I wanted to take a moment before all the busyness of Thanksgiving takes over and the cake baking, stuffing making, turkey basting all become the priority. I really can’t believe the holiday is just two days away. We still have leaves left on the trees up here in North Georgia at our mountain retreat, which is unusual as they have typically fallen by the time Thanksgiving arrives. The scenery is just one of the many things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.
One of the things I love about Thanksgiving is that is is not about “things”. It is about reflection, people, family and being together to break bread and to point out the good things going on in the world, and in our personal worlds.
In the spirit of good reflections, I wanted to share about an event that happened to us about a month ago. We had a HUGE tree fall at our city home during the rains of Hurricane Michael, and it fell on and demolished our truck. It also fell on our deck and the back corner of our house. That was the scary part – it fell at 5:30 in the AM and woke us up in terror. The tree had fallen just a few feet from our bed! The luck and gratitude I felt at that moment, and ever since, is immense.
From the time the tree fell, to trying to see the damage in the dark with flashlights from our phones, to daylight breaking and seeing the extent of it all, this entire event has been really easy to deal with. Imagine that – everything going right when nature strikes down on you?!?!
When things go right.
This tree coverd 3 lots and ours took the brunt of it. We got on the phone with Allstate right after it happened. They started the claim and said to take pics, but we could and should get the tree removed. Once we could see and take the photos, I called a local tree removal company and they were there within an hour. All our neighbors had quotes and they started clearing the tree.
This immense tree was gone within a few hours. It is fascinating to watch these people in action. The tree people recommended an emergency team which we called and had come out and get our homes (this tree fell on the neighbors back side of their house too) sealed up should it rain again. There were a few holes in the roof that needed to be covered up. These are the people we are now working with to fix the parts of our home the tree damaged, and also to get a new roof as we needed to do that anyway!
Our AC had gone out and the power in our bedroom had gone out, and it just didn’t occur to us to flip the breakers. And at this time in Georgia, it was HOT outside right as the storm rolled in. But with the rains came the cooler air and we were able to open the house and let the breeze through, so no AC was not a big deal. We had some close friends over for dinner that night. It is always comforting to be with people you love when confronted with a life-changing event.
This event wasn’t so life changing in retrospect, but it felt that way when it happened. Adrenaline kicks in and the thoughts of what could have happened raced to the forefront.
Our friend David could have been there on his way to Florida and his car would have been the one to get smashed.
We could have parked the truck where we usually do and the truck would have been fine.
We could have been at our mountain house when this happened and we would not have managed the situation so quickly.
We could have flipped the breakers and had the AC working again, but it took a conversation with my bestie Aiden to figure that one out several days later!
The tree could have fallen directly ON US!
When does a person every say that they love their insurance company??? The truck ended up a complete loss and since we owned it, they paid us replacement value and we were made whole on the truck. Quickly. We had the money in the bank within a week.
The claim on the house is still on-going but they have paid us fairly for the damage so far. There has been nothing to complain about during this whole process! It has been smooth and people have all been responsive.
And the best news is that we will be getting a new roof! We will also be extending our back porch and will screen it in. We are also going to go upstairs and create a master bedroom & bath, and an office above the new porch. We are so excited for these changes to our home!
I feel like the tree that fell on us is the giving tree. Did you ever read that as a kid? The tree that essentially sacrifices itself for the kid until it is has depleted itself completely. The tree that none of us were worried about coming down, fell perfectly at a time when we could embrace the change and move on in a new direction.
Our neighbors had the forethought to keep a large section of the tree. Hopefully we will be able to each get a dining table, or perhaps a mantle for our new outdoor porch’s fireplace? The possibilities are endless and we look forward to the journey of making our house even better than it is today.
So on this day, 2 days before Thanksgiving, I sit with great comfort for many things and people in my life. I sit with a grateful heart for the things that went right. I am thankful for:
Our mountain family
Our ability to have the city and mountain homes
Our cat and dog, whom give me such joy
Our relationship and the friendship between us
We have been so lucky for so many years. Life has its ups and downs, no doubt. But when you have a whole day set aside for people to stop and say THANKS, to feel appreciation for the fortunate lot in life we lead… well, my cup runneth over.