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.
“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 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.
Calming treats. Chocolate for me, rosemary-scented tuna-bites for Bugs.
Heat down. Check stove-burners.
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.