Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28th, 2011 - After Irene

It’s Sunday evening and boy am I tired! Irene has come and gone and though it wasn’t nearly as bad as all the hype, it was bad enough. The wind gusts are still strong out there, much stronger than I would have thought, and hopefully all that has fallen off my trees to this point will be all that falls.


Irene wasn’t nearly as scary as I’d anticipated it to be. As I said this morning, I slept right through the dark hours of its ferocity, and though there were harrowing moments, the sunlight made it that much easier to bear. The winds and rain lasted until about noon and when it was done I went for a walk to assess the damage before starting my own clean-up. It wasn’t bad at all: trees down here and there, lots of branches everywhere and a couple of damaged signs and whatnot, but I’d say we really escaped this one pretty much unscathed.

The Cleanup

One thing I can say for sure this evening is that although I love my house, I really don’t know how much longer I can stay here. Owning a home is a big responsibility, financially, emotionally and physically. I got to experience the physical part to the hilt today as I began cleaning up the mess that Irene left behind.

I think that out of all my neighbors, I got hit the worst. I felt like I was the only one out there clearing brush all freaking day long. The first order of business was that giant limb that was blocking my car in the driveway. I have a chainsaw, but it broke just last week when I was cutting down another tree, so I had to use a good old-fashioned hacksaw to break that thing into a million little pieces before I could move it out of the way.

I labored for hours, eventually calling my friend and neighbor Blanche for some assistance. Who knew that a PLU like Blanche would have not one, but two brand-spanking-new sharpened hacksaws and an ax! He and I finished chopping that sucker up until it could be moved totally out of the way, but it took a third person, my brother Dave, to help get that still heavy last piece moved. To the two of them, I say thanks!

After they left there was still plenty to do. I had to pull about 30 plants from the garage that I had placed in there for safety. I swept all of the debris out of my driveway and I about four hours after I started I was done for the day. After a quick visit from my friend Dita, I crashed and slept for a long while. It was frustrating having to do all of that work by myself, not to mention the physical demand it placed on my aching back (which is still sore after the spill I took in the city two weeks ago!), but at least I can get out and there'll be that much less to do in the coming days.

Through it all I kept thinking that when Joe and I first bought this house, it was for the two of us. I don’t think I was ever meant to own a home by myself. It's just too much work for one person. I’ve got to keep patient, keep my mind on my goal of losing the house for my own well-being, as well as other reasons. We shall see!


I admit it; I definitely lucked out with not having lost power from the storm. Well, not totally lucky. Strangely, the electricity in my living room and my kitchen are still out and I can’t for the life of me figure out what happened. My brother, who knows a little about electric, checked out my fuse box and all the wires going to and from it and even he was baffled. Blanchie thinks it might have been a lightning strike. In any case it’s weird, and it’s causing me to miss the MTV VMA’s, which I had hoped to cover in some fashion. Now I have to call an electrician in the morning…can anyone say “mo money, mo money, mo money?”

So now it’s almost 11 and I’m wide awake. I’m supposed to go to school in the morning one last time before heading back for the year next week, but their email system is shut down and I don’t know if there will be anyone there. It’s an hour’s drive from here so I’m not going to chance it unless I’m sure. We’ll have to wait and see…in the meantime, I write…

Here are some pictures I took today:

The infamous limb where it broke off from the tree

A clearer shot of the limb behind my car

What greeted me on my deck right after the storm

My driveway

What I had to chop up

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