After a busy slate of recent work projects and all the activities of Easter, I was finally able to make it back out to the property today to clear a bit more brick. After a few hours of work, the foundation is clear on three sides. Now only the south side remains to be cleared. Its been strangely comforting to carve out these small niches of time here and there to slowly clear away the bulk of the brick of what was once our home.
Weeds are overtaking much of the lot and while it does look rather ragged at the moment, I’m glad to see the vegetation still taking hold in the soil. Its also a welcome sight to see some substantial color across the property, besides the black and grey that has dominated for so long. Virtually all the trees on our street remain black sticks, with very few exceptions. Many, many trees will be coming down in the months (and years) ahead.
It almost seemed odd to hear the sound of weed-eaters filling the air as neighbors worked to trim back the tide of weeds that have been fostered by the very welcome rains of late. Odd in that I felt a momentary twinge of regret at the thought of everyone carving away greenery we had waited for so long to return.
The sounds of chainsaws still fill the air as well. Another neighbor, two doors down, was cutting down a huge pine tree today. I was there as the chainsaw finished its cut and the tree cracked, then crashed to the earth, the ground trembling as the hefty pine trunk landed.
Its six months since the fire and many people have barely made a dent in felling their trees. I still have over 3/4 of my trees to knock down. Most of us have waited for spring to see what may or may not come back. In our neighborhood the reality is starkly clear that these trees are dead. The fire simply burned too long and too hot out here. The trees were literally cooked.
My good neighbor Daniel was home while I was working and once again came out and offered me a cool drink and a break to chat. His conversation is always soothing to me. He and his wife are rebuilding and are getting bids on plans for a slightly larger home with lots of windows and a wraparound porch. He’s hoping they’ll be able to move in well before Christmas. Right now they’re living in a small camper trailer on their property. I’m glad they’re there. Their presence gives some life to the neighborhood, some consistency and a couple of smiles.
After Daniel headed off, I finished up my brick hauling for the day. I estimate another 2-3 trips out to the property to finish clearing the remaining brick. My $60 wheelbarrow might just make it through the job. Then it will be time to handle the breaking up and removal of the foundation, and then, finally, the rest of the trees.
Day by day, step by step…