From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Ice Storm Cleanup

Terrible mess of broken branches



Dennis and I spent a couple of days last week hauling branches out of the yard and piling them on the neighbor's field where we will burn them. We managed to clear a portion of the front and side yard, but a daunting amount of work remained to be done.

Saturday morning, a young Mennonite neighbor called Dennis and asked if we could use some help with cleanup. Shortly thereafter, Luke, his aunt, and three of his sisters arrived. With Dennis and me, that made a crew of seven. Dennis and Luke ran the chainsaws and the rest of us gathered branches and stacked them.

They went home at lunch, and when they returned, another brother came along on a Bobcat. Luke stood on the Bobcat's uplifted loader and trimmed some of the higher broken branches with a long-handled chainsaw. He couldn't reach every damaged limb, but he got what he could reach. We were also able to remove the limb from our rooftop, with the help of the Bobcat.

With such a big crew, it was easy to see the progress that we were making. By sunset, we had piled all of the branches from the entire yard. One enormous pile is behind my garden. Another enormous pile is on the old roadbed below the old log house site. There are two more smaller piles in our yard and two piles on the neighbor's field. The birds and rabbits will be happy about all the shelter we've suddenly provided for them.

We thanked our neighbors but it was impossible to really express the gratitude that we feel for their help. It is such a relief to have the mess cleaned up. Next week, I'm going to bake cinnamon rolls for them and take them over with a thank you card.

I don't know what we'll do with all the branch piles. If we try to burn them, we'll have to drag the branches out and burn them a few at a time so we can control the size of the fire.

I read in the Princeton paper that their road departments will haul off storm debris that is piled along state and county roads. If that option becomes available to us in Christian County, we will have to haul the limbs about a quarter of a mile and stack them along the highway.

2 comments:

Larry said...

So you got affexcted by that icestorm, Genevieve. It's nice that your neighbors helped with the cleanup.

We lucked out here in NE Missouri; we just had an inch or two of snow and no ice to speak of. St' Louis had a foot pf snow, though. The roll of the meteorological dice, I suppose!

Storm Man said...

wow nice crew, looks like it was a real mess.

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