…while we wait for the power to return, and get accustomed to the empty spaces in our back-yard sky. We are so grateful that home and people and creatures are all fine. But, oh! How strange it is to see all the green (now brown) leaves on the ground, to have our view so altered, to know we will soon have to say good-bye to all three of the trees that have graced our lives and yard for the twenty years we have been here.
The hardest bit will be when our sons come home from their travels and college to see their “swing” tree for the first time since the hurricane. Sigh. I know these things happen. But right now I am thinking of the earliest days when we rocked our baby Caleb in the cosy swing there, and the jungle gym that was tucked under its branches for so many years, the many al fresco meals shared in its shade and the rope over the tire that still swings a young man from time to time. But now there are more broken limbs than not and all of the trees are damaged and dangerous.
Eventually, we will be able to plant new trees and begin again. That will be good. My husband has been an absolute hero, keeping Mom and I safe and happy. That included working many, many hours each day after the storm sawing up and removing every huge limb and small branch so the yard could get back to some semblance of peace-for my mom’s sake. Tho’ we were able to shield her from most of the hurricane’s noise and disturbance while it was here, its aftermath has been harder to hide.
Have you ever read the definition of “biding one’s time”? It is to “wait quietly for a good opportunity to do something”. That nicely describes our days…washing dishes and taking showers when the generator is on to give us water…sweeping, cooking on the camp-stove, reading, hanging wash on the line during the long, quiet middle of the day hours…writing emails (and blog posts!) during the evening generator-time…talking and laughing and buoying each others spirits often.
I will be quite ready for the power to come back on. Power outages are not what they used to be here. Change is hard for Mom…she can’t go with the flow anymore. Lots of reassurance is needed. The hardest part is having to sleep on the sofa just outside my mom’s bedroom each night. I miss my bed and my husband. But without a monitor, I have to be within ear’s hearing of her trying to turn on her light…walking around in the dark…worrying. We are working on getting some new technology to help with that, as the electricity goes out fairly often. Until then, when the generator goes off at night, you will find me on the sofa with candles lit and a flashlight balanced on my shoulder as I read myself to sleep. In those moments before my eyes close I think of all the others dealing with much harder circumstances than my own since the hurricane…and friends and family…and all the ups and downs and bends in the road life can take.
Thinking of you. Thank you for thinking of me. Sending you light and hoping the candles last as long as they need to.
sarah elwell September 3, 2011 at 5:18 am
I am sorry for the losses in your garden. I’ve been reading “under my wing” but Blogger is causing me problems today so I will just comment here to say you are doing good work with your family, small and wearying and private work, but so good – and bringing goodness into the world. You inspire me.
Virginia Mallon-Ackermann September 3, 2011 at 5:58 pm
I too am sorry for your loss. I was more worried about my trees than my house, which can always be rebuilt. I have three towering swamp maples that, if they went down, would really be trouble.
I am glad that you were all safe and sound inside. Candles can be a great comfort. And there is something fun about listening to a music on a small transistor radio.
Wishing you light, peace and power soon.
from your friend at Crab Meadow!
the wild magnolia September 4, 2011 at 12:25 am
I did not know you all were in harms way. However, I am thankful you are safe and sound, with critters too.
You may not think in so, but you and hubby are hero’s for caring for your Mom. This goodness will come back to you, many times over.
Bonnie September 4, 2011 at 12:42 am
Thanks for the post. I’m just under you state wise and just had gusts last weekend. Amazing how wind can blow a strong tree down. I think of Larkrise to Candleford with the losing of that huge tree. Hope you’ve watched the BBC series.
kkkkaty September 4, 2011 at 1:24 am
Again, Lesley, your photos tell your story your words inspire strength in us all…I’m glad you are all safe. The floral sofa in the candlelight is lovely.
Lesley Austin September 4, 2011 at 1:32 am
Thank you, dear women, for your loving comments. I am so glad to report that the power came back on an hour or so ago. So tonight, I will not have to spend the night on the sofa…that is my pillow you see, Katy, on top of the green-pear colored sofa. Tho’ I think I will light a candle on the mantle over my bed, for candlelight is so lovely, even if it is not enough for me to read by anymore.
And Bonnie, you will be glad to know that before I go to bed tonight, I will get back to watching Lark Rise to Candleford on Dvd. It didn’t feel right to run the generator just so I could keep watching, but I have no qualms now.
Sighs of happiness.
Lynn September 4, 2011 at 2:37 am
Bless your hearts. So glad everyone is safe and sound, and I’ll be thinking of you all as you get back to normal (sans trees)… xoxo
Sandy September 5, 2011 at 11:26 pm
The hurricane really did a number on a lot of places. Thankfully it’s “only” trees in the yard and not your home, possessions, or family. We got quite lucky here as well. The water didn’t manage to creep into the house, but it was close. Hopefully no more hurricanes for a long while.
sandra September 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm
You always make the best of any situation and your words are so inspiring. How sad to lose your special trees but keep the memories close. I am so glad you are all okay and bless your sweet Mom. Keeping you in my prayers.
Heather September 8, 2011 at 12:27 am
Oh Leslie – it is so hard to lose trees, I know. I had to cut down a diseased 75-year-old oak in my front yard and nearly cried. Thinking of you and hoping your power is finally back on!
Laurie September 11, 2011 at 2:21 pm
Oh Leslie, I am so far behind with my dear blog friends. I hope by now you have found that “good opportunity to do something”. And that life is returning to some semblance of normal.
Salina September 12, 2011 at 1:38 pm
Once again, you have managed to make a not so good situation, not so bad.:) So sorry for the loss of your beloved trees. I to watch Lark Rise to Candleford when I remember to on Wednesdays and Sundays on PBS here. I love that show. Well I hope that things are getting back to normal for you there by now. If not, i’m sure that you are making the best of it.:)
Garden of Rambles September 17, 2011 at 12:38 am
All I can think is, the heart heals. The memories stay, but the heart heals.
Unknown September 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm
Lesley, dear, I haven’t been following your blog for awhile, so hopped on over from another who does. After reading your account of the hurricane you endured, I bookmarked you page and entered it in my “health care” folder. (Mental health) Thank you kindly for your words of comfort and wisdom. I shall return often.