As I was walking through the kitchen just a few days ago, I glimpsed this over the courtyard wall. I got very excited! "This is it!" They've come for the brush pile! Huzzah Huzzah! I took this one photo quickly from the kitchen window (with the zoom on obviously) then ran outside to watch. Honestly, sometimes I'm like a 5 year old. I do not know any 5 year old, boy or girl, who would be able to resist watching a big truck do pretty much anything!
I sat in the courtyard and patiently waited while they worked on the large pile next door. Eventually though, it was our turn. Yay! Slowly, slowly the truck inched forward.
As it turns out it was a very Very Big truck. Kind of like two giant bins mashed together with a crane in between. Well to a lay person such as myself, that's what it appeared to be. Decide for yourself if I am mistaken.
To get an idea of how very large this contraption is let me tell you that our driveway is of the horseshow variety. It's a half circle with a bit of grass and trees and shrubs in the center of it. Our brush pile was stacked up, higher than the house on the grassy bit in the middle. The truck covered the entire area completely blocking both sides of the horseshoe driveway! Like I said, BIG!
I snapped away as the crane chomped away at our large pile reminding more of Cookie Monster (or me!) going through a batch of cookies. It was a marvel and fascinating to me, almost mesmerizing as it lowered, chomped, lifted (carefully avoiding the powerlines overhead) and then swung around to drop into one of the two bins:
Over and again this little dance continued, whittling our enormous pile of rubbish down until. Suddenly. It. Stopped.
What? The crane operator had the exact expression on his face that I did. What happened? I've no idea of course, but I watched as the operator climbed down and then crawled underneath this behemoth. He tinkered and fiddled for quite some time. Then he crawled back out and someone else came 'round and they two of them talked, first to each other, and then to someone else on the phone.
There were a few more fiddles and tinks, discussions and calls and then, I guess, he gave up. He climbed into the cab of the truck, slowly limped into the turn of the next street (which has a nice big circle at the end for turning around). It heaved to a stop as it approached the corner and then turned back the way it came and was gone. Drat. We broke it.
Well that was my first thought. It's always my first thought. I always assume everything is my fault. At least from July 9th 1953 forward. Before I was born it was someone else's fault. And then I remember that is not the case (at least this time) We did nothing wrong. We did exactly as we were told. The machine apparently has some sort of issue.
After I watched them go, I walked up what remained. While the hard working but problematic truck and crane did a good job, there was some leftover. I cannot complain because it was a big old pile. I raked the leftover into a much smaller pile in the hopes that perhaps once the truck was feeling better it would return to finish the job? Hope springs eternal. Here is the original pile and the leftover for comparison.
Honestly, I cannot complain. Or rather, I won't. They did a good job. If they never return, I can probably find a way to get rid of this little remaining bit myself. Still it was an adventure and fun to watch the big old machine at work.
Every day I see fewer brush piles, repairs being at least started and in the meantime, while we no longer have any street signs (it turns out that hurricanes have quite the appetite for street signs), everyone here on the island has power back now, most stores and restaurants are open again - even if the hours are shorter - and recovery moves forward. Nice to see.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.