Our enchanted Winter Wonderland took a terrible turn last Wednesday. A warm front from the South stalled over us and changed the beautiful fluffy snow to freezing rain. All night the sleety drops fell, encasing everything in a coat of ice.
At first it was like something from a Fairy Tale. Everything sparkled and shimmered in its icy cocoon.
But soon the weight of the non-stop icy rain started bending down the branches of the trees. Then night fell and we couldn't see what was happening.
But we started to hear it. Pop, and then an icy crash. Branches were breaking. All night long, like some nightmarish war zone, we stood out on the deck listening to the forest all around us exploding like gunfire. And then whole trees started to fall. Boom! Pop, Pop, Pop, Boom!
We woke up to a cold, dark house. And a devastated landscape. Every few minutes the unmistakable sound of tree limbs crashing to the ground kept us inside. Smaller trees leaned over from the weight of their ice encased limbs. Others were simply sheared of all their branches.
Terrified birds huddled close to the ground, rising up in panic with each crash.
For two days we stayed inside, watching our beloved forest disintegrate before our eyes.
And when we at last were able to venture out, we surveyed an impassable driveway,
A crushed gazebo amid the ruins of the cherry tree,
And a crumpled utility shed.
It was miraculous that the house, Hubby's tool shed, and both of our vehicles were unscathed. It was like an invisible hand gently moved aside the very large tree tops that fell just inches away from all of them.
And the good news is this. My whole family is safe and sound.
For that I am grateful. Is it right to feel grateful when so many others have suffered so much loss? There have been deaths and terrible damage. My heart goes out to those suffering the losses.
Some still have no electricity. It has been cold. We just got ours back today. Almost a week later. But we were cozy and warm with our two wood burning stoves. We made do.
Today the skies were clear and the sun was warm. My thermometer registered 61 degrees. I had to check it twice to make sure it was right. I think Mother Nature took pity on us and gave us this beautiful day to recover from her fury.
The dogs and I spent the day outside. Gathering broken tree limbs and piling them high. We have our work cut out for us. It will take weeks. Maybe even months. All of my plans have changed. My focus will be putting our little world back together.
Like everyone else around us.
Because we have no choice.
But, to look on the bright side - We will have plenty of firewood. And we just got a lot more light in the yard.
I think I'll plant more roses. And maybe some small trees that have berries for the birds.
Like my ancient Holly tree that weathered through without a scratch.
A true survivor.