Friday, November 11, 2011

After the Storm

Though nearly all the snow from the late-October storm has melted (there are still a few patches in shady spots), we are all affected by the accumulated debris left by the storm.

Outdoors, the debris includes millions of cubic yards of broken trees and limbs brought down by the heavy snow. Many homeowners are faced with the prospect of repairing roofs, gutters, fencing, and gardens damaged in the storm. We were lucky: we lost some large limbs from a favorite oak tree and from my beloved red mulberry, but we did not lose any entire trees, and our house and cars were not damaged. Though the generators are now quiet, these beautiful late-fall days are marred by the whine of chain saws and the grinding roar of wood chippers, noise that I expect will continue for some weeks.

Indoors, there’s a big mess to be cleaned up, too. When our power was restored after 11 days, I was grateful to have a washer and dryer as I had something like fifteen loads of laundry to do. (Lots of sheets and towels; K and three of her HC friends were with us during the outage, as HC had also lost power and had been entirely evacuated.) Once the lights came back on, I was dismayed to see how dirty the house had become; I spent a morning dusting, vacuuming, and putting stuff away. As I cleaned, washed, folded, and dusted, I became keenly aware of how difficult it must be for people who must live without the privileges of reliable electricity, running hot and cold water, and the money to pay for something as simple as a vacuum cleaner.

It was good to be able to bake bread again.

My office ought to be declared a disaster area. Not because it’s dirty, or messy, but because it is overcome by storm debris ― namely, the many research and writing projects which languished during the power outage. I’ve got a lot to do in the next few weeks: In my “for-profit” office, I must prepare a proposal for a big literature review for a major client, then do the research itself and prepare the report. I’ll also be working on researching and writing several technical papers for my other major client. In my “non-profit” office, I’ll be researching and writing program notes for a choral concert; preparing for an important board meeting next week; compiling statistics and data in preparation for a grant review panel; revising and re-designing a publicity piece for a non-profit; and drafting a marketing plan. There are other things, but those are the highlights.

Oh, and lots of music to work on for one, two, three, four, five upcoming concerts.

Oh, and Thanksgiving is just two weeks away, which means shopping, baking, and cooking in anticipation of K’s visit. And she might be bringing friend, or two, or three. That will be nice.

I won’t be writing much here for a while as I deal with my own storm clean-up, but I’ll try to post some images now and again.

Here are a few pictures showing the snow accumulation early in the storm and late in the storm. I've chosen these pictures, taken from my kitchen window, because this is the view I enjoy while I'm doing most of my office work.

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