Refugees of December ’10

One day this past December I spotted a guy in the front yard, in a hardhat with a clipboard, peering up at trees around the place.  I thought:  This can’t be good.  The guy was contracted to the electricity co-op.  The trees were too close to the power-lines, he said.  “They’re gonna have to come down,” he said.

“When?” I said.

“Don’t know,” he said.

Please note I didn’t ask how many trees, or maybe this one but not that one, nor did I fight with this guy in any way.  To understand my uncharacteristically compliant attitude, please put this in the context of the Great Ice Storm of January 2009.  Had I not survived it, I would have been a lot more militant against any bringing down of any trees in any front yard.  Given that I did survive, though, let’s just say I took a more philosophical line.

Whereupon we on the property watched and waited, as the unholy racket that was this tree-cutting enterprise slowly ground near.  Nothing quite like chain-saws and wood-chippers for a gentle little heads-up.

I thought:  While this thing goes down? Bugs and I are getting out of Dodge.

So we mobilized.  I went on reconnaissance to the pet-friendly motel of my choice.  Was this place really pet-friendly?  Or were they just saying that?  Did they block off under the beds, so stuff – Bugs, that is – wouldn’t creep in under there, never to be seen again?

I picked out a specific room.  Upstairs – they didn’t put dogs there so much.  Around a corner, away from the interstate.  Quieter.  On day of arrival, would the front desk be poised, alert ready and eager to hand over the key pronto, to minimize Bugs-exposure?  Fridge and microwave – because once we were in the room, no way was I going through that door again, not even once – I mean come on!  Look what we went through when he got out at the house!  If he got out at the motel, next to the interstate, that really would be the end.

So I prepared kit for us to stay Bugs-side of the pet-friendly motel-door, for as long as it took.  And that, friends, turned out to be three days.

And so we watched and waited, as the chain-saws and chippers drew near.  Every day I followed the racket, pestered the crew.  When were they coming?  Soon.  When?  Soon.  I begged:  Please call me the day before you come.  Please call me the day before you get here.  They promised.

Milk of human kindness:  They actually called!

You know, post-Katrina, the advice you tended to hear all about disaster-preparedness?  Around the Y2K?  Around the nuclear-bomb-shelters of my childhood?  That’s what Bugs and I were doing.

Here’s the list I made up then, that I now keep on hand.  It’s our Bugs Disaster Box.

You can see the list is quite extensive.  Here are a few selected items, things that might not immediately occur to a less-compulsive person such as yourself.

“Do Not Enter” sign, in English and Spanish, plus tape.

Calming treats.  Chocolate for me, rosemary-scented tuna-bites for Bugs.

Heat down.  Check stove-burners.

Like that.

Plus, see that little yellow post-it note?  Threw that one in at the last minute.  Flashlight.  Turned out to be a real life-saver.

As I write this, at 7:39 a.m., ice is pouring from the sky.   Tick-tick-ticking on the windows.

For a while Bugs was nowhere to be found.  He just crept out from wherever he was.  Now he’s pacing.  Low to the ground.  He keeps stopping, looking over his shoulder.  He’s very, very subdued.

So am I.

I remember listening, all night that first night of the Great Ice Storm of ’09, as the trees snapped and fell, everywhere near and far.  I just saw on FaceBook that I was not alone, then, in thinking that it might have resembled a war zone.  By now you probably recognize me as one who enjoys drama to a certain extent come on I’m not that bad — but this comment came from someone other than me.  So maybe the salt you might need to take with it could be a little less.

It was truly terrible.  Trees were exploding all around like bombs.

Right now the bushes are bending, bending, bending.  Ice has been falling steadily for around six hours now.  Perhaps, now, even a little harder.

I haven’t heard any gunshots.  Yet.


About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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7 Responses to Refugees of December ’10

  1. Erika says:

    What a contemplative post. Thank you!

  2. MelanieJ says:

    Ugh. I hope that everything goes well! I can deal with lots of snow, but really detest the ice. I will keep fingers crossed for you, for whatever that is worth.

    I’m always terrified in that kind of weather that I’m going to get stranded at work and be unable to come home to take care of the animals.

  3. nadbugs says:

    Thank you Melanie! Yes, terrible to be stranded at *work* — much better to be safe at home. Like we are now. So far so good. Very very cold, tho. Out there. In here? Good. Halleluyah.

  4. lifewith4cats says:

    You must admit though that an ice encased landscape is breathtakingly beautiful. I often wonder how miserable the birds and bunnies must be in winter. Then I am gratefull I dont live in a tree or a burrow. Have you checked your email yet? I send you a picture.

    • nadbugs says:

      As usual, Sara, we are so on the same page — I’m just about to post a few pics of that breathtaking beauty. . . .And oh yeah! let’s hear it for homes. . . . and about the pictures, everybody else, read all about em soon here. . .

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