The Great Ice Storm of '11 (At least that's what I'm calling it. Let the mythmaking begin.) began its assault on Putnam County 34 days ago. And yet, reminders of those wonderful days remain wherever you look. The broken and scarred trees will remain for a while. The piles of limbs and other debris are finally disappearing.
I spent Sunday afternoon doing some of the last ice storm cleanup the Jernagan Homestead will need. (Fingers crossed.) Having cut up many of the limbs two or three weeks ago, I spent an hour or so dragging them out to the curb. I pray the city is on schedule to whisk them away from my yard on Monday.
As I did the work, my mind wandered a number of places. I listened to the Stones' Let It Bleed as I shuttled limbs to the curb. It kept me in a good place, as it's currently my favorite record by Mick, Keith & Co. It's a constant rotation. Next week it might be Some Girls or Exile on Main Street.
Mostly, though, I thought about those few days. I remember the scramble to get a paper together by early afternoon for a couple of days. I remember doing so with only a skeleton crew, as so many people were stranded at their homes.
I remember the tireless work of our emergency and utility workers to keep things as safe as they could be under the circumstances.
Most of all, my mind wandered back to the nights at home, listening to limbs breaking all around, sounding like gunshots each time. I remember Nicole and I sleeping in the living room on an air mattress, worried the trees outside our bedroom might fall on the house.
I remember the way Miles slept through the worst of it, knowing no better. Good for him.
Looking back, it could have been a lot worse. On the other hand, it was still pretty bad. I'm glad we don't have to put up with that sort of thing too often.
So all that remains in my yard is brush pile that's been there since last spring. I could haul it out to the curb as well, but I know that wouldn't be right.
I just hope this puts this rough winter to rest. Soon enough, I'll be complaining about mowing instead of limbs. It's always something, I guess.