Weird commute home tonight. Thunder, no: fireworks. Car flashing brights. Tree down across the road, had to clear a path. Skunk by the driveway.

I heard some thunderous noises as I was about to leave my parents, and, since there was a storm earlier in the day, thought it might be another storm coming through. Of course, it’s the 3rd of July, and it was fireworks from Blossom. Got to see some of them as I drove.

An SUV was stopped with its blinkers by the Beavers Marsh. I assumed it was watching the fireworks. Further along, another SUV was stoped and started flashing its brights wildly. Sometimes I get people flashing a couple times when they think I have my brights on, even when I don’t, so I assumed it was that but much more angry. After they kept doing it I turned on my brights. As I passed, they yelled something out the window. After I processed it for a second, I thought it might be “Hey, slow down”, but later I came to think it might be “Hey, there’s a tree down”. Not long after, a car on the side flashed its brights similarly, though not quite as frenetic. By this point I figured something was going on and had slowed down a bit.

I kind of regret my reaction to the SUV, but my normal experience with people blinking lights is that they’re angry, and I don’t tend to trust people.

I came upon it, a downed tree pretty much across the whole road. Having slowed down, I had no problem stopping. It was basically across both lanes, but just to the edge of the other, not covering the berm. I thought I might be able to make it around, but that I’d be better off clearing some more. I turned on my blinkers, got out, and began tossing pieces to the side of the road. Once I cleared a bunch of the broken bits in the road, I went for the end in the other lane. This tree was pretty big, and the main part was too big for me by myself to move, but I didn’t really need that, just needed enough to get around easily. It was mostly smaller branches sticking into that lane, and I started breaking them and carrying them off. I was able to pretty much clear the whole other lane, but a branch that was too big for me to break was sticking right to the yellow line.

As I was doing this, a car came from the other direction. It slowed, then passed. I’d say six or so cars came from the same direction as me and passed. One of them stopped, a woman, who said she had called the non-emergency number and they’d be out to take care of it. I said “Okay, cool cool”, but kept working, as I wanted to get things a little more cleaned up. She stayed for a little, then went on. Nobody stopped to help clear things, though it was pretty clear already by the time most of them had come up, and of course it was dark. I gave people a thumbs up largely to signal that everything was fine.

I’m not sure how long that took. I may have ended up home 20 minutes later than I would have expected, but it definitely didn’t feel nearly that long doing the clearing.

During this, a bug of some sort had flown in my ear and was buzzing a lot. I thought I had got it out only for it to buzz again. Was probably there a good minute.

I think I dropped my handkerchief during this and left it. Oh well.

When I got home, just as I was about to pull into my drive, I saw a small looking skunk in my neighbors lawn right next to the driveway where it met the road. I stopped right in the road, not wanting to get sprayed. It was sniffing around for something in the lawn. I slowly inched forward trying to hint that it ought to move, but it didn’t really seem to notice me or care. I was hoping it would slowly work its way elsewhere, but it wasn’t really getting anywhere. When it finally made it a couple feet from the edge of the drive, I rolled forward. It saw me at that point, and, luckily, ran instead of spraying.