Saturday, September 6, 2008

Gustav Clean-Up: Four Days and 22 Trash Bags

We got back to New Orleans on Wednesday afternoon. The power was initially on, then blinked off and was out for about three or four hours. The funniest thing about this - thankfully brief - evacucation and return was hearing our neighbor on WWL call in and ask if they knew anything about why the power here in the Irish Channel was out again. Whoever was hosting then said they would check about it. The neighbor came out on his porch and we cheered him for getting on the radio and, honestly, not more than five minutes later the power came back on! I knew he had connections, but wow - that's impressive.

We lost one of our three palm trees in the back and had to cut down a lot of other stuff - some of which we had planned to do anyway - and it was a brutal over-haul. With that, sweeping, and cleaning out the gutters, we generated a LOT of yard debris - all of which, amazingly, has already been hauled away so I don't have an impressive photograph of the pile of trash bags like I did after we cleaned up post-Katrina.

Here's two back yard photos from earlier this summer:

Here's two from Wednesday before we started cleaning up:

and here's two from when we finished today:

Depressing... but the Tibetian prayer flags that Emily had picked up before Gustav even formed is a perfect way to fill in that corner with some color. Hopefully they will bring us good luck and help push Ike to Texas.

Oh, yeah - one last picture. My goal yesterday was to cut everything down and get it to the curb, including the stump of that palm tree. Well, I broke BOTH our shovels trying to dig it out, then I spent about an hour cutting at the roots with some small clippers. I was obsessed with getting it done and I had visions of running through the neighborhood swinging the stump around by its roots like a warrior and his victim's severed head. But Emily, Lauri, and Lauri's neice Cassie had just ordered pizza so I was content with a victory lap out to the debris pile on the street:

There can be only one! Tonight you sleep in hell, you vile palm tree stump!!!

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