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July 18, 2011 - Pam Rodgers
Now that it has been a week since the major storm that hit last Monday, I have taken some time to reflect on what exactly I experienced. For the first two days, I was working on shock and adrenaline. I knew that what happened was terrible, but I also knew it needed to be cleaned up and put back together.
Overall, my family was very fortunate. We had very little damage to our house/property. One of our pine trees fell down in our backyard but it landed no where near the house. At my grandfather’s old place, there were several trees down and one landed on the front porch but it didn’t cause any serious damage. Just one full day of cutting branches and hauling them into big piles, then raking the little twigs and leaves and it was mostly cleared up.
We were lucky that my grandpa’s neighbor, Larry had a chainsaw and did all the cutting while my dad, mom, brother, uncle and Larry’s wife, Judy, hauled the branches to the pile by the road. In return, we hauled Larry’s branches for him as he cut him own fallen trees.
The most unexpected thing of the day was a very nice gentleman from Reinbeck brought his chainsaw and went around cutting up trees for people who needed it. I don’t know if Larry’s yard was his first stop of the day but that is when I first saw him (we had been working for an hour and a half already so his assistance was very welcome). Once we were done at Larry’s, he then moved next door to cut the big trees that fell by the catholic church, with our “crew” following along behind. As the day went on, more people started showing up to help us clear the branches away and we were finished with the big branches by noon. It was amazing.
Then this gentleman was nice enough to come to our house on the south end of town and cut up the pine tree in our backyard. When dad tried to give him something, at least for the gas he was using to power the chainsaw, he wouldn’t take it. Then he got into his truck and headed back uptown to help the next person in need.
It was nice to see such selflessness in a human being. To see a man who didn’t even live in our town, spend his day helping those who needed it gives me faith in in the world. I sincerely thank that man for his help.
P.S. I should also point out that our neighbor (also named Larry) helped clear the branches at our house. It was nice to have the extra set of hands after working the whole morning uptown :)
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Standing at the school's parking lot to get a shot of Grandpa's tree pile.