Monday, August 19, 2019

They Came, They Saw and They Cleaned Up

RUMINATION FROM THE ROCK AND BEYOND

Divesh Valanju from Naples, foreground, and David Coyle clean up debris.

Divesh Valanju from Naples, foreground, and David Coyle clean up debris.

Two huge tandem trucks from Alabama stopped by our mega-pile of horticulture debris on Wednesday with two of the nicest men ever to operate a big claw. Contributions to the pile were from several neighbors and, get this, they were appreciative of the big pile because it meant making less stops along the street. (Note to self, remember this for the next Irma or Charlie or Zeus. If it saves them time, we should all do it.)

I was surprised how deftly the humungous claw was handled by the man sitting in the operator’s chair and how helpful his partner was. Not only did he inspect the piles to determine whether they were all appropriate horticulture, he pointed out wires that could interfere with the long arm of the claw, consolidated errant branches for easier pickup and helped to rake up the smaller particles, like leaves, that were impossible for the claw to snag. In fact, the claw operator jumped down and raked along with him and also cleaned up the street. He explained to me that anything in bags will not be picked up by them, by law. (I suppose there could be anything in those bags, first of all, and second, who’d want to open them and see what jumped out! Recall my article about Ratty?)

The “Before;” Sandy Bressler stands in front of the “biggest pile seen yet,” the crew announces.

The “Before;” Sandy Bressler stands in front of the “biggest pile seen yet,” the crew announces.

Go out and look at your debris piles and remember they will not pick up if your house damage is mixed with your horticulture. Go fix it now and soon all the piles will all be gone with our help. Oh, and I learned that they can and will pick up whole coconut trees and really big stumps, so that saves us some time, too.

After 6 PM, David Coyle from Arizona operates the big claw from his perch on top of the truck. Photos by Jory Westberry

After 6 PM, David Coyle from Arizona operates the big claw from his perch on top of the truck. Photos by Jory Westberry

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

There are so many remarkable people amongst us on Isles of Capri, Marco Island and beyond that go quietly about helping others with no expectation of reward or recognition; really, it brings tears to your eyes. Some of them have already been recognized in previous articles written by others, but I want to recognize the kindness of these people, generous souls, that went above and beyond their own challenges and to assist others with theirs.

 

 

Curt Witthoff and friends had our house tarped even before we were home. Scott and Beth Keyes, Nancy and Lauren Garrison, Margaret Jackson, Ed Laudise and Debbie Moore helped us pack things up and get them into storage. Scott was the ultimate Pac-Man! Ryan and Milo Westberry and Allison Tucker removed damaged furniture and mopped up storm surge that filled the house and a hundred other things, but this was the nastiest job of all. Allison also restored order to my garden where most plants had been blown away into the canal or someone else’s yard. Whoever finds them – enjoy the orchids and give them TLC.

Bob Cox, Lucia Jenkins, Bill Zwicker, Scott Schnappauf, and Jess Tucker helped remove outside debris and inside damage and “heave ho” it onto the growing pile of dump-destined refuse.

Lunch, dinners and TLC emissaries included Katie Maya, Molly Skudnig, Dan Dupuis, Debbie Cooper and Pelican Bend, Jeanne Nealon, Nancy Brisson, Jill and Tom Dizio, Lisa Braren, John and Nancy Kramer, Sue and Larry Barcellino, Karen and John Driscoll, Linda Hauerwas, and Jan and Ron Tarrantino.

Thanks to Wayne Price, the Kramers, Claudia Bruni, Sue and Dennis Clark, Dan Dupuis, George and Renee Wilson, Jerry and Julie Nelson, Sandy and Sam Bressler, Diane Duffy, Beth Keyes and Helen McCullough for your offers of places to stay, short or long term, or making storage challenges possible.

When you’re a “deer in the headlights” after your house is condemned, advice and inquiries about your status are appreciated (so don’t think you’re meddling). Thank you for your calls and emails; Tom and Lori Wagor, Nancy Shea, Diane Mayberry-Hatt, Robin Pecolar, Linda Sandlin, Pat Rutledge, BJ Henning, Austin Bell, Rosemary Langawal, Jerry and Julie Nelson, Kathleen Lawler, Nerina Martinez, Mabel Pena, Dave Rush, Architect Donald Smith in Santa Barbara, Donna Condee, Adys McDuffie, MaryBeth Schneller, Gary Bates, Nadine O’Donnell, Joanne and Bill Hammond and many more. Donations and cards assisted us mightily, thanks to Karen and John Driscoll, Ruth and Gary Neely, Sharon and Plato Karafelis for their generosity.

And that’s what love has to do with it.

Jory Westberry has been a dedicated educator for over 40 years, the last 14 as Principal of Tommie Barfield Elementary, where she left her heart. Life is rich with things to learn, ponder and enjoy so let’s get on with the journey together!

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