TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

At first glance, it looked pretty bad, but most of the trunk fell to the side of the trunk.

Milk, bread and eggs

Yep—I’m making my list and checking it twice, because it looks like it’s gonna happen again. Just as New York and Pennsylvania begin to come back online, a second blizzard looms, threatening to complete a “onetwo punch” that none of us deserve. The past few days have been trying for many, but (as most of you know) I rarely complain. Still… if I were the type to grouse, I would have good reason this week, with the clean-up continuing even as we brace for another wallop. All told, there are 10 trees down on my property, and while several of them are white pines that simply swayed under the weight of crazyheavy snow and gave up the ghost, others were huge and came crashing to the ground with ferocity, knocking out power lines and plunging some into darkness for days. I’m not wild about snow to begin with, but I am crazy for spring, summer and fall, making winter (IMHO) something to tolerate in order to revel in the other three seasons. While I know lots of folks who ski and skate, I’m not one of them, so it’s hard to relate—and if I had my druthers, I would make like the bears and hibernate. That said, I honestly thought that the worst was over having heard geese overhead just the other day, a “sure sign” that spring is on the horizon.

And then it happened. Understanding that the snow was predicted to be wet and heavy, I followed protocol and went out every two hours, shovel in hand, with the Wonder Dog nipping at my heels, anxious to frolic in the white stuff. “Aren’t you Cuban?” I asked as she whizzed past me at lightning speed. “Havanese means ‘Little Havana,’” I muttered in consternation. “You’d think she’d be cold.”

Bundled up like Nanook of the North, I shoveled and hauled, purposely flinging snow at the dog and laughing as she leaped with glee—just before a loud crack overhead startled us both. As if in slow motion, the “old growth” tree haltingly made its way to the ground, crashing through once-strong limbs on either side, which slowed its progress. That allowed me a few seconds to scream like a banshee and grab my dog before it whooshed past us, finally coming to rest smack on top of the car mere inches from my shrieking head. “That was close,” I whispered in her ear as she wriggled to be free, anxious to check out the damage and search for squirrels. Easily 60 feet tall, the masssive tree heaved once more before settling in on the roof-rack of the jeep, which (you guessed it) doesn’t actually belong to me.

Checking for damage, I reminded myself that insurance companies call this type of event an “act of God,” silently praying that my pal (who loaned it to me for the winter) was covered. While Dharma did her part to help (tearing at small branches and breaking them off with her canine teeth) I muttered under my breath and knocked on a neighbor’s door in order to solicit assistance. “Oh, that looks bad,” he said, grabbing his coat. “I’ll get a couple of saws.” Thankfully, it was mostly the once-leafy top of the tree that had landed on the vehicle, while the majority of the trunk was off to the side. That made it difficult to haul away, but meant it caused little damage, and I breathed a sigh of relief. “What he doesn’t know won’t kill him,” I thought. “I just won’t post it on Facebook.”

With a couple of “widow-makers” still looming overhead, I nervously eyed the horizon, hoping that they would stay put until spring. But as I write this, another storm is headed this way, and I’m on my way out the door for the requisite milk, eggs and bread. “I’m getting tired of French toast,” I whined to the dog, who reminded me that I should put TP on the list. “Quit complaining,” she whimpered. “Daylight Saving Time is right around the corner. Don’t forget the Milk Bones,” she added, waving a paw in my general direction. “And fasten your seat belt. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

 

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