Good-bye Sandy – Almost

Unlike the aftermath of most winter storms of past years, when the snow would pile up and surround us, covering the hills and evergreen trees, and when the sun would sparkle on the icy branches outside our windows, there were no beautiful days of glistening snow after Hurricane Sandy.

Maybe we missed some of it while trying to adjust to 10 ½ days of no electricity. However, even when I made an occasional trip outside there were no beautiful “photo ops”. Our driveway and the road had been plowed down to the dirt; in the past there were always a few inches of snow left on them so that everything was totally white. I used to marvel at the beauty. Now there was mud, dirt and gravel which had been pushed up by the plow along with the snow on the banks on the roads’ edges. Not that I should ever complain about the plowing. It was a relief to know we could get out, if needed.


However, mud and dirt was not the issue. It was the loss of so many trees on the mountain, especially the evergreen trees; the ones that had withstood all our other winter storms. The ones which held up their branches when snow had piled high on them, or had let their branches bend low to hold the weight only to raise them up again as the snow melted or fell off.


Back in the early ‘90s when we were first building, there were no conifers on the banks. The road had been pushed through and the dirt banked up on one side and pushed over the edge on the other. The developer ordered seedlings, I think from the Department of Forestry, although I can’t be sure. Anyway, he received hundreds of them for free. He hired a young teenager, Ryan, to plant them. Ryan was a good worker. One by one he shoved them into the ground, up and down the banks. We watched them grow up over the years. It was like watching little children become majestic adults. Most grew up beautifully. They changed our landscape.


The losses on Backbone Mountain are so minor compared to what others on the east coast have faced and are still facing. We’re safe. All the homes up here are safe. But there is still a sadness to walk up and down the road and to find that many of our trees, especially the conifers, which have grown up during our years here and have brought us so much joy, are lying down, never to rise again.




Winter is just beginning. Who knows what other storms will bring. We’ve been through many, and we expect more. But it was Sandy who knocked down our stately trees.

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