The Irene storm pictures were taken very recently. Even now, where these pictures were taken, the damage remains. There are trees still uprooted and piles of debris still waiting to be picked up. Two of the pictures are of the front of my house. A very large tree fell right next to the kid’s bedroom window. The day after the storm, we found ourselves outside surveying the damage with our neighbors and discussing the storm. Everything was still wet and the crater left by this massive tree and roots had a great deal of water in it. In front of our neighbors, our 3-year old had dropped his shorts and decided to relieve himself into said crater as if it were a bar trough urinal. I take full (credit and) blame for this as given our extensive travel as of late, there were times when we found ourselves pulling to the side of the road so AJ and sometimes Daddy did not have to brave the truck stop restrooms at 3 AM. I may have told him “one of the best things about being a man is being able to pee outside.” (Thanks to my friend Norm for that lasting quote.) It is amazing the things that they recall that come back to haunt us. Either the tree guys were incredible salesmen or the storm must have scared our landlord so badly that she has had every tree in our yard removed. No stump grinding though, so the kids now use the stumps as bases when they play Calvinball (see Calvin & Hobbes). From my experience in homeowners insurance claims, I can only assume that when my landlord negotiated these trees to be taken down, she did not discuss the clean-up and debris removal costs with them. So now we wait on the city. The good news is that now my house is only hidden from the road rather than from DirecTV’s Satellites. Welcome NFL package. Go Bucs!
The pictures of the parade were taken at the Ayden Collard festival. Ayden is the next town over and this was one of the first parades we visited upon our arrival to Greenville. The costume character is supposed to be a Collard. I couldn’t have imagined or explained that one without a picture. I took several pictures of the Shriners or as the laymen might know them as old men in clown dress or driving little cars. I give them credit though, the Shriners are everywhere and the organization does a lot of good for children around the U. S. Those pictures did not make the cut as I needed to make room for the cars in this parade. I have referenced them before but there are 2 significant photos of them. I am assuming that “Jesus Rose” is the name of the car club, but after seeing them and their dedication to pimping out their religious ride I can only assume that these cars run on Holy Water or the vibrations created by their speaker’s bass. There is also a picture of the N.C. Pickle Princess. Her head has been cropped out to protect her innocence (where her parents failed to). Maybe the smarter thing to do would be to crop out her name. Oops.
I must point out that I am not a photographer (before my friends in the business call me out on it). These pictures are taken in the past month and I’ve wanted to show some of the Hurricane Irene (aftermath) pictures anyway. I would have captions under each picture but I’m finding that difficult if I change the size or format of the pictures. So, I’ll let you come to your own conclusions. I went back and changed them all to the same size yet somehow there are duplicates. If you can’t enjoy them twice then I apologize and will notify my IT department.
I also am no artist, but I wanted to share this mural that is in downtown Greenville. It was painted over the course of a month by the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge. I volunteered and helped paint along with several talented individuals from Emerge and other volunteers. When I take the boys to school and pass by the mural, AJ points and says “You painted some of that!” While the design, ideas, coordination, talent and vision escape me, I was a part of this. I painted some of the solid parts which made up the base before the creative-types turned it into something awesome.
Since we’re now in Fall, there is a lot to do in Greenville. I forgot how much we enjoyed being outside before the blistering Summer heat kept us indoors. We were happy last weekend to find the opening of Briley’s Farm to the public. We will return again soon I’m sure. There was a bounce house, slide, animals, pumpkin patches, hay rides, hay mazes, corn mazes and something my kids loved, a tractor pulling a train made out of barrels, painted like a cow. Classic. Oh and more importantly for the parents, all of these things tire out the kids. The season brings something I was not used to in Florida as there were only 2 seasons, hot and hotter. North Carolina brings us beautiful scenery, people happy to be outside along with cooler weather. We can ignore the holidays that the malls and stores shove down our throats and look forward to family, celebration and Winter.