I still remember the first time I drove my parents around Sioux Falls looking for a home for them. I had finally convinced them to move here. My Dad had retired due to health issues and my Mom was looking for work as an RN.

As we drove through central Sioux Falls, my dad commented on the magnificent canopy the trees created and how it reminded him of one of his favorite places- -Missoula, Montana. Missoula, (my birthplace and now my dad's burial place) used to be a quiet little city full of gorgeous old growth trees.

It is still resplendent with trees, but once Californians discovered the beauty and affordable real estate in Montana, Missoula stopped being a quiet little college town. Now, it is still a charming city, but the real estate is nowhere near affordable and it has become a Boulder clone- -trendy, kitschy and preternaturally self-involved. But I digress.

Remember that sublime shade tree you sat under last summer, sipping an icy cold something or other on that scorching day in July? The same one who’s delicate leaves cascaded into the yard and danced a jig down the street to remind you fall was coming? The two oaks you strung your hammock between? The maple with the tire swing? The birch you carved you and your sweeties initials on in fourth grade? I hope it is still there for you. A lot of them will not be thanks to the horrific ice storm we just went through.

As I drove through my powerless central Sioux Falls neighborhood yesterday, the eerie quiet was made even more repugnant by the grisly, hideously disfigured ghouls lining the streets reaching out with icy fingers to inflict misfortune upon any creature coming too near. That’s correct; the trees were giving me the “willies”. I felt like Dorothy and Scarecrow encountering those ornery trees in Oz!

I found myself alternating between revulsion and sorrow at the plague Mom Nature had visited upon some of her most stately creations. The thought also occurred to me, that perhaps this was her way of getting back at us for all of the abuse she’s taken for centuries. Uh huh, “You don’t mess with Mother Nature”!!