My travels yesterday took me to Leamington in the late afternoon. The roads are now open and the cleanup is well under way. Words cannot really describe what I saw yesterday. On the way to, and at Seacliff Park, for example, where there were once large beautiful trees, you’ll see stacks of logs ready for removal. Tree chippers have been in and there are stacks of chips all over the place as part of the cleanup.
On the way to Point Pelee, you pass the Erie Shores Golf Club and it was hit hard. Where there used to be shade trees coaxing golf balls their way, you now just see spires as the big leafy branches are gone. It’s a surreal experience to see.
Even though I have a portable digital camera with me at all times, it just didn’t seem right to take my own pictures as though I was some sort of gawker there for a cheap thrill. I think that it’s more important that the residents document this event.
The good thing, of course, is that people are safe and the rebuilding and reconstruction is under way. A good friend of mine took great pride in the large number of trees that sheltered her house. They are now gone. How can this ever be replaced?
The reality is that it can’t but I did want to help out a bit and so decided to give a gift certificate to a local nursery to help the cause of rebuilding. But, how do you ever begin to replace trees that are decades old? I had to come up with a figure and, as I was thinking, I was reminiscing of all of what has happened in her classroom for the past couple of years. She has really embraced the concept of the Read/Write Web and uses this concept to motivate her students. I thought of my own personal motivation which comes from my group of friends that I learn with on Twitter daily. On Fridays, I like to recognize the Ontario Educators from the past week and that was my hook. I purchased a certificate based on the number of folks in the Ontario Educators list in my Twitter account. It won’t replace a majestic oak tree but I hope that it helps.
The town and the community are moving forward. The Leamington Fair went off as planned last weekend and there were people golfing on the course that was hit so hard. It was so good to see the recovery happening. We know Leamington first and foremost for the greenhouses and the agriculture that surrounds. Leamington is also an incredible place for tourism. Please consider this if you’re from Southern Ontario and looking for a day trip. Holiday dollars infused into the local economy will be appreciated. A Facebook account has been created to support relief efforts. If you are interested in helping, efforts are coordinated by the Samaritans Purse Disaster Relief.