Dec 18, 2006

the aftermath

My clothes reek of cedar pitch and fir sap; my fingers, of leather gloves and fresh dirt; my environs, of alder smoke and new sofa, downstairs where I rest to blog.

Two yards in two days. Thursday, my mother-in-law narrowly escaped a falling Douglas fir, which halted its descent in the loving arms of an apple tree as she stood horror-transfixed in the kitchen. When the rains stopped, the basement flooded, the sewer backed up, and she spent Saturday wading in muck, piling trash and waiting for the landlord.

My parents escaped the worst, for their nearest trees are hardy survivors of the last gale. Two hours' raking vacated the accumulated debris of the past two months. Hefting limbs, piling catkins and needles and pinecones atop decaying mulch, cursing the neighbors' deaf dog and its territorial mementos.

The yards rest until the next storm.

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