Hoping this nor’easter was the last blast this season — the trees will be thankful

Branches fell on a truck and power lines near the house.
Katie McLeod/Globe Staff
Branches fell on a truck and power lines near the house.

Snap! Snap! Snap!

Winter storm Quinn invited itself to Southern New England – the second nor’easter to hit Massachusetts in a week — and left a trail of trees.

Along with so many anxious storm-watchers, I went to bed last night in our Andover home wondering what would greet me in the early morning. There’s that feeling of uncertainty that creeps in while waiting for a big storm. After watching changing forecasts all day, how much snow would we actually get? Would it make the morning commute absolutely awful? Could we possibly end up unscathed? Social media told me my friends were wondering the same things.


As it turned out, Quinn kept me awake most of the night as it used its force to knock down snow-covered branches and trees all over our yard.

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I first woke around 12:30 a.m. Thursday when our power went out for a moment. But the lights came back. Relief! And then a loud rumble. A tree down? Or was it thundersnow?

My storm anxiety began to heighten, so I felt compelled to check on my 1-year-old son. He was fine in his crib, but the sound of my feet hitting the creaky wood floor woke him. Thankfully he fell back asleep after 15 minutes of being held, averting a whole other type of extreme weather condition: the Toddler Storm. Phew.

Back to bed, and another loud rumble. Sleep finally came around 3:30 when . . . bang! Another tree? We dozed off again until we finally got up for the day an hour or so later.

“A big branch fell on my truck! It’s on the power line!” my husband yelled after he looked out the window from our bedroom.


And so began our early-morning scramble.

How would we get to work? Could we walk down our driveway, because the power line was touching the branch, which was touching the truck and the snow? So many questions.

A call to the power company solidified our fear: It’s going to take “a while” to fix the wire and remove the branch with so much damage in the area. “Days?” my husband asked. The guy wasn’t sure about “days,” but it would take “a while.”

And without seeing the exact location of the wire, of course they couldn’t guarantee I’d be safe getting into the car.

I headed downstairs to further assess the situation (trying hard to walk softly so as not to again wake my baby). I opened the front door full of curiosity and a little fear. I saw a large tree getting removed from the street by a clean-up crew, another tree in our front yard was broken in half. We then began to see the rest of the storm damage: a large tree down in the side yard, another one in the back and then — snap! — a second branch fell on the truck and the power line.


Mother Nature decided we’d be staying in the house — and that was that.

We’re lucky that we don’t have more damage right now while so many others around New England have lost so much.

For us, this storm was a nuisance and a big reminder about storm safety: Stay away from power lines, and be very careful shoveling heavy, wet snow.

It’s better to be safe than sorry, as they say.

And as I was forced to be stuck in the house post-storm, watching more branches fall as I typed, I couldn’t help but look out into the yard in amazement. There was a certain magic in this madness. The snow was sparkling, the house engulfed in the stuff. My son, officially awake for the day, saw the white blanket with fresh eyes, and pointed out the windows and pressed on the glass in awe.

While I appreciate the splendor, I do hope Quinn was our last winter blast this year. I’m pretty sure the trees — and the rest of New England — would be grateful.

Katie McLeod can be reached at