There are photos to go with this entry, but my computer is refusing to recognize my camera. I reinstalled the software, but to no avail. It has similar issues with the iPod - I am beginning to wonder if something is wrong with the usb port.
So, anyway. Cleanup from the storm is proceeding throughout the neighborhood. At the Jefferson Methodist church the sermon board now reads "Free Holy Firewood".
At Prospect Park,.....well, it's bad. Trees were uprooted, pulling soil, rocks and sometimes the bike path up with them. Big trees. Old trees. They block the paths, cross the creek, changing the familiar and beloved landscape. Insert desolate photo, with the following caption "Many of these trees were my friends...trees I have known from seed and acorn......".Treebeard Although I haven't known the trees quite as long as that, I did know where they were, enjoyed the shade of their leaves in summer and the patterns of their branches against the sky in winter. Now they're gone.
Puppy seemed oblivious to the damage, happily trotting along, nose to the ground , tail curled up in the question mark of contentment. Birds were singing, butterflies flitted about, and a very fat squirrel sat up and watched us go by. Insert photo of fat, curious squirrel here. The ducks are still shooting the rapids of Clear Creek. These are the daredevils of the duck world. Instead of floating on a quiet lake, these ducks like the fast moving water of the creek. I've seen them ride the current, get out, walk back up the bank, and do it again. Insert photo of mallards shooting the rapids.
We finished bagging up the backyard. Kitty made a nest in one of the piles of leaves. Insert photo of handsome grey cat basking in the sun. I consoled myself by replanting my container garden with new flowers in shades of purple, pink and white. I added fresh compost to my few survivors. I marvelled at the little rhubarb that could - so tiny, but still there, with fresh new leaves on delicate ruby stalks. Insert photo of restored container garden here.
The city picked up branches and debris on the roads, but the wreckage in our yards is our problem. But..the city made arrangements with the good people at Rooney Road Recycling
to take Lakewood residents' yard waste for free through the 27th. They were really nice, all 6 times we went today. Yep, 6 trips to haul the 60-some bags of leaves and branches to the recycling center. (I love my station wagon). At the time we finished, the pile was about a block long , about 20 feet tall, I'm not sure how wide. But it was huge. It will all be chopped into mulch, as will all the branches the city and county pick up from the roads and the parks. Mulch that's free for the taking. So, you get your trees back, just in a different form.
It feels good to have most of the wreckage gone. It feels good to have replanted the containers I see from the kitchen window. It will be good to meet with the insurance adjuster on Tuesday (read this with a strong Southern accent, end each sentence with an upwards inflection - This is a five step process? Step one is when you called your agent? Step two - is now, when we're setting the appointment? Step three is the appointment? ". Every step toward back-to-normal feels good.
We lost one window in the garage. Our roof is damaged, but so far, not leaking. We lost branches, but not trees. Our garden is flattened, but much of it will come back. Eventually.
We didn't lose our roof, our windows, or part or all of the house. Some people did. So I feel blessed. Tired, sore, grungy - but blessed.
On my last trip, the guy at the recycling center smiled and said "6 trips....God's mercy on you, dear". I smiled back and said "thanks, and on you too". "Yep," he said. "We all need it right now". He waved me on, and I unloaded and emptied the last few bags. I looked at the massive pile, at the other people unloading cars, trucks, u-hauls..... So many people, putting their individual worlds back together.
In my militant pagan phase, I would have rejected that nice man's blessing. Fortunately, I've grown a lot since then. Kindness is kindness. No sense in getting offended by terminology. God, Goddess, Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad,Jehovah, Great Spirit, The Powers That Be, the Force......the Infinite Source Behind All The Names loves us. Bring on your blessings. Accept mine. May Mercy be on all of us, everyone.