My family and I fared fine in the “Storm of the Century” and I’ve been reminded of the importance of knowing which way is “down wind” when walking your dog during a hurricane. Broken limbs and fallen branches have created a mess in our yard. When my kids asked who was going to clean this up I countered with the question who’s yard was it? We spent a long day yesterday raking and cleaning creating two huge mounds of debris on the front curb.
Once it was clear to drive I went and checked on Mom and Dad. As suspected they were well with no idea that a storm had even occurred. The facility was intact having lost power only briefly. The staff looked a little tired but not too bad considering they’d rode out a hurricane in an Alzheimer’s facility. Between the recent death of a resident and now a hurricane I think it’s time for me to deliver some flowers to them. I love my parent’s staff.
Speaking of flowers the final but very important item on my post-storm check list was my wife’s grave. Her flowers were a little askew but otherwise fine. I gently wiped some mud off of her marker and straightened the vase. Many others’ arrangements were obviously storm damaged and a large tree had fallen in the cemetery. In fact everywhere I drove the area was littered with snapped and uprooted trees and many remain without power. Some here have been told not to expect power restored before the weekend.
By now you’re hearing a lot of the questions about whether the storm was over-hyped or not. Perhaps, but not by much.
The picture is of the oldest resident on the military base where I work. It is a massive oak tree which has acquired the name “The Bicentennial Tree” and is estimated to be ~420 years old. It is so big that its branches reach the ground acting like additional legs and the Marine Corps has had to move an adjacent sidewalk twice. The joke around here is that the tree is not encroaching upon the road, the road is encroaching upon the tree.
Driving around base this morning I again marveled at the many trees I saw fallen and began to wonder how did the big oak fair. Driving in its direction I feared the worse, seeing one large tree after another toppled or snapped in two. Then I turned a corner and there it was, the Bicentennial Tree in all of its glory. It didn’t even look like any branches had broken off.
Now this tree is beyond old and bears numerous scars of a life well lived, it needs help standing and frankly for the rest of its days will have a pronounced stoop, but it knows how to weather a storm and once again showed it strength, standing firm where younger versions toppled.
I like this old tree.