Sunday, October 30, 2005

What would the Pope do?

This is what I did all day yesterday. Well, I was just posing. Our neighbor cut up the tree. I helped haul pieces to the swale.

It was a beautiful, shady tree. Doug, our neighbor, said it had to be at least a half century old. Hardwood, he thinks it might have been mahogany. I wanted to save a small piece, just to grieve. I love trees. I keep telling myself we are blessed and so much better off, despite the damage. Our house is liveable. We have power. Last night a friend came over to shower and do laundry. Half of Broward still has no power and some may not get it back until Nov. 22. Many are suffering greatly, with no jobs and no homes. Many are elderly.

It really annoyed me to read the paper this morning, the first paper we've otten since the storm hit last Monday.

Some guy paid nearly $700,000 for Pope John Paul II's old Ford Escort. It was the kind of car JP II would drive, kinda rundown, ratty, economical. So what would JP II, who always advocated helping the poor, say about spending that ridiculous amount on his car?

He wouldn't like it. And he'd say to the guy who said he wanted it as a reason to get close to JP II's spirit, go help the poor. If you don't want to help them in other countries, there's enough of them right here in the good ole USA.

Like my fellow residents in Broward. Many are jobless, permanently, or won't get paychecks until businesses open. And the evictions are beginning. The county is starting to evict people because some houses or apartments are too damaged to live in. So where are these people supposed to go? Shelters are the last option.

Hurricane Beta is slamming into Nicaragua now. I can't read about it. It's too heartbreaking.

Yesterday we got a lot accomplished. I'm trying to focus on the positive, like our neighbor who came over with his huge power chainsaw when he saw DH struggling to cut the monster tree out front with his puny electric chainsaw. Doug reves up the power chainsaw, and says, "Here, let me help."

He worked ALL AFTERNOON on that tree, cutting it into pieces, thankfully removing the dangerous limb that was hanging over our neighbor's roof. Refused to take anything for it. Said he didn't need anything. DH promised him free electrical work when he needs it. DH and I worked all day trying to remove the tree debris and pile it onto the swale. Every muscle in my body hurts, but it's a good feeling.

I'm trying hard not to get depressed. Like I said, we're blessed. Our house is liveable. What gets me is all around me, my neighbor's houses look terrific. Across the street, our neighbor's house looks like House & Garden. She was trimming her hedges the day after the hurricane, while I was standing outside in shock looking at the wreckage of my yard.

She really bugged the hell out of me, trimming those damn hedges.

Today I'm hopeful we can get to the tree on the hot tub that is blocking 75% of the backyard. If Dh can get the side gate fixed, or even just smash it so we can get in that way, it will make it easier. The root balls of the trees out back are blocking the south side of the yard. Doug told us some tree trimmers are charging $1,000 just to take out the root balls.

The root ball of our tree in the front yard, tipped on its side, is about 15 feet in diameter. Oy.

Okay, must concentrate on good news. We killed a rat last night. Big sucker. He's gone to the great Attic in the Sky. And I have power. I have power. I have power. Today I am going to Target. I heard there is one open. I'm buying Halloween decorations. Damnit, even if we get no kids trick or treating tomorrow, I need to decorate and act like life is normal.

Maybe I'll go get the dead rat out of the garbage and put it on my prissy neighbor's manicured lawn. Just the idea greatly cheers me.

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