Life loves to throw curveballs. You prepare for one contingency and out of left field comes another. We are dealing with a viral pandemic and yet yesterday, a gust of wind whips through the yard and fells a large tree. It takes down the power and phone lines, misses the roof and resounds with a loud bang onto the rear of my car. The next thing I hear are chainsaws and trucks—six in all on my driveway with a crew of 12 men climbing poles and splicing wires while cutting through the tree trunk with a diameter of 2-2.5 ft. Within the next twenty-four hours, I helped pick up brush, logs and branches and loaded them onto a large rack-body truck for disposal at our recycling center, dealt with the power and phone companies, insurance adjusters, an auto body shop and more of the same all over again. I learned how to use the insurance company app to take photos of my vehicle identification number (vin), and damage from multiple angles and upload photos of the tree basically hugging my car. I spoke to representatives of said companies from all over the country while we are isolated in our homes. Everyone is especially pleasant and efficient. It’s all a bit surreal. The wind is still blowing 20-30 mph as I sit here (a day later and body-sore) at my computer while sipping a bourbon Manhattan on ice with a slice of bitter orange and still waiting for the phone company to show up (now over twenty-four hours).
The good news for which I am grateful:
The tree did not hit the roof or me.
Power was restored within four hours.
Cable came back on with power.
A dear friend showed up after a hard day’s work to help me untangle the mess in my driveway.
There was enough daylight until the last half hour for the work to be moving.
All workers were courteous, empathetic and conversing at a safe distance.
The only real damage was to property which can be replaced.
I can borrow a company car in the meantime, and in the meantime requires very little driving during a pandemic of isolating in place.
My car is in good and capable repair hands.
The bitter orange in my drink is refreshing.
~ ~ ~
Sadly, I miss the felled tree which supported a birdhouse and a knothole perch for squirrels.
I am sorry for my car. Her name is “Tita,” short for her color titanium. She is at the auto-body shop and grossly disfigured—possibly totaled. I may never drive her again. I bond with all my vehicles. We usually span a decade of road rides together for better or for worse. Tita is only four years old.
As I’ve been saying—life is about flexibility and change. Had this happened during “normal circumstances”—I may have felt a bit more sorry for myself, however compared to the loss of life and health—this is nothing–albeit an expensive nothing. I choose to live among trees, and this hardship is but a small emotional price to pay. The beauty and health trees afford far outweigh any handicaps.
A true gift also came with this calamity. I went out after dark to sit with the tree and my car and ground/settle just a bit—it had been a difficult day. Near the sliced tree trunk, I found a piece of hardwood, in the shape of a heart–a sign for me that love flows through everything—even calamity. For this I am forever grateful.