Outside the wind is driving the torrential rain sideways. The howling is frightening. Lights flicker a few times then go dark. My laptop is the only source of light in the room. No point going on typing, the indicators on the router also went out, the internet connection is down.
It lasted just a few minutes, but here I sit in the dark. Hope the power comes back quickly, it did the last couple of times in the past half hour. The storms are over quickly, but the power was out for six hours just a few days ago.
Yes, that’s our plight around here. Cold air from Canada races across the plains, meets up with warm moist air from the Gulf and wham, a vicious cold front races across the east and southeast of the United States. Tornadoes are spun up this way often enough. These fronts pass quickly, sometimes within minutes, but these quick thunderstorms, and wind, and rain, do plenty of damage.
Our neighborhoods have grown up quickly here, and so have the trees. Atlanta prides itself on being a sea of green. Take my “memorial oak”, for instance. I brought home a shiny acorn from a fall hiking trip in northern Georgia about thirty year ago. I put it into a flower pot and came spring there were a couple of shiny green leaves. It seems to like the spot I transplanted it to, next to my driveway. That concrete must fell like the rocky sites in North Georgia that are its natural home. Now my chestnut oak has grown into a towering tree easily three times higher than the house. It would be quite a specimen were it not for the older trees all around that reach even higher for the sky.
My oak doesn’t play the fall tradition very well. It starts losing its leaves before any turn color and they fall, wrinkled and brown. Mostly from the top of the tree so it looks like most of the leaves are still on, even though I have raked and raked. Now, finally, the lower leaves have started to turn golden. Glorious hand-size leaves in their unique shape looking like chestnut leaves from a distance. Now they have turned yellow, starting at the edges and filling in day by day. Fall at last.
Other trees play the slow tease as well. The bigger than hand-size sycamore leaves are everywhere. The gigantic sycamore next door stands in a sunny spot and has made itself into an overarching umbrella. So much so that one large branch hung over the power lines. The arborist crew took care of that just yesterday. Unfortunately the thousands of trees in the area grow much faster than trimming crews can clip.
That is our problem. Jut about every storm brings down branches and whole trees. Most of them fall on power lines. Our neighborhood is especially vulnerable. The area grew up very fast and many power lines are above ground on poles. The trees grew even faster. Our power reliability is rather poor, as a consequence, every storm brings outages. It doesn’t help that most internet cables are strung along-side the power cables. You can see that in my photo. So I sit here, hoping the power company crews solve the outage quickly.
Ah, salvation! The power is back on. The router lights are flickering. The internet is up. Those crews work hard, in any kind of weather to keep us fussy neighbors – and internet users – content.
I can post!! Better get to it before the next squall comes through. Isn’t it great, living in the South!
First published in Our Arts Magazine on November 25, 2017
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