by Texas Homesteader
*contains an affiliate link
A few years ago Northeast Texas was hit with a whammy of a winter storm. Some areas got snow, some got sleet, still others got rain. We got ICE. And lots of it.
Our homestead was hit hard and the ice accumulation was so heavy that we listened fearfully in the dark while many trees came crashing down all night long as the storm raged on. The next morning at first light we tentatively stepped out into what looked like an icy war zone.
The damage was severe, power was out and trees had collapsed everywhere including along our county road – completely blocking it off along with our own escape route. With only half of our road paved and the other half dirt we knew as soon as the ground started to thaw we would be stuck for the duration. (We’ve begged our county commissioner for years to finish paving that tiny strip of our road but that’s a story for another time…)
RancherMan tried to clear it for ourselves & our neighbors by firing up the tractor & attempting to move the heavy ice-laden trees with the front-end loader. But even with this equipment it was just too much and he was unsuccessful.
Then a wonderful thing happened. Although there are only 3 houses on our road, we all gathered along the road with chainsaws, tractors & manpower. By banding together we were successful in finally clearing the street. Even the kids pitched in pulling frozen cut limbs off the road! What a wonderful warming sense of community I felt.
Now what? Everyone in town was affected with large limbs and even whole trees down. In such a small town where will all this debris go? Thankfully the local Rodeo was also willing to help and they opened up their large lot for people to bring their branches and brush during the massive cleanup. As trailer load after trailer load was brought to the rodeo grounds and unloaded, a bulldozer compacted the debris into a huge pile and it was burned.
By the time that pile was burned, much more debris had been dropped off and the procedure started again and again. They left their lot open for a month, offering citizens a place to take all those limbs. THANK YOU!
The local High School was also willing to step up. A program was implemented where several students went throughout the community to assist those citizens that needed help cleaning up all these limbs. Older folks who weren’t physically able to do such strenuous work or single moms with no access to chainsaws or trailers, or just citizens that didn’t know what else to do. What a blessing!
I’m so proud of the way our city banded together to help each other in this time of great need. Isn’t that what community is all about?
Even after all this time since that frightening day, the cleanup continues on our homestead & we have been working hard to clean up the mess left behind. Some of the damaged trees are large Bois D’Arc trees, also known as Ironwood trees. They’re so solid that they’re rot resistant and are much valued for use in posts for buildings or fences. But their density makes them brutal on a chainsaw’s chain.
Thankfully RancherMan was able to purchase an inexpensive *Electric Chain Saw Sharpener. He was surprised at how quickly & easily it sharpened a dull blade, even noting that the chain seemed sharper than it was when it was new. All I know is it kept us from having to have our chains professionally sharpened or replacing them prematurely.
So with these tools at our disposal we continue the herculean task at hand – cleaning up our property. At this rate we should be done in a decade or so! LOL I’m considering it my exercise program and it’s quite a workout indeed.
We haul packed trailer loads of large limbs to a burn pile in one of our pastures. There’s usually a small burn pile being built in this pasture anyway since each spring we celebrate another year on our ranch by having a large family reunion with games, a cookout & hayride ending with a bonfire at dusk. Yep, the bonfire’s going to be a doozy this year!
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…and MANY MORE!
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* A word about our Affiliate Link – We are currently enrolled as an Amazon Affiliate. Occasionally I will insert an affiliate link into one of my posts if I think it may be of interest to you. I receive nothing from the manufacturer, but RancherMan was thrilled with his sharpener & thought you might like it too. If you click on any of my affiliate links and buy something (almost anything, not just what was linked) I get a small referral percentage from Amazon. But here’s the really important part – the price you pay for your items is UNCHANGED.
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