Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Downed Trees

It turns out that I do have some pictures of downed trees.  I had them all along.  There are hundreds of downed trees in my phone.  When the power is down and the cell service is down too, phones become little, portable light sources, and cameras.  I confess that I was among those people who looked upon the wreckage from the storm with an enterprising eye.  The day after the power went down was a beautiful day—the sky was blue, the air was warm—and it was difficult not to see opportunity in all the downed trees, an opportunity for work and an opportunity for garden stakes.  New England is abundantly littered with garden stakes.  You merely need to see them among all the piles of downed branches.  

Yesterday I put my hand-saw into my car and headed into Hadley, Massachusetts, to forage for garden stakes.  Like many New England towns, Hadley has enormous swaths of commons, town commons.  Unlike some other towns, however, Hadley will haul off your downed branches for nothing.  The result is that the commons are covered in branches and limbs that the residents who live near the commons have dragged there. I could hear chainsaws running everywhere as I picked through the piles for garden stakes.  Perhaps I should have been thinking about the people who suffered real damages as I foraged for stakes.  I am sure that many basements flooded when sump pumps everywhere went down with the power, and I'm sure that more than one roof took a severe beating, but these things were not on my mind.  I had cast my mind into the future.  I was picturing the spring that will follow this winter into which we've barely dipped a toe.  I had garden stakes on the brain...

and on the roof of my car.  If you know me well, you know that there are few things I love more than lashing items down to the roof of my car.  I never go anywhere without rope.

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