Hurricane Irma, Neighbors, Trash and the Trash Man

By
Real Estate Agent with HomeXpress Realty SL3199320

 Hurricane Irma

What Happens After The Storm?

When Hurricane Irma whipped through our neighborhood,  we lost our power.  As a matter of fact, we lost in at 4:00 PM Sunday and Irma was not due for another 9 hours.  Yes, winds had picked up in the form of gusts, and rain bands had started, but nothing that we would consider as another rainy Florida day.  First reaction was that the Power Company was doing a controlled shut down for safety.  Wrong!  Power would not be restored for another four days.  Certainly there was a great moment of celebration when the kitchen light mercifully flickered on.

We escaped any major damage.  All of the neighborhood was not so fortunate.  What was in common with every home, door by door, block by block was trash.  Irma had cleaned every tree in her path of many limbs, branches and Spanish Moss.  Every branch that no longer produced leaves and was simply attached to the oak tree as an ornament, was stripped and thrown to the ground.  Over loaded limbs, from the weight of the heavy Spain Moss had been ripped from the security of the tree trunk.

Before Irma, one neighbor's front yard was crowned with a most beautiful grandfather oak.  Grandfather oaks are so valuable and protected, builder's are required, by code, to plan new neighborhoods around the majestic grandfather oaks.  The neighbor's tree was thrown to the ground like a WWF wrestler is thrown to the mat.  The owner was fortunate it fell at a 45° angle from the house.  It took out the unlit street light.  The concrete light pole crashed to the street with views of re-bar and chunks of concrete were in every direction.

The "Good" Out Performs The Hurricane

The morning following the 1:30 AM eye of the hurricane (the actual eye was 20 miles east) neighbors trickled from their cocoon homes to see the results.  The neighbor with the grandfather oak, seeing his tree had fallen and completely blocked his front street, took his chain saw and began to carve the top limbs away as if it were a Thanksgiving turkey.  Then another neighbor and another neighbor and a half a block of men showed up with chain saws, saws and pruners to join the dissection.  Ladies would grab the hewed limbs and stacked them in ordered piles by length and diameter.  By the end of the day, two thirds of the tree was ready for the trash man.

When Doth The Trash Man Cometh?

This morning, as I was in the front yard sipping my hand crafted cup of dark roast coffee, the trash man arrived for the first time since before the storm.  Have you every thought how important a job the trash man has?  Try going almost two weeks without and you will find out for yourself.  Remember the comment about the celebration of the flickering light?  Celebrating trash pick up is not all that different.  

I scurried my way down to the curb, and with one hand holding my coffee cup, the other hand is extended skyward for a big high five.  The leather glove met my hand and we both grinned from one side of our cheek to the other.  As I reflect on that moment, I wander when pro athletes do the same celebration procedure as the trash man and I, if that one moment for them will be as memorable as our moment.  I told the trash man I appreciated him, thanked him for his hard work.  He could only take one trash can worth of debris.  There are several more stacks to go.  But next week, Thursday, it will be our turn again for trash pickup.  And I will be out there waiting with a big high five.

 

 

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Location:
Florida Hillsborough County
Tags:
florida
hurricane irma

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Rainmaker
302,425
David Tipton, GRI, ePro, SRES
Grady David Tipton Brokerage - Tampa, FL
Real Estate Broker - Tampa

Well written blog, as always Sir. so glad all made it through the ordeal.

Sep 19, 2017 06:28 PM #9
Ambassador
4,162,401
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Rick- we have so many to thank for thes service they provided. We still have vegetation out on the curb but no complaints from me!!!  

Sep 19, 2017 06:39 PM #10
Rainmaker
280,399
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

I have never seen as much trash as what Harvey left behind. Our local soccer field is now covered in a pile of trash (Sheetrock,cabinetry and furniture, etc) 2 stories high. The county is looking at 80 days to pick up the trash from the 4000 homes destroyed by the flood. Trash men are much appreciated here

Sep 19, 2017 07:14 PM #11
Rainmaker
571,583
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Big tip and treats to the trash men!  I see drivers so annoyed when they get 'stuck' behind a trash truck.  Hey, those pp are just doing their job!  Have some patience!

Sep 19, 2017 09:03 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,556,896
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I can imagine how wonderful it must have been to see the trash man!

Sep 20, 2017 03:34 AM #13
Rainmaker
2,172,885
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Would not be a very nice world to live in without those trash men showing up!

Sep 20, 2017 04:12 AM #14
Rainmaker
3,442,697
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Lou... glad you made it through okay on the whole. Having lived in NYC during strikes by the sanitation department, I do know how critical a role these people play in our day to day life and how hard a job they have. 

Sep 20, 2017 05:02 AM #15
Rainmaker
241,849
Rick Frissell
HomeXpress Realty - Valrico, FL
aka "The Red Baron of Real Estate"

Nina Hollander 

Yes they do.  Several years ago we had a house with the same crew every week for over the years.  When we would hear them roaring threw on Christmas week, we would run curbside and give them each a card with a small cash token.  The first year was surpirse.  That may be common to tip everyone in NYC, but uncommon in Florida.  Each year after, until we moved, we would see their smile as they aproached our house.  But then, the shock and surprise was gone and they would not run off immediately and instead allow us 5 minutes of their time to talk about Christmas plans.  I just might have to return to that idea.

Sep 20, 2017 06:55 AM #16
Rainmaker
3,442,697
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Rick Frissell ~ hi Rick... can't say we ever tipped any garbage collectors in NYC... just the doormen, building superintendents, postmen, delivery people.

Sep 20, 2017 07:02 AM #17
Rainmaker
241,849
Rick Frissell
HomeXpress Realty - Valrico, FL
aka "The Red Baron of Real Estate"

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland , David Tipton, GRI, ePro, SRES , Kathy Streib , Kat Palmiotti 

Thanks joining me in your appreciation of the sanitaition department.  I checked my tax bill and realized how little I pay for a great service.  Note to Hillsborough County Tax Collector- Don't get any ideas from the post.

 

Sep 20, 2017 07:08 AM #18
Rainmaker
241,849
Rick Frissell
HomeXpress Realty - Valrico, FL
aka "The Red Baron of Real Estate"

Jeanne Gregory Having seen the small clean up we have, relative to Harvey, I cannot imagine what Houston is still processing.  When the reporters and cameras all leave, you folks are left behind to Make Houston Great Again.

Sep 20, 2017 07:08 AM #19
Rainmaker
241,849
Rick Frissell
HomeXpress Realty - Valrico, FL
aka "The Red Baron of Real Estate"

Sharon Tara   I know you folks are not without challenge.  I guess there is some concern about Hurricane Maria heading to the northeast.  Hoping for a right turn.

Sep 20, 2017 07:10 AM #20
Rainmaker
909,566
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Glad to hear you survived and certainly can appreciate your feelings, if we can let those things that before we would have considered little things please us, life will be a lot better.

Sep 20, 2017 09:12 AM #21
Rainmaker
401,623
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

As a Florida resident, I have seen the devastation of a massive hurricane.

Many people forget that we has just seen Texas slammed and that many resources went to help the people there.

Florida was hit by such a large storm that the entire state was affected.

Resources came from other states and Canada, but the restoration process has been slower than some people wanted. Power companies are being sued because people said they still do not have power.

This has been a sad part for me, to see people angry at the very people who are working night and day to assist.

There is such a lack of understanding of what it takes to restore after such a historic storm.

Thanks for your post.

Sep 20, 2017 05:18 PM #22
Rainmaker
2,545,384
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Makes you wonder about Trash...where it goes and for how long can we keep this up too? 

Sep 21, 2017 07:12 AM #23
Rainmaker
241,849
Rick Frissell
HomeXpress Realty - Valrico, FL
aka "The Red Baron of Real Estate"

Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543 You hit the nail on the head.  One of my favorite quotes is Martin Luther King Jr. "I have a dreaam."  If we could all only respect each other, what a world this could mbe.
John Wiley - My neighbor works as a subcontractor for TECO, our electricy utility company.  On the Sunday before Irma, TECO called his company and told them to form two teams in their company for 12 hours on, 12 hours off until further notice.  He got time off after 8 days.  Yet, there were several negative media accounts on the lack of progress in getting electric restored.  Someone should ask the media the question, "How much time is left in the day after 24 hour?"

 

Sep 21, 2017 08:08 AM #24
Rainmaker
241,849
Rick Frissell
HomeXpress Realty - Valrico, FL
aka "The Red Baron of Real Estate"

Richie Alan Naggar , Yes, I can see why you might ask that in California particularly.  The same as the taxes out there, they just keep stacking up and stacking up.

Sep 21, 2017 08:10 AM #25
Rainer
126,550
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

I was without power for 5 days in Pinellas County. Never so happy to see the kitchen lights come on Friday afternoon. No damage to the house but my yard looks like a bomb went off. I have massive piles of tree limbs now waiting for the county to come with their gigantic claw to pic them up and drop them in their massive trucks. It's going to be a while before I can see the sidewalks again. Thank God for small favors as it could have been so much worse. 

Sep 22, 2017 09:08 PM #26
Rainmaker
241,849
Rick Frissell
HomeXpress Realty - Valrico, FL
aka "The Red Baron of Real Estate"

Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA Hi Same and neigbor.  We too have thousands of tons of debris on the curbside.  But a visit to your county yesterday brought my attention to how much was waiting for the "claws."  I continue to be thankful for the blessings we received in our area that it was not as much damage compared to so many other areas.

Sep 23, 2017 05:43 AM #27
Ambassador
3,676,503
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Hi Rick! When Hugo hit Charlotte, we saw a lot of the same with the chain saws, wood chippers and the ladies neatly piling up the brush for the trash man. We heard the buzz of chain saws for weeks and hope to never have to hear them for so long again!

Isn't it the small things that we don't really appreciate...until we realize just how important those small things are...that we learn to cherish? I love that you met the trashman with a high-five and I'm sure that he feels much more appreciated in his job now as well.

So glad to hear that you fared the storm fairly well. I hope how soon life returns to normal for all of your neighbors across the state too!

Happy Saturday, Rick!

Sep 23, 2017 06:54 AM #28
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Rainmaker
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Rick Frissell

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