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The Boston Globe

Metro

Hope, and lives, rebuilt after Irene

Brought together by a storm that destroyed their homes, Vermonters find reason to celebrate this Christmas in each other

STOCKBRIDGE, Vt. - Two structures stand on the wooded bank of the White River where Don Fielder has resided for 29 years, one signifying disaster and despair, the other hope and human kindness.

One is the gutted frame of what was his home until the day four months ago when the river, swollen by the torrential rains of Tropical Storm Irene, rushed over the bank, tore through windows and walls, filled tubs and sinks with thick mud, and destroyed anything that stood in its path. The house Fielder cannot talk about without crying.

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