Hurricane Irma left my central Florida yard a mess. I was luckier than some, losing power for just two days and no damage to my home or car. The mess I was faced with was initially overwhelming, and then the Round Lake gene kicked in.
My parents purchased our cabin on Round Lake the year I was born (which I’m not disclosing). It’s the only place I ever really considered home, although we had a home in Duluth, Minnesota. We had electricity, but no running water. And, an outhouse. We were 15 miles from the nearest town, so tools, supplies, and food were brought from home or picked up before we arrived at the cabin.
I had four siblings, my only brother being the oldest. When he left home, my father was faced with four daughters and lots of chores, projects, and upkeep to our little lake place. So we learned to saw logs, free cars stuck in the mud, and use a hammer and nails. We hauled firewood, dug for worms, and caught fish for dinner. We grew vegetables and carried buckets of water from the lake to water them. There wasn’t anything we couldn’t fix or find a solution for. (Yes, we had time for fun, too – hiking, playing in the woods, and swimming until we were wrinkled and blue.)
So, back to Irma and the mess she left behind. I have to admit that I’m not very good at asking for, or accepting help from others. So when I looked out the window and saw the mess, it never dawned on me to hire someone or ask for assistance.
I gathered my supplies, put on my work clothes, and started at one end. I bagged, hauled, and dragged the mess to the street until the patio underneath revealed itself.
Then I came to the limb that fell on my shed. No damage, thank goodness, but more of a challenge for one person? I could figure this out – I have the Round Lake gene.
I’ve used a chain saw, but I don’t own one (and no reason to purchase one). I do have a hand saw and heavy pruners. So, I cut what I could, pruned what I could reach, and as luck would have it, the heavy vines still attached to the end allowed me to guide it to the ground.
I have a certain amount of pride at the growing pile at the end of my driveway – it’s a testament to hard work, determination, and the Round Lake gene.