Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Twin-Takes on Outdoor Clean Up Post- Hurricane

by helpinghandstwins

Each year just prior to Memorial Day, we endeavor to do a little spring cleaning outdoors. In the northeast, May is a beautiful time of year to be outside. We’ve already had many seventy degree plus days and after the fall and winter we had this past year, those days are most welcome.

But this year, the outdoor work to get our yards ready to enjoy barbeques and outdoor leisure is very different. Practically everyone in the New York area has had trees down due to Hurricane Sandy last fall, but many experienced far worse. For us personally, we look back with gratitude that sometimes difficult situations can bring out the best in people.   And on a grateful note, we’d like to share some thoughts that this year’s spring clean up brings to mind.

Heather’s Perspective: For the most part, the outside of our house was pretty much untouched after the hurricane.  Aside from debris cleanup, we only had 1 fallen tree that did not hit anything in our backyard but, due to its size, we did need about 4 guys to stand it back up again.  It was re-staked along with a few others that were leaning.  We were very lucky.  The storm just edged by our community, mostly causing downed electrical lines & power outages.  My family was in a fortunate place to be able to help others with post-hurricane needs, mostly food & clean up.

Holly’s Perspective: For me, I can look back and see how everything happens for a reason. My house was the only one on the block not spared by fallen trees. In the moment you wonder, “Why me?” But in hind sight, you see all the good that came from that experience: meeting neighbors I never knew that volunteered all day to assist in yard clean up and debris removal; getting the much-needed funds to repair damage to the house without worry that insurance premiums would skyrocket; getting bags of groceries from my sister 🙂 when my usually thriving community looked more like a ghost-town; being able to stay with my parents for a few days and take a hot shower when our power was out; being able to be a shelter for my in-laws when their power was still out after ours came back on. But the biggest debt of gratitude my husband and I owe is to our brother-in-law, my sister’s husband, Jimmy. He spent two weekends of his time helping to re-build parts of our damaged home. And it looks more beautiful than it ever was.

So this spring, while we continue to re-plant what was lost outside and re-build what was broken, we remember those even more devastated than we were and try to help in any way big or small. We will enjoy our outdoor spaces more than ever this summer with grateful hearts for what we have.  And Happy Memorial Day!