Archive for January 6th, 2012

I’m taking a detour today to remember the Graniteville train disaster that occurred 7 years ago in the early morning hours of 6 JAN 2005. Just as with 9-11 and most of my days, I first turn on the TV to see the local news before my foot hits the floor. Usually, there is someone at the anchor desk giving the previous day’s news, but this particular day it was BREAKING NEWS. My jaw was hanging open as I stared at the TV in such disbelief. Information was trickling in about the train crash and derailment. This happened about 18 miles east of us, so I was concerned. Let me just say that this happened in the middle of town and the real problem was a chlorine tanker leaking deadly gas. People did not know what was happening and first responders were not aware of the poisoned air at first. Nine people died and so many people were injured. Most people were at home asleep when the gas began entering their homes—unsuspecting…

For days, we waited to hear more news and see photos, aerial photos or any footage that would tell more of the story. There were stories of despair but pockets of joy. No one could get near the wreck at first. The cause was like so many things…human error. A switch for a side rail had been changed when rail cars were moved and was not switched back. Think of playing “train” or whatever you call it when you are little. The locomotive stops all of a sudden causing all of the kids behind to pile up. That is what happened. Days passed before the train could be approached and more time passed before the leak was contained and weeks before the mess was cleaned up. People had been evacuated from their homes not knowing the extent of the problem and could not return. Night shift personnel were killed who were on duty at the local mill. There was no escaping it when the chlorine cloud blew your way. The gas caused electronics to malfunction from phones to automobile ignitions. It was just a horrific time. No one could believe that this had happened. Some individuals had permanent damage to their lungs. This demonstrates to us that we never know what will happen after we go to bed. The derailment had drastic consequences. The mill that many in the town worked at was forced to close. People lost loved ones, jobs, economic stability, and the sense of safety at night. Eventually the railway was repaired and trains ran again, but so many people shuddered every time a train came through town.

from Popular Mechanics with photo credit to Andrew Davis Tucker

from Wikipedia - after cleanup began

This was preventable. I think that is the hardest thing to accept. Many horror stories have come out of this, possibly the biggest being that the governor called for a federal emergency declaration though FEMA rejected that request. You may remember that it was later that same year when FEMA again dropped the ball with its handling of Hurricane Katrina.

So, for all of the ones who lost their lives and to all the ones whose lives were forever changed, I remember… May we not forget those who were lost in this tragic event. Here is the link to the marker that commemorates that fateful day. So tragic. So unnecessary.


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The Sideboard

I want to welcome some new followers and thank those who have been around for a bit. I do not blog about any one thing so it is hard to imagine anyone following my blog. I feel very blessed to have readers or those who stop by for a peek of some photos. Welcome to all and thank you for stopping by.

Continuing with my postings of things from the farm—this will be it for a while… This is the Sideboard that sat in the dining room at the old farmhouse. It is closer to being an antique than the Welsh Dresser and is showing its age. This is where I remember all of the delicious pies, melt-in-your mouth cakes, the to-die-for divinity—yum—and other scrumptious desserts and baked goods sat rather than in the pie case. Perhaps the furniture maker had thoughts of this purpose when it was designed because the top sits about 4 feet off the floor, almost 15 inches higher than the base of the Welsh Dresser. It is not as long as the Welsh Dresser but weighs a lot more. There are locks on the doors that have not worked in ages, and I would not know where the key is if my life depended on it. Each of the three drawers are deep with ample room. I realize that this is not a great photo because you cannot see the amplified false legs that are shaped in a scroll design. That same design is repeated on either end at the top. I am not sure what type of wood was used to make the Sideboard, but it is beautiful under the darkened varnish.

This piece of furniture may not be worth any money but it has sentimental meaning—like most things in my house. The engraved silverware was kept here along with other service ware pieces. A flower arrangement usually decorated the top with little else around except maybe a tatted or other sewn doily or small runner. One of the compartments or cupboard sections was used for my great uncle’s “doctoring” instruments and supplies including some antiseptic that must have spilled because I can still smell it.

This was another photo-different year. That cute gingerbread family was made so many years ago.

Since we have had the Sideboard, it has usually been decorated according to the seasons. It has never really been used in our house for its purpose of a sideboard, but I store much of the old stuff from the farm, candles, and other knick-knacks that have no other home. It is not a very pretty piece of furniture from afar, but it is one of the few pieces I have from the family farm. To me, it is a reminder of simpler times.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed (or rather have not been bored with) my trip down memory lane through some photos. There are so many furniture pieces that I cannot show you–prized pieces that were removed stolen like my grandmother’s armoire that I was using for my hope chest years ago and the huge bed of mine from my other grandmother, the fold-down desk, the marble top table, and so many other things including my the family photo albums. Life goes on…

Happy Gardening and may your life become less complicated with the New Year!


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