Monday, July 21, 2008

Biblical Proportions

I was spending a peaceful evening relaxing in my air conditioning, watching the Mad Men marathon, when I heard the sounds of a storm blowing through. I went out on my back porch to check it out, and to enjoy some breeze after a stultifying weekend. I enjoyed the thunder and lightning and wind for about 15 minutes when suddenly something went terribly wrong.

If I didn't live on a small mountain I'd be prone to think a tornado tore through. What used to be my backyard certainly displays signs of the aftereffects of a tornado. I bought this house because it's surrounded by partially wooded lots. As it turns out, the downside of partially wooded lots is what happens when 60 mile an hour winds blow. As I sat on the porch, the top 2/3 of a very old tree crashed down through the screen and almost took out my cat. At that point, we moved back to the side of the house but continued watching; it's hard to turn away from a trainwreck, after all.

The top half of a 50 year-old pine tree blew past and landed in a pile on top of the remains of the first tree. What looked like an entire maple tree blew by next, coming to rest on top of what was my birch tree. Next, a large branch flew out of nowhere and landed on one of my Adirondack chairs, smashing it to pieces. An oak tree fell from the sky, adding itself to the growing pile beyond my porch door.

At that point I retreated into the house entirely. Within 10 minutes, it was all over. Even now, in the light of day, I'm not sure what the damage is, because so many trees and parts of trees fell into my yard I have no access. As far as I can tell, my house and porch are structurally fine; my only loss, beyond damage to my birch, is one screen panel and one expensive chair. The only good news is that each and every tree and branch that landed in my yard came from the neighboring property, which means it's his insurance that will be paying.

The cat will suffer most from this; with a square-foot hole in the screen, he won't be allowed on the porch until I can get it repaired. With trees piled up floor to ceiling along the porch, it literally feels like I live in a treehouse, so at least the view is pretty. One of Brody's hobbies is chewing on sticks, and today is his birthday. The best news is that he can spend the day in the yard, making mulch.

UPDATE: All insurance companies involved feel this was an act of God. They'll pay for damage to my house, and my chair, but not for the removal of the yard-full of trees. God did it, God can clean it up, I guess. And here I thought God and I were getting along so well...


SPIKE ROGAN From Easton,PA said...

Is it just me or has the intensity of storms in the Easton area become commonly more tornatic like?

Five years ago Easton was like anytown PA with Thunderstorms. But over the last three summers the city and the surrounding burbs have become more like tornado alley.

Three summers ago a nasty storm came through town that busted my living room window (That took the landlord two months to replace, gotta love 123 N2nd st!)

Last year we had the storm that ripped the burbs apart and left Easton Heights in a blackout for over ten hours.

Also did you get my e-mail on bonusgate?

I will miss this next meeting but will be back in August. The city has taken a backseat to my Soul. (Arena football)

Oh and tomorrow night will be some great ball from Shea.

Diane said...

Happy Birthday Brody!

I would have baked you a chicken neck cake, but we both know what you would have done with that!


Scott said...

Hope you got some good pictures to share

Just Asking said...

Can't wait to see it.