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A silver cloud in the dark Irene skies

They say there is a silver lining to every cloud.

Hurricane Irene brought many clouds and even more wind and rain.  It also meant that we lost power at our newest development, Shillman House.  It went out on Sunday morning and didn’t return until late Monday evening.  An inconvenience for anyone -- and certainly seniors --  especially those who rely on medical devices and other electronics.

Shillman House could have been a dreary place in its powerless state, but it was quite the opposite.  The day before the storm (Saturday), Bill O’Day, our IT guru, went around to all our buildings to unhook whatever computer stuff must be unhooked to protect systems from power loss.  He made sure people could charge their devices from an emergency power source.  Eric Rancourt, our Shillman House maintenance supervisor, came in the morning of the storm.  He and his deputy Ryan Tessier spent the night in the building to reassure residents and handle any problems.  Bill was back to pitch in on Sunday, with Anne Essaran, Shillman’s assistant director.  They brought in pizza to be enjoyed by all who live at Shillman and Anne organized a raid on the ice cream freezer! David Seltzer, our director of dining services, along with his manager Thelor Bastien, and Resident Services Coordinator Jennifer Miller made a special lunch and organized an evening barbeque for everyone.  Carl Zack, Shillman’s executive director, provided the leadership and energy to keep everyone on track throughout.

One resident’s daughter, concerned for her mother’s well being, came rushing over to bring her mother to her home for safety until the power was restored.  The daughter was in for quite a surprise. Not only did her mother choose to stay in Shillman rather than leave for a home with lights and electricity, her mother sent her away with regrets that the daughter would not have as enjoyable an adventure!

Which is not to say, however, that there wasn’t a collective sigh of relief when the power did return to 49 Edmands Road in Framingham!  The power loss is over but the sense of community remains.

As always, I welcome your comments!

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