Last night there was a fast moving severe storm. It moved along as a long strip from Indiana all the way down to Missouri. Winds were up to 80 mph and tornadoes and hail were sighted. It passed by as I watched TV in a matter of 5 to 10 minutes. It wasn’t too bad and didn’t even knock over the trashcan I put out after dinner. But when I got to work this morning everyone was in a frenzy to get going. I followed Korry to drop off a truck at the mechanic and on the way back we stopped at a house on Taylorsville Road that had a huge tree fall on the back of their house and their neighbors. It was damn cold too. In the teens with a wind chill. Back at the shop I was assigned to Jake and Jacob’s crew. We went out and started to clean up the mess the storm had made. Trees were down in streets and on houses. It was hard work feeding all those branches into the chipper. Jacob felt sick so he went home and Jake and I went to a business park off Hurstbourne Lane where the UPS building is located. We began the huge job of chipping tons of brush. Thankfully we had help from a landscaping crew. Jake told me we were working late and I didn’t end up clocking out till 5:30. I was exhausted.
When I left I went I-71 north to the rest stop before my exit to home.
The sun was really low on the horizon so I quickly changed and got my camera ready to climb. I got to my tree, spotted my ribbon,
and began to climb. On my first limb I rammed my arm into it and it went numb and then throbbed. But I just kept climbing up towards the top.
After many limbs I reached the top at the small end of a long leader branch.
The sway was pretty good so when I started to take pictures in the waning light I tried to stay as still as possible.
Being up there reminded me of my first day of work. That long 10 hour day. There have been a lot of ups and downs at work (more downs) but I’m still sticking with it as of now. They gave me that climbing gear and that was the goal. I still have a lot to learn and hopefully one day I’ll feel as though I belong. Or maybe I’ll just move on and take what I’ve learned with me and use it in my art.
I lingered a few minutes on a couple branches lower than the top to view the sunset.
Then I climbed down to the ground. The long day is done, I have climbed and now I can relax.
1-31-09: I feel I should be clear about one thing. My boss did not give me the gear, he lent it to me. When I quit I had to give it all back. The gear I have now I purchased. Much of what I learned about climbing I have figured out from doing it on my own. Many mistakes I have made, but they were such valuable lessons. The job was not all a complete loss. I did learn things and I wouldn’t take the experience back. What I said about using what I have learned in my art is very true.
Since my house was without power on Wednesday, Drew and I went to his parents’ place for the night. Thursday morning we got up and I was eager to get outside. I felt like being active and Drew’s family definitely needed some help. Of all the tree damage I’ve seen around town, I believe the McChesney’s might have gotten the worst. They live on a property with many old large trees. Limbs were down all over, they had hit one of their cars, they were leaning on the house, they had crushed two fences… it was awful. We spent some time shoveling the drive to park their cars out from under the drooping ice covered limbs still creaking in the occasional breeze. Then we carried some of the fallen branches to a pile out of the way. It was a good few hours of work. Then Drew and I ate and headed out back to our house to see if we had power. Luckily we did and the house was already back to the balmy 55 degrees we keep it on. Since we could now stay at home, I was interesting in getting to the BBC Taproom for 2$ pint night. And so was Tim, Natalie, and Norman. I walked to the bar to meet them and then over the course of the next few hours many other friends showed up. It was a great evening with games of euchre, Yahtzee, and darts. We had pizza and good beer. Then I knew I needed to get to climbing. I just picked one of the bradford pears just outside the bar. I gave my camera to Natalie to film the experience. Norm joined me for the climb and he brought a bit of a competitive spirit to it. I am going to post this video (which I think is hilarious) but I have to warn you, there is quite a bit of cursing going on. Particularly with the F-bomb as I throw is around like a sailor. If you are sensitive to strong language I suggest you shut your sound off. Otherwise, enjoy this gem of videography:
After the video, I asked Natalie to take some pictures. She seemed to have trouble with my camera and most of the images came out blurry. Not all, however, so here is what I could use:
After the climb we headed to Tim and Natalie’s to get ready for sledding. Then Tim, Norm, Kirby, and I went to Cherokee Park. We parked far away and walked aimlessly through the woods. At Dog Hill we found some discarded sleds to use then attempted to get up the hill. With the extremely cold weather and thousands of sledders the Hill had become a sheet of ice. It was all I could do to just get up. I walked, I crawled on all fours, I even used my cafeteria tray as a pick to pull myself up. In the end it just became a matter of pride. I was heckled by sledders at the top of the hill, but I didn’t care. I got to the top, sled down once, then we walked back through the woods. I took a few more pictures at the creek
then we finally finished the night and I got taken home. What a storm!