Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Morning After Halloween

The first of November in Lambertville is like Ash Wednesday in New Orleans, the day after Mardi Gras, when the sun rises on streets empty of visiting revelers, lollipops and chocolate bar wrappers littering the gutters. The residents are exhausted.

We are recovering from the battering of Nature, at least most of us are. Some still have no electricity, hence no heat or lights, and in the farther reaches of West Amwell no water either, since electricity is required to bring it up from the well. When the snow fell on Saturday it stuck to the unshed leaves of early autumn trees and weighed the branches down to the breaking point, especially the weak, fast-growing limbs of the ornamental pear trees that were so popular years ago until time proved them unsuitable. Only a tall stump is left of the tree that used to grow in front of our house. On Saturday afternoon the branches all bowed to the ground, and bowed, and bowed, and then suddenly with a bang exploded right off the tree. The neighbors have agreed that it must be replaced with something that will do better. Perhaps an oak.

The Halloween parade that was to have taken place on Sunday was canceled by the city. Things were still messed up. Multiple trucks from the electric company were at work on many downed wires. But on Monday night, Halloween night, the police closed Union Street to traffic and the crowds came in their thousands, babies dressed as bats, grownups dressed as witches, a girl dressed as a lighted jellyfish. So the holiday was saved.

And now it's over. In the distance I can hear the sound of computers being booted as NaNoWriMo begins. Not participating myself, but I do have to get busy on the Work in Progress.