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And then the tree fell.

March 14, 2012

Although it’s obviously not as impactful as JFK’s assassination or 9/11, I’ll bet that almost everyone in Augusta can tell me where they were during the awful storm a couple of Fridays ago.

It wasn’t a tornado, and as far as I know, no one in Augusta died as a result.  But it was scary.  Friends have told me that they were sitting in their cars saying their prayers.  WJBF asked for folks to post photos of the storm damage on Facebook, and one woman replied that she was still in the basement.  A bunch of people clicked “like” in agreement.

I was at home, and I’m pretty sure I wet my pants a little.  The worst part only lasted about 5 minutes, but the hail was blowing sideways, it was pouring rain, and the wind was gusting up to 70 miles per hour.  I needed to go to the center of the house, away from the windows, but I couldn’t move.  I was sure that, any moment, the swing set was going to come through the French doors.  Well, I wasn’t really sure, because it was raining so hard that I couldn’t even see the swing set.

Oh, you think I’m a baby?  I hate the cold, and I’m scared of storms.  While we’re being completely honest, I’ll admit that I’m afraid of the dark, too.  At night, if The Man is gone, I’ll turn off the lights and run to the bed as fast as I can.  Yeah.

The disdain for cold weather has always been, but I never feared thunder, lightning, and wind like I do now.  I enjoyed them even.  And then the tree fell.

It was a dark and stormy night, and the wind was blowing a gale.  For real.  The Man was at happy hour with friends, and I was waiting for The Kids to brush their teeth so I could get them to bed.  The wind gusted, and as it did it again, I stood up, saying (out loud), “If it blows much harder, that tree—“ and it came through the ceiling.  It sliced through the roof in our den and bedroom, spraying sheet rock dust everywhere, most noticeably in my glass of red wine.  I screamed for The Kids who came running.  They asked what happened, and in typical fashion, The Boy said “I’ve always wanted a tree house anyway.”

Here’s the kicker:  that tree was scheduled to be cut down less than 48 hours later.  We weren’t removing it for fear that it’d fall.  We just couldn’t grow grass in our back yard and wanted to open up the space.

I called The Man and told him that the appointment to have the tree chopped down wasn’t necessary.  He asked why, and I simply said “because the tree is in our den.”  He hung up, claiming that he was going to Lowes for tarps and such.

The rain came shortly thereafter, so (yay!) it was raining in our den when The Man finally got home.  I think he was a little surprised at the severity of the situation and finally understood that this wasn’t a chainsaw and tarp job.  He said, “You didn’t tell me it was IN the den.”  Um, actually, I did.

Eight weeks and about 25 thousand dollars later, we were all patched up.   Our hardwood floors were refinished, tv replaced, and we had a new roof.  Thank goodness for homeowner’s insurance.

So when the wind was whipping on Friday, I was scared.  The last time I’d experienced weather like that, a tree crashed down about six feet from my children and me.  Thank goodness no one was hurt.  We were very lucky.  I won’t ever forget the sound of that big gust sweeping through our backyard or the crack of the tree, as loud as a jet plane, as it fell on my house.  I also won’t forget that ruined glass of wine.  I need to keep a sippy cup near our flashlight, just so I can be prepared should a storm like that ever happen again.

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