A Very Scary (Decorating) Story

With a November 15 deadline for the decorating project looming, Porter and I decided we should head where the antiques are, so that meant Hudson, NY. That was a completely great decision at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning and continued to be until around 3:00. We found perfect white metal patio benches with rubberized, Band Aid colored bands that look like something from the set of a Mathew Barney film, gigantic celadon Japanese rice pots and a iron bedframe with brass balls for the project - and picked up a portrait of the Duke of Wellington (above), six beautiful tartan scarves and five charming reverse glass paintings for our joint and necks. Then it started to sprinkle. So, we got into the minivan and headed south. By 3:15 there was nothing but white. And then things went down hill: 
6:15: Stuck in the snow getting pushed by group of men.
6:30: Fallen tree blocks the road.
6:45: Minivan stuck again with long line of cars behind it. 
6:46: Unnecessary, unhelpful yelling at the navigator (Porter) begins.
6:50: Helpful men push minivant onto a cul de sac as the state troopers close the Taconic Parkway. 
7:00: Ship abandoned.
7:00-7:30: Joe, a kind-hearted jazz pianist/cable man drives us to the Ramada in Fishkill.
7:30: Ramada and all other lodging in Fishkill fully booked. Decision to camp in the Ramada made.
8:00: Guy in snow pants comes in and declares that his day had to be worse than all of ours. He explains why:

He wakes up in the morning set to help his friend move. The storm rolls in, so they finish up and then head out too see if they can help pull people from snow. They come across a car stuck in an embankment and try to help. A gigantic tree falls on that car. As they run for their lives, his friend sprains his knee. They decide to call it a day and head for the barn until the power in his 2007 Nissan goes out, stalling the car. They get out and walk away, just in time for the thing to burst into a gigantic ball of flames. A BALL OF FLAMES! A corrections officer takes pity and drives them to the Ramada. 
We give him beer.

3:30 a.m.: We finally get a room.

9:00 a.m.: Taconic still closed to all traffic. Worried about the car and the new purchases, we decide to walk the six miles to go fetch it, taking comfort in the concept of at least making progress in some direction. A kind mom in a Jeep picks us up on mile 5 and drives us the rest of the way.

11:15 a.m.: Car located and totally safe. Daylight reveals an absolutely treacherous path taken the night before and substantial damage to other cars and trees along the way.
3:30 p.m.: Back safe in Brooklyn. Exhausted.
  As far as shopping trips go, this may have been our Waterloo.
P.S. Despite this being the least festive Halloween post ever, I have to say, the weather may have played tricks, but it was an utter treat to see people at their best, exuding the finest generosity of spirit and kindness. Joe, the wonderful lady who picked us up and the exhausted-but-helpful-and-sweet staff of the Fishkill Ramada, you're all pretty damned wonderful. Thank you so much!


  1. Joy says:

    It's been crazy! Glad you and your sister and everybody else is safe and sound.

  2. When it rains, it pours. Your story is why I hate winter. I really wish I could afford to move to Santa Barbara.

  3. What's life without a little adventure? As long as everybody returned unharmed, I say tuck it in the misadventures file for that future book!


  4. Perseverance in the face of duty. The kindness of strangers. All in a day's post by the Hovey's. One of my favorites yet.

  5. I love your adventures. The American spirit of generosity is the greatest in the world. It is wonderful to be reminded of the goodness of our fellow man. thank you, Mary

  6. Karen says:

    That is a heartwarming tale and I like it better than a "Halloween" story. Wow, the lengths we'll go to for some great decorating stuff. :-)
    Karen at Garden, Home and Party
    P.S. Hope your weather on the East Coast has returned to reasonable.

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  8. Next time you viit Hudson, do look us up as our house is only a couple miles oUtside of it, there are warm and cosy gust rooms, stacks of white fluffy towelds, and oodleds of hot water at your disposal, plus gin and crackers rounds of nackgammon by the fire when the weather gets narsty!

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