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  • When the storm rushed through the neighborhood it toppled 50-year-old trees and severed power lines. None of the trees hit my mom's house, but the backyard was impassable. Early Saturday morning I started the process of what I knew would be a weeks-long ordeal.
    I was on the roof clearing away debris with a push broom when the first neighbor arrived. He had a gas-powered blower. I finished the roof and went back to the ground. By that time Jon and my sister and her husband had arrived. I took my saw to the back to start clearing the branches from the downed trees. I'm not sure when he arrived. I just looked up and there was Craig from up on the hill with his saw. He nodded at me and we set to work. Then came Jane and Ralph. Ralph, with his bad hips and recent shoulder surgery. They dragged the branches. Craig and I continued to cut. Next was Stacey, a relative newcomer to the neighborhood (only 10 years). She smiled and dragged. Craig and I were making good progress on the branches and I started to wonder how we were going to handle the massive trunk.
    That's when Stacey's husband, Clay, showed up with his son, Garrett, and a chainsaw.
    These neighbors pitched in without being asked. They worked in the hot sun without complaint. They refused money. When the tress was cleared we sat around and shared stories of the neighborhood. I said my favorite memory was the time a storm knocked down trees and everyone came together to help my mother.
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