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.
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!!!