Do you believe in curses? Can’t say that I ever have, really, but this thing keeps happening to us and I don’t know what else to call it.
So it happened again last week. Heavy sigh. Yep, the Coty Curse of Falling Trees struck once more. Seems that almost every time we leave home for an extended period, one of the massive oaks crowding our yard – or an impressively massive limb – falls. As a consequence, the oaks are no longer crowded at all; in fact, we’re running out of trees.
Huh. Maybe that’s the best way to end the curse. But the trees were the reason we bought that beautiful shady lot. Arrgh.
This time we were enjoying some fall color up in the Smokies when a neighbor called to break the bad news. It’s the same neighbor who called the last two times tree monsters fell across the back and side yards, gobbling up play equipment, taking down fences, and squashing all kinds of whatsit.
Only this time the tree fell across our house. And driveway. And most of the front yard. It was a big, big tree.
Another neighbor (I can’t thank Papa God enough for good neighbors!) extracted the limb piercing the garage door and hammered the metal panel back into some kind of semblance of a flat surface that, although it won’t follow the track enough to allow the garage door to open, won’t allow entrance to raccoons, possums, and other woodland critters that frequent our rural neighborhood. (I’d love to retell the story here of the racoon fam that once took up residence in our garage, entering and exiting through the cat door – terrifying our poor cat – and using our car as their latrine, but I’ll save that for another time.)
The insurance company, of course, is giving us a hard time, claiming only to cover the removal of the parts of the tree that actually enter the house; the rest of the tree (including the gigantic trunk), they state ridiculously, is unrelated to the claim and therefore our tough luck.
Spouse tried to argue that the rest of the tree is the only reason limbs HAVE entered the house, but they are being quite contrary, so if you have a free minute, I’d be much obliged if you could shoot a prayer heavenward that our adjustor would adjust his evidently way-too-tight boxers.
And then he said we must leave the tree exactly where it is for two weeks because their on-site inspector was busy until then. What??? we said. The thing is completely blocking our driveway! If we were there right now, we couldn’t get in or out. We have plenty of photos of the damage; we’ve already made arrangements to have it removed the day before we return home.
The tree stays, they replied.
The tree goes, we countered.
REALLY? Who’s being unreasonable here? Anybody got spare blood pressure medication? I declare, dealing with the insurance company is worse than the actual damage.
Bad things happen to all of us at some time, don’t they? Things out of our control; things we didn’t see coming and don’t know how to deal with when they slam us upside the head (or upside the house in this case).
What do you do, dear BBFF (Blessed Blog Friend Forever) when something like this happens to you? [All advice is seriously welcome!]
Despite my initial impression that this calamity must’ve snuck by Papa God while He was sneezing, I’ve always found peace for my troubled spirit via Deut. 31:8 (NLT): “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
I cling to this promise.
He IS there. He IS aware. And He DOES care.
And even when you don’t, He maintains His astute sense of humor.
This fact was driven home by evidence of my prayer time a few hours after we received the first pictures of our squashed garage. I was walking on a remote mountain trail alone, weeping a little weep, pouring out my frustration to my Papa. When I paused for air, I heard an unmistakable still, small voice speak to my heart: Well, at least now you’ll have a place to put that lamp post.
I had to LOL right through my tears. Weeks before, I had indeed considered buying a lamp post (who else loves Narnia?) but decided we had no room for it. I hadn’t told anyone. (Guess ya gotta be careful what you wish for!)
I know, I know. It could’ve been a lot worse. The tree could be resting atop my grandma’s heirloom dining room table, or flattening the irreplaceable beloved piano I learned to play on as a child. Or undoing the do-over we just had done to our kitchen.
So I guess it’s time to suck it up and put on my big girl panties. Sniff.
Looks like now my previously shady front yard will be receiving lotsa light. All those shade-loving flowers and plants will find themselves baking in the blazing central-Florida sun. I’m all ears for suggestions of fast-growing ornamental trees to plant in hopes of saving some of them, What do ya say, plant-lover friends? What would you recommend?
*Congrats to the winner of the Blessings Fall Your Way Giveaway: Rebecca Barrack! Rebecca’s “Blessed Mom” tee and other prizes in honor of my new book, Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms, will be winging its way to her, even while I’m putting together yet another great giveaway for November. Remember, you can always find my latest giveaway at my website DeboraCoty.com; just click on “Freebies” then look for the giveaway. Enter. Win!!!
Connie Porter Saunders says
Congratulations to Rebecca!
Julie Ann Jencks says
Thank you for this. I often joke my last name is Jinx (Jencks) and my birthday is April Fool’s Day if I had a dollar for every time I heard “in all my years of doing this this has never happened” I could retire a millionaire right now. Life seems to be filled with troubled water right now and knowing that we are never alone is truly the only thing that keeps me going. Thank you for your reminder this morning.
Sending a BIG cyber hug your way, Julie Ann! (And you are indeed a blessed cyster even though you may not feel like it some days!)
So sorry to see that big, beautiful tree tumble down in your corner of the woods!! Your home is so nicely tucked away in an area that could be Pooh’s Hundred Acre Woods, for sure! We hated paying big bucks to have several trees we loved having, removed from our yard! It’s hard to understand these things, but we always praised the Lord that nobody was hurt. I think the lamppost sounds great and you should pick out a new tree that you’ve admired, plant it and watch it grow!!
Beth Almeida says
I’m so sorry about your house! Yes, I believe in curses. In the months of May through September this year, we experienced such horrible situations that it had to be something like bad mojo! First, May 22, our second son was stillborn, then my 7-year-old Chihuahua got killed, then my 85lb Pittbull/Boxer, Dozer, was attacked by a bobcat! It was no more than 50ft from our front door and my sweet boy kept it away. He spent a month inside in his bed recovering.
THEN, when he was finally able to go out under his own power, he decided that chasing a UPS truck that was going 45mph would be great fun. He timed it so well that he almost got the tire he was after, but a few inches off, he caught the back bumper … with his MOUTH. We were standing outside and i was still trying to figure out HOW he could’ve done the whole catching the truck in the first place when he ran into the yard with a mouth pouring blood. So far, only minor incidences have visited us, but I KNOW it could be worse.
Oh, my! Beth, I will stop right now and pray that Papa God not only places a spiritual hedge of protection around you, but also a 6-foot cement wall topped with razor wire! And please give Dozer a hug from me and a piece of bread (I’m guessing chewy treats are out since his teeth are probably still impaled in the metal car bumper!).
Beth Price-Almeida says
He actually only lost 2 teeth! But it did a number on his upper jaw bone. The bob cat hurt him much worse, but I am beyond grateful that my 3 year-old was not the one that found that thing in our yard! We have discovered since my comment that losing our other baby has had a real impact on Mason. He will just start talking randomly about “his baby” being with Jesus and then burst into tears.
We would appreciate your prayers and will also pray threat each new tree you plant has strong roots that run deep.