An Ill Wind

Thursday, August 9th, 2007, 10:56 pm

Big storm today (divine retribution for Steely McBeam? Seems reasonable) and a few hours after it passed us my brother called to say that he was stuck in a torrential downpour as he drove home from Virginia. "Yeah," he said, "Mom and Dad lost the cranberry tree in the front yard."

Really? I saddled up and headed to the Bromberg homestead, and saw for my own eyes that it was true:

The tree grew like a weed the last few years and my dad had a guy stop by last week for a pruning estimate. The storm took care of that. I felt a bit teary seeing that tree ripped up by its roots. I remember climbing that tree as a little boy, sitting up in it’s branches and feeling like Tom Sawyer must’ve felt back in Mississippi…

Ah, that’s a crock. Never climbed that tree. And the damn thing dropped thousands of cranberries every year, so if you were stupid enough to walk in the front yard in bare feet it was excrutiating torture. They cranberries would start rotting in the fall, and you try using a rake to gather them up. Plus mowing around the tree was a pain in the ass. Sad to see it go, you understand, but our relationship was complicated.

My folks’ power was out, so I guess I lucked out. Half the lights were out on Route 8 and that messed traffic up, and with another line of storms coming in and my part of town under various amounts of water I decided to hang in for the night. I was having lunch at a local eatery when the big boomers moved in, and I watched the weatherperson say, "If you’re in Pine, Gibsonia, Richland, Wexford or Ross, take immediate cover." I sat there wondering, "Is this considered Gibsonia? Technically that’s about a quarter mile up the road…Ross is about a quarter mile the other way…" That’s when they started talking about "gusts up to 60mph" and "hail an inch in diameter" and I figured I should just get the hell home.

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