Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ike Lite

Sunday, after arriving home from my camping trip, Hurricane Ike came to Central Ohio. Compared to the force he displayed down south, Ike's arrival was more of a sigh or half-hearted fart but it was still enough to knock out power across the area. With a lot of our local crews shipped south to help the victims there, our crews here are short handed leaving a few places out of power still.

I don't know how we dodged the bullet. Normally our little neighborhood is among the first places to lose power and the last to get it back, but somehow we managed to only lose it long enough to have to reset the clocks once. We talk to people that we work with that talk about going out every day to find ice to put in their freezers, or who have gone to stay with relatives. We are very fortunate.

Speaking of fortunate, my lucky wife has been off work all week due to the power being out in most of the district that she works in. Each night we would get a prerecorded message saying that the buildings would be closed. Tonight it didn't come, so she headed to bed early to get ready for what she imagines will be a monstrous day tomorrow.

The damage is still everywhere though. Storms like this have the ability to quickly separate the wheat from the chaff. Trees that appeared strong snapped in two like twigs, revealing rotten cores. They are everywhere along the roadsides, tottering on lower branches unable to quite reach the ground, and piled in back yards for seasoning and burning.

Last night we went for a bike ride and the trail was littered with leaves, sticks, branches and a slowly powdering mix of dirt and bark. We rode slower than usual, steering through the mess and smelling that wonderful earthy smell of already decaying wood. It's amazing how areas we have been so familiar with before have changed. The landscape has changed with the storm and in some areas the changes make you feel like you are somewhere new.

So, tonight we headed to another one of our favorite parks for a walk and though the trails had been cleared the damage in the woods was amazing. It was a beautiful night but we walked fast, trying to keep heart rates up, while we examined the fallen trees and counted deer. Tomorrow, it'll be biking again. Hopefully the crews have been out to clean up a bit. Otherwise, I'll start moving branches myself.

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