Sure, there were branches to clean up around the house and a den to reassemble, but we didn't flood, which is quite a miracle, and we didn't have any trees in our house, which was beautiful. Also, our cats don't hate us all that much for stuffing them in the traveling cage and hauling ass to Granny's in the city. Which can only be an act of God.
But, the tree.
There he is.
It took down power lines and knocked out power on the side street, though we were (thankfully) spared. It literally fell ten feet short of one of our neighbor's houses, the nice people whose granddaughter I used to babysit, and it was a sight to see.
But the tree is now gone. We were expecting weeks of rotting wood and piling leaves, roots lifted heavenward and taking a chunk of that poor old woman's front yard with them. But men in Village garb appeared today, bearing chainsaws and waving in trucks, directed by their noble leader, Skip, from atop his trusty steed (bulldozer).
I almost got run over. But at least the return to normalcy has begun.
I went to the bank today - which was, for some odd reason, a day during which I had an extra pep in my step and a song in my heart - to make some deposits. There wasn't a line, so I got called up pretty quickly, and who should do the calling but Timothy, my favorite teller. I've been helped by him almost constantly over at least the last two years at this particular bank branch. He's sweet and friendly and he asked about how I'd fared the hurricane - everyone asks about the hurricane. But I feel like he's always the one helping me and he's always sweet and friendly and, if it were to happen to only me, he would somehow know and ask about how I'd fared the hurricane, anyway.
I have a pretty ridiculous crush on Timothy the Bank Teller.
So, that was in the morning, when I didn't have makeup on and I didn't really care what I looked like just yet. But I got a call that my Euros were in for my trip and I could come pick them up at the bank, so I went back this afternoon. I had plans later in the day, so now I was all prettied up. And Timothy wasn't helping me, but he noticed me immediately when I walked in, giving me a huge grin and a jaunty wave.
I am pretty ridiculously in love with Timothy the Bank Teller.
Please don't read this, Timothy.
I smelled the Pine Barrens tonight.
It wasn't the first time I'd driven down Sunrise Highway, and certainly not the latest hour I've ever done it at, but after aimless driving, impromptu kar karaoke, and plenty of fresh air, it was nice to just forget about everything and drive. You could see a helluva lot of stars (more than you usually can on Long Island, anywhere) and there weren't many police officers to worry about speeding past.
I had the windows cracked, just to keep the air moving, and the wind was crisp and cool and just too autumnal to ignore, as it has been the last few nights, and it was beautiful. There's such a sense of movement out there. And, while driving, a scent blew into the car with the night wind, sweet and like the air freshener I still have attached to one of the vents, even though it ran out of tropical mist (or whatever kept it smelling fresh) months ago.
It was until we passed a sign proclaiming that we were in the New York Pine Barrens region that I could give the scent a name - evergreen. There was fall on the breeze and Christmas just underneath that pervading scent of wood fires and good, clean air. And it was peace. And it was beautiful. And I need to appreciate things like this more often.