Shame on you, Mother Nature. That was uncalled for.

Ripping through Bernardsville, New Jersey with heavy snow, slush, and rain, you split open and knocked down gaggles of trees, which fell on wires and knocked out almost all of our town's power for hours and, in many cases, days.

What a mess you made of our town. Why so early and sudden a blast, when we weren't really expecting such widespread disruption, before the month of November had arrived? Why send such a foreboding, ominous message about the Winter that plods towards us? Why throw us this curve ball so early in the season of cool, chilly, and freezing?

You were not nice to do this.

Let me tell you a personal story of dismay and unhappiness. When you hit last Saturday afternoon, I had been planning to watch eight to ten hours of college football. My family was out and about and I had the house to myself.  In the back of my mind I had images of myself ordering for delivery a large pepperoni pie from Pizza Hut. The day was filled with blissful ideas as I lay in bed relaxing.

I nodded off for awhile. Then loud, weird-sounding thuds started reverberating outside my house. I thought a tree or two had fallen on my house. What was going on, I thought? I could not possibly spend the rest of my day calling tree people to get estimates for how much it would cost for them to cut down a tree dissecting my house. Ball games were on.

Aggravated, I got out of bed and went outside to survey the damage. To my surprise, some tree branches had fallen but none on my house. Whew. I then studied the five or six 200 foot oak towers in my back yard and wondered if they would topple. I figured they might but what could I do about it?

Peering around my neighborhood street, I noticed more tree branches were down. It was as if a tornado had accompanied the snow and sleet that whipped through our town. These forces had a parade with each other, joining to destroy all in their way, in lock-step.  Using the best logic I could muster, I figured that the trees still had leaves on them and, coupled with the heavy, wet snow, could not continue standing. It was as good a theory as any other.

I got in my car looking to drive somewhere, anywhere, to get out of my house in which the power had gone kaput. Some other region of the country was one of my thoughts of where to go. No TV meant no balls games could be watched. That wouldn't do. As I drove, the magnitude of the storm's damage set in. There were branches and trees all over the streets. Cars were lining up, turning around. Police officers, fire trucks, and ambulances made their siren noises all day long. I spun out while driving, burning rubber, as a police officer watch me with disdain and wonder. I turned around and went back to my house.

By this time it was dark inside. No candles in my house, at least not any that I knew where to find nor was willing to hunt for. With nothing else to do, I went back to bed. It was probably six o'clock at night. I then just stayed there for the next thirteen hours. Spending so much time tossing and turning, my shoulders started to get sore. Maybe, I thought, all the sleeping was causing me to break my clavicle or tear my labrum or separate my shoulders from their sockets. I laid in bed and slept so long I was injuring myself.

What a cruel night in my beloved home town. What a dastardly deed Mother Nature did to me and the rest of our citizens. She robbed me of football on Saturday and Sunday. Maybe it was her idea of the ultimate Halloween prank, a big scare. Maybe she was having a bad day and took it out on us. Maybe Mother Nature crossed the line with this storm.

I'd say not maybe, but definitely, she was the Wicked Witch from the West.


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