It moved in fast, whipped through the yard with 70mph winds blowing rain sideways in three directions at once and then sped on to the next town, leaving a path of demolished trees and strewn personal belongings in its wake. Our trash can lids are in the neighbor's yard across the street.
After the brief but impressive storm passed, I looked out the front door and noticed what appeared to be a large limb from the trees next to our driveway lying next to Katie's truck. "Whew!" I thought to myself, "That's a big branch! It's lucky that didn't hit her truck!"
It wasn't, in fact, a tree limb ... it was a thirty foot tree, wrapped in vines and poison ivy. It's just that all I could see of it from the house was the top of it. The rest of it was lying across our driveway. Somehow, it miraculously landed safely in the triangle formed by Katie's truck, the electric box and the Luckiest Little Sapling in Southern Illinois (which, as you can see, it missed by about two inches).
So this morning Ev and I got out the trusty chainsaw and made firewood out of it. It took us about an hour to cut it up, haul the top of it to the burn pile down the hill and the trunk parts to the wood pile for splitting. I still have a small mountain of branches and poison ivy to drag to the burn pile, but at least we can navigate the driveway again.
While we took a break to sit on stumps, wipe the sweat from our eyes, play with the hundreds of tiny katydids on the dead tree and pant in the 94% humidity, we could hear the sound of chainsaws coming from other yards all around us. Ev said, "God, I love Southern Illinois! Everywhere else people go to church on Sunday. Here it's all about cutting shit up!"
We're getting so good at this that we think there ought to be a competition for it. Maybe they should have Olympic events that are actually useful ... team stump removal, fallen tree swamping, burn pile immolation ... we could totally medal.