There's a monster pine still taking up the entire side yard and lounging comfortably against the house.
Drooling tree service guys keep knocking at our door asking if they can chop it up for us, but we're waiting for the insurance company to send someone to deal with it. Unfortunately, they've been very busy settling much worse claims than ours, so we're not at the top of the priority list. Actually, it's nice that we're in good enough shape that we don't need to have things fixed immediately. It's a welcome change in our general luck, I think.
It came down around 4:30am on the night of the storm, hitting the roof right beside the bedroom window and then sliding down the house and hitting the ground with a massive thud. I don't think I have ever been so scared in my life. It ripped me from my sleep and boosted my heart rate up to maximum in a split second as I reached over to find Dave in the dark. I couldn't turn the lights on to see what was happening, because the power had been out since midnight, and when I couldn't feel Dave in the bed beside me I was terrified and yelled for him as I scrambled to get out of bed and find my glasses (to see the dark better). He had gotten up for a drink and heard the commotion from the kitchen, and came running to check on me.
He went out in the wind and rain with a small flashlight, to see the damage, while I sat inside and shook hard enough to rattle my teeth, because we were extremely lucky that it was a tall, thin pine, and that it hit at just enough of an angle to slide off the house. A bigger tree or a different angle, and that tree would have been on the bed. Thank God. Why didn't we think of the danger, and sleep in the living room? I was worried about the cars and asked if we should park them in the street before the storm hit, but it never entered my mind that a tree might hit the house. We slept restlessly for the rest of that night, on the futon in the living room, far from trees and danger.
In the light of the next day, we could see more clearly what had happened. The tree hit the house and dented the gutter by the bedroom window, broke, then scraped the roof and siding on its way down to the ground. No broken windows, no holes in the roof, and no major structural damage. We'll need siding and roof repair, and there will be some electrical work needed to reattach all the wires properly, but it could have been a lot worse. The tree clipped another pine on the way down, and tore off most of its branches, so we'll have to take that one down too. Anyone want a few hundred pounds of fresh pine mulch?
The tree also pulled down all the wires coming to the house, delaying BGE's restoration efforts. It took them until Wednesday to come to our house and put up yellow ribbons around the fallen lines, and our power wasn't back on until a full week after the storm. Neighbors were dropping by, some to check on us and make sure we were ok, and some to ask if the power was still out for the neighborhood because we hadn't gotten rid of our tree yet. Nice. Because, you know, I'm going to be out there with an axe all week. For the most part everyone was great, though. People were checking on each other, keeping everyone up to date with regular emails, and one neighbor with a generator offered us some freezer space so we didn't lose all our food. We're in a great spot.
This next picture blows my mind. The ground was so waterlogged and the wind so strong that the tree came right up by the roots. The pines in our yard aren't very deeply rooted to begin with, but can you imagine how windy it has to be to rip up a 50-foot pine like it's a weed? I'm also delighted that the rhododendron wasn't killed when the tree came up. Counting my blessings, here.
So that's the tree story. I'm sorry that I have the story to tell at all, but it could have been a lot worse and I'm very grateful.