Not ready for Round 2 of this weather

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Cleaning up limbs and leaves and more leaves and limbs — and those squiggly things that are falling off the oak trees. That is what I did for fun Monday afternoon.

Around our house are amazing oaks that give wonderful shade in the summertime. Unfortunately, because of the kind of oaks they are, they drop limbs continuously and never completely lose their leaves.

When a storm blows through, or sometimes even a bit of moderate rain and wind, we have a massive releasing of limbs. The big ones are fairly easy to remove, especially the fairly large one that hit a corner of the roof. It’s the ones slightly larger than twigs that make the job more difficult.

What I’ve learned from years of living under these trees, and living with a husband who doesn’t believe in putting things off, is that it’s best to pick up what falls as soon as possible. If you procrastinate and have several wind/rain events, the cleanup job becomes overwhelming.

So, that’s what I did Monday as soon as the rain became a sprinkle. I started restoring the deck and yard to some semblance of normal.

First step was hanging all the plants I took down in case the wind might blow them down. The shades on the deck also needed re-hanging because I’ve learned it’s best to take them down or a storm will do it for me.

I returned the umbrellas we laid on their sides to a standing position and set potted plants back on tables. Then I surveyed the mess of leaves and oak squiggles plastered against the house and the side of my car. That I would tackle last.

Across by the water, the wind blew chairs off the deck and tossed the ones beside the water like beach balls. It even blew hard enough to unwrap a vine from around one of the tall trees and it turned over the canoe that was leaning against a tree. It was filled with water and so heavy that I left it for someone stronger than me.

Then I commenced picking up limbs in the yard. I swear they multiplied or reproduced or something as I went along. I’d think I had a section neat and tidy, then I’d see another bunch of stuff I missed.

Bend over, pick up, stand up, haul to the pile — I got a rhythm going.

“I’m going to feel this in the morning,” I told the yellow cat that was “helping” me by doing its best to stay under my feet.

Finally, with most of the worst of it picked up, I grabbed the leaf blower, which always cranks on the second pull, except on Monday. I pulled; it sputtered. I pulled again; it roared to life, sputtered and died. After exhausting myself, I set it aside and took a break.

When I tried again, it started and off I went blowing away the last signs of the morning storm. First, I hit the decks and carport, followed by the driveway and assorted spots in the yard.

By dark, there was only a trace of debris left from the morning weather. I knew I needed a bath if I planned to be around other humans, but instead I sank into a comfy chair and rewarded myself with a cup of coffee.

Just as I took my first sip, the weatherman came on the television.

“The rough weather is over in the state,” he said.

“Thank goodness,” I thought.

“But round two is headed our way Tuesday into Wednesday,” he said and he actually grinned a little. (I think it’s a weatherman thing and they don’t even realize they grin.)

So, my plan for a Tuesday enjoying the spring sunshine now includes taking down the hanging plants and the shades, laying the umbrellas on their sides and praying to the tree god to protect us from falling limbs.

As you read this, I may well be wrestling with a leaf blower.


Nancy Blackmon is a former newspaper editor and a yoga teacher.