps. Since I didn’t have to get up two hours early to feed them, I could simply love everything I saw with a quiet heart. Tomorrow, a van filled with supplies goes to Zuccotti Park. I am sure there won’t be a spare inch in it.
Even if you decided to mull it over and missed Bank Transfer Day, it’s not too late to find a credit union and move your money.
This afternoon, weather forced the closing of the family stores 35 miles from Zuccotti Park. Yesterday, the protest’s generators were seized by the fire department. Today, wet snows cracked branches of the tall trees we live under. Pete went outside to look up at the spot where a large branch had fallen from, heard another crack and beat a hasty retreat. Where he had been standing, a tiny avalanche fell and a cascade of branches followed. Fortunately, I was on the phone with the police at the time so no one was surprised when I babbled about what was dangling from the electrical lines and blocking the street.
I saw that generator on Thursday. It looked so small and inoffensive. I guess anything that smells like hope or biodiesel is a threat to someone.
If the protesters can hang on for one more day, better weather will come. One more day.