Huff, puff & blow the house down

On Sunday night, Anne and I stayed up to watch the Oscars. After the show, I went to bed and Anne soon followed. I fell quickly asleep, but Anne did not. First the tornado sirens going off kept her awake and then there the proverbial sound of a locomotive bearing down. Well, more like highway noise but just outside and it quickly passed. Afterwards, I woke up and noticed that the power was off. By then Anne was asleep and I went back to sleep too.

In the morning, I got up first. The power was still off, so it was cold and dark. I put on my glasses and peered out the bedroom window. Our backyard fence neighbor had lost a huge tree. It had fallen on her house and also on her next door neighbor’s roof too. I went to look out the front window and saw additional wreckage. There were several more downed trees to be seen, a small crowd of my neighbors gawking at them and several damaged vehicles.

It was only then that I noticed that something was missing, our beloved pine tree. When I focused on what I was looking at, I saw a root ball sticking up where our pine’s trunk had been. I called to Anne to get up. Moving to the front door, I opened it to the wreckage of our front porch and the pine blocking that entrance. Anne was up by then and groaned at her own realization. We got dressed and went out to see the destruction first hand.

A change of viewpoint didn’t improve the view. It only showed more damage. I went in to file the insurance claim. Unlike my auto accident, which was easy to report online using just my iPhone, for some reason I called an operator to make the claim. It took me forever. Watching the neighbors, photograph the scene, probably for their Facebook pages, didn’t help either. Watching a neighbor’s dog take-a-dump on the corpse of our beloved pine didn’t help at all. After agreeing on a tree service with our next door neighbor, who now shared our pine tree, I had to get out of there.

We bailed to Bread Co. On the way there we crossed the closed Big Bend Blvd. About a half-dozen high voltage power poles had been knocked over. Bread Co. was open, but slated soon to close. Ameren, the power company, planed on shutting off power for the day in order to repair the damage on Big Bend. We ate our muffins there, but took the rest of our coffee with us.

Returning home, we found the power was back on again. I called the tree service and the insurance company again and left another set of messages. With nothing else to do, I decided to go to work. I had a lot to do there and seemingly nothing left to do at home. Besides there, I had plenty of opportunities to repeat and refine my story for this post. After work, the sun was out and the other damaged neighbor’s properties had been cleaned up. Our house still had our fallen pine as a glaring exception, but the tree service is supposed to be by this morning. Beyond today, we still need to press our claim and get the awning, brickwork and roof repaired. We also need to replant.

6 thoughts on “Huff, puff & blow the house down

  1. I mourn for your pine tree… and all the hassle of getting through to the insurances and services to get all this cleaned up. Looks like the large/mature trees took the brunt of the tornado (with the utility poles coming in 2nd place).

    Hopefully, injuries from the storm were minimal?

  2. Very glad you hear you’re okay. That storm was bad when it came through ATL after St. L, but not as bad as there—at least in our neighborhood. I. Do. Not. Cope. Well. With. Wind. (When indoors.)

  3. Mark and Anne,

    Sorry to hear about your damage but it sounds like nobody was hurt and that is a blessing.


  4. Um, well, but it’s cold in the basement, and uh, Mark’s asleep. We’re on the East side of the house, and the storm is coming from the SW, and it’s, umm, not like we’re on the top floor….

    All of this is done with a hang-dog look and a pigeon-toed stance of abashed confession.

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