Happy Friday?

WARNING: This is not necessarily writing related. However, as most writers will tell you, everything that happens to us ends up in a story somehow!

I wasn't planning on going to Estes this weekend. My husband is out of town, I'm babysitting the puppy again, and I have a TON of grading to do.

I had just finished grading one class's poetry analysis when the phone call came. A neighbor let me know that trees came down in the wind last night, including a big one in my front yard and a smaller one out back. He assured me there was no damage to the house. He thought he could handle the clean up without calling in a tree service. We're always looking for ways to keep expenses down!

But, after debating with myself for a few minutes, I decided I really needed to be there. For one thing, without seeing the damage for myself, I knew I wouldn't be able to relax this weekend.

I loaded up the dogs and all their paraphernalia, threw some food in a cooler, and off I went. It was a lovely day for a drive -- with two hands on the wheel so I didn't get blown off the road.

When I arrived, two neighbors were busy with chainsaws and another was moving the branches. This was a BIG tree. These guys had jumped right in and started helping without me even being there. Dennis, Gerald, and Arturo are my heroes!

It took a lot of effort, but eventually, the trunk was moved. We have considerable work to do tomorrow, and my front yard will never look the same. But, I learned many valuable lessons today:

Mother Nature rules! No matter how we try to bend the environment to our desires, nature prevails.

Curiosity is a good thing: Two chainsaws, a skid loader, and three dogs couldn't keep these curious friends away.

Friends and neighbors are the best!

Wind and all, I LOVE Estes Park.

I have bumps, bruises, cuts, scrapes, sore muscles, and a new landscape. But, like the willow tree out back that was pushed down by another falling spruce, I'll bounce back and be okay.

I may not get my grading done, though.

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