I mentioned earlier that we used reclaimed timbers where we could in our home, places where beautiful old wood makes an impact in our post-and-beam home. Here we have another way to reclaim wood: when your dock has been destroyed, find the missing pieces and salvage what wood you can.
That’s what we call the tree and leaf litter after a hurricane or storm, hurricane salad, and this is where it comes from – all the trees whose foliage has been stripped from them by the winds.
Still in Stratford Harbour, this property looked about the same after Hurricane Isabel in 2003. Please feel for the owners, our friends, who must once again rebuild their dock and bring in tens of tons of dirt to fill the gaping hole in their lawn.
The Art of Coffee
I'll preface this story by saying: disasters and trouble, it seems, bring out the best in people. I must say that I believe people are fundamentally good. I also believe that good deeds received must be passed on.
With nothing better to do after the storm and having no coffee cream (and with no power we had no desire to open the refrigerator even if we had cream) we went into town again hoping that the coffee shop – a great place to hear and tell stories – might be open for business since we had heard that power in town had been restored Saturday morning. As it turned out, The Art of Coffee suffered a power surge Saturday which knocked their machines offline for part of the day but they were open for business today, Sunday. The only thing out of kilter now was that their signs were missing - they blew off the signpost in Friday's winds. Lucky for the owners, Holly and Terry, the signs were rescued from the street by Holly and a co-worker, both of whom narrowly escaped being run over by an eighteen-wheeler! Terry told us that all he needed to remount the signs was scaffolding - if only there was a place that rented it. Some friends of ours just happen to have some scaffolding - imagine that, what timing, how perfect! All it took was one phone call and a 20-minute wait and the scaffolding was there. Maybe 40-minutes later and the signs were back in place. The Art of Coffee was now visibly open-for-business.
If you are ever in Montross, stop by The Art of Coffee on Route 3 (Historyland Highway) and say "hey" to Terry and Holly. Then enjoy a fine cup of coffee, espresso, a latte, Chai tea, and a piece of pastry - I vote for the tasty cranberry scone! And take a look around at the art work: paintings done by Holly herself, and local artists (including my favorites, stained glass, AND my husband’s birdhouses!).
They quietly contain a river as it flows up, and flows out. The scene here could almost be peaceful except for the raw earth showing above the riprap, the great tree in the water, the docks without boards.
I've mentioned how we value trees. The Willow in this photo, its branches blowing in the breeze (read: wind) - can you believe that we brought that tree home in our Jeep Wrangler in 1998! Hurricane Isabel tried to take her down but she made it, and she made it through Ernesto.
What’s wrong with this picture? Could it be the leaning tree on the right, the boards piled under it? Maybe it’s what appears to be pier planking behind the tree in the center. Or perhaps it’s the downed tree in the water. No wait, it’s the boat sitting on the beach!
Not my idea of a walk in the park, cutting down that tree hanging over our road.
It's Monday and a holiday, Labor Day, the first Monday each September. Labor Day was created by the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the United States. Gus and I labored this day to improve the well-being of our yard. We straightened, as best we could, four of the large Willow trees that were pushed over by Ernesto and we picked up fallen limbs from the yard. The rest of the larger trees will have to wait - we only had four heavy-duty metal stakes. And the smaller trees can be straightened, the fallen leaves "mulched," by Gus during the rest of this week.
Up a tree
Everyone has a passion. Mine is taking photos; Gus' is hard work (with a smile for the camera!).
We love our trees - planted well over 400 trees and shrubs on our once-farmland property. That's why loosing the Hickory was so hurtful – because it was “grand,” because trees are beautiful, they replenish oxygen, and they are home to the birds we love so much. So we lost the Hickory but as you can see from this photo, the Barn Swallows are at home in our Willow trees. That's good. Swallows love insects (and gnats, mosquitoes, and no-see-ums - or you-feel-ums as I like to call them - abound here).
Earlier this morning, Monday, we went out to the grocery store hoping to buy some items as our power came back on yesterday while we were sightseeing. We found the cases empty. No produce, no deli, no meat, no dairy. Seems the grocery store needs to install a generator (us too!). Wouldn't that be better than having food go to waste?
The trip wasn't wasted, however. On the way home we noticed a logger working. We stopped, introduced ourselves, explained that we had a big tree come down in the storm, and asked if he might be able to help us out. He said he'd be happy to, followed us home, and after looking at the job said he'd come back in 30-45 minutes to start cutting.