Time, overtime, to wash the car. But, suppose the car pulls out – all dripping wet and clean – from the car wash onto the road and into the wake of a big truck. The truck, of course, is sending up a cloud of salty sand, and the sand lands grittily all over your wet vehicle. The sand and the water dry in the wind you raise even at 35 mph. Then it’s time again to wash the car.

The public works departments of River Valley towns – every town in Northern New England probably – have spread tons and tons and tons of sand on highways and byways since the first snow of winter.

Who was not grateful for all that sand?!

One cannot help but wonder, however: When will the crew sweep the sand from this road, from our road, and your road? (Don’t get me wrong; the road crews are hard at work.) Then, what, you have to wonder, will become of all that sand?

Andy Russell and I do not run on the same clock: Rumford PW: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., so when I returned from a sandy walk last warm and sunny Friday afternoon and dialed the town garage at 2:10 p.m., I got a recording.

The town manager’s office runs on a clock more like my own. Terri Palmer said that she didn’t in fact have any idea what public works departments do with all that sand. Probably, she offered, some people like to have it for fill.

Never mind fretting over the question, Terri and I agreed, the sun is shining and it’s the weekend. Not only that, it was the weekend of a bridal shower for Terri’s daughter and a baby shower celebrating Deb Laurnaitis’ new grandchild. I wondered how the two stayed calmly at their desks in the Municipal Building Friday afternoon.

Sweeping winter sand from the roads seems almost always to run well into summer. How could it be otherwise this year? This question raises another for me: When, oh when, will work on the River Park – somehow morphed into River Walk – resume and be finished? At the present rate, the lovely winding path cleared last year will soon be overgrown once again. Will the grant money won for the project go away if it isn’t expended pretty soon?

Spring is a time of wonder, isn’t it? There’s lots to wonder about. Wonder what has changed since the last time John Madigan was going to run two towns.

Wonder how in the world we will get on when gas gets to $4 or even $5 a gallon?

Wonder what enterprise is going into the old Shop ‘n Save facility at the formerly Abbott Farm Plaza; it’s been looking busy in there. Also wonder what the owners of the demolished Puiia’s buildings plan to do with that property? (Seems a very short time ago that Nick and Dot presided there.) Wonder how the new restaurant at the Hotel Harris will do.

Don’t you wonder how many shoppers avail themselves of the anti-bacterial wipes now available at Hannaford’s? The idea is you take a wipe and clean the carriage push bar with it. Mitzi Sequoia says there are a whole lot of serious germs out and around and so we should use those wipes.

Wading, this time through water in our basement, I wondered why my broccoli seeds haven’t germinated. Also why we don’t dig a trench down there to take springtime water to the sump pump.

My musings reach beyond the River Valley. They do. For instance, I wonder who would buy Oprah’s old clothes? Last I heard, no one.

Linda Farr Macgregor lives in Rumford with her husband, Jim. She is a freelance writer. Contact her at [email protected]


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