Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekending, part 2 - after the storm

After the wild and sometimes frightening excitement of Hurricane Irene last night, we gratefully awoke to blue skies and the sun this morning.  IronMan got started first thing on cutting up the limbs that had fallen from the tree in our front yard.  I was not at all surprised that it was damaged in the storm because two large limbs have fallen within the last few months - both on sunny days with no wind. Bradford pears are not known for their hardiness and we had already been thinking about having it taken down because all indications were that this was not a safe tree to climb or rest beneath (both things my children enjoy doing).

While I have always thought of this as E2B's climbing tree, the girls certainly enjoyed climbing around its branches this morning.  Unfortunately, E2B was sick through the night and most of today, so he wasn't able to join us as we said goodbye to this fine tree.  Watching Princess Wonder and Miss Intrepid wring the last drops that they were able of loving play and enjoyment out of it made me think of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  This tree was well loved and I would like to think that the tree was happy to have the children climb amongst her branches one last time.

Princess Wonder found and rescued this lizard from the fallen branches of the tree during this morning's clean up.

Very soon after IronMan headed out the door this morning, he was joined by neighbors - and then more, and then yet more - who helped finish off the work of cutting branches and removing them from the yard.  After finishing on our tree, this wonderful crew moved two houses down to do the same for friends whose entire tree came down.  But that's not all!  Two more neighbors had at least partial tree damage somewhere in their yard and by the time lunch rolled around they had it all done.  Of course, there were a lot of little helpers...some more helpful than others - depending upon their ages and stamina - but their presence and what assistance they could offer was appreciated as well.  Following this communal tree removal event (I prefer to think of it as a suburban barn raising), we took time to enjoy pizza from a local restaurant, ice cream, and the fellowship that happily resides where there is shared work towards a common goal.

But removing fallen trees wasn't all that we did today.  Princess Wonder also had the chance to participate in a flash mob of Scottish Highland dancing at the local mall. Between out-of-town travel and my desire to simplify our schedules over the summer, I didn't sign her up for dance lessons during the summer session.  I think that this absence contributed to a bit of stage fright on her part, but just before the performance ended she got out there and did her thing.  It was great fun!

On the way back home we stopped by a store where pet adoptions were taking place because we had some dog toys and medical gear to donate.  Miss Intrepid, Princess Wonder, and I enjoyed walking several of the dogs while we were there to give them a bit of exercise and play time.

All in all, it was a very full weekend indeed.  I hope that your weekend was likewise filled with sun and fellowship.  Happy Sunday, friends!

"A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship.  But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease."  ~John Muir

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