Bloody, but unbowed

The poet described me just fine, but the unbowed part doesn’t apply to our trees in the wake of the storm.There’s a redbud that bent so under the weight of the ice that first it went nearly horizontal and then it split. These are short-lived trees anyhow but this one wasn’t ready to go so soon.Oak limbs were bowed right down to the ground, with each leaf encased in a teaspoon’s worth of ice on each side. Even after the ice has gone, and it’s going, some permanent change in the angles of the limbs will remain.

This noon when we checked in we found that the trash had been collected and that the mailbox was full, containing 16 magazines and lots of first-class mail, the first delivery since Saturday. We spent part of yesterday breaking ice and shoveling it from the sidewalk to make it safe for any carrier who might appear, but nobody did until today. Buses were sporadic yesterday, but it felt safer to adventure in one of those than in anything that some fool might demolish. There was an attempted theft of vehicle in the neighborhood when somebody warming up his vehicle left it running with the keys in the ignition and ran inside briefly to get some coffee. Buses were running frequently today, but were unable to keep exactly to schedule; those wishing to summon a cab by telephone received busy signals for hours at a time or were even cut off mid-call until fairly well on into this evening.

Sheets and towels protected a lot of what’s growing outside. Some spider plants will lose some leaves, and some nasturtiums that we gambled on probably won’t revive, but everything else left outdoors, whether in pots or in the ground, seems to be fine. Yesterday, two neighbor boys were carrying around a red-eared slider about as large as they get; it had frozen, but that’s the only creature casualty that I’ve seen.

This is a one-vehicle, no-garage household. The windshield had been covered with newspapers and then with towels, and black plastic trash bags were closed into the doors. These measures kept ice from the windshield and side windows, but the ice on the roof was over a quarter of an inch thick. And that’s where the bloody part comes from; I stabbed myself with a point of ice when I was prying stuff off the roof early this morning. It was fun to have true snow and only snow for that short time; even the sleet is fine; the rain frozen on we could have done without.

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