Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The loss of our beloved tree

Last Saturday was just your typical day around the house. Lily was down for her afternoon nap. I was desperately hunting down "the world's most perfect big girl bed" via the internet (more on this soon) and Dingle was working.

And then this happened...

Out in front of our 120 year old house stood a towering Oak that was probably nearly as old. The tree had gotten sick in her old age (a fungus) and the town had flagged it several times in the last 5 years for removal, but there she stood. (It bears mentioning here that a few years ago we went to the tree hearing to try and protect our dear tree and the arborist said he would keep his eye one it). Last summer she wasn't looking as good as she once had and we figured this this was the year that they would take her down. Turns out she had her own plan.

I can't even tell you how loud the sound of the tree crashing to the ground was because I am fairly certain that I was having an out of body experience. We called 911 and went out on the porch to see for ourselves what had happened. So many horrific things could have happened but didn't. The tree easily could have killed someone, a fire could have started from all the downed wires (the transformer was launched 30 ft across the street from the telephone pole next door), I can't even begin to imagine the damage to our house had she fallen in the other direction. Admittedly, I cried a few scared tears thinking about all of the what-ifs and then I cried a few more for our poor tree. Lily slept through the whole thing.

Once we had confirmed that everyone up and down the street was okay and that the police were on their way we went back inside to make calls and prepare for a night with no power. Lily and I were sick with a miserable cold so motivating myself to do much of anything was a struggle. I called home and let them know we might need a rescue, initially we thought we would be without power for several days and the car was blocked in the driveway (better than under the tree!). I gathered blankets and candles while Dingle brought in firewood and made calls to our electrician and insurance company. The force of the tree falling broke two telephone poles and ripped the electrical meter box off the side of our house.

I built a fire (shout out to my excellent dad for teaching me how to build a proper fire) and resumed the fetal position on the couch with Lily. Did I mention we were both really sick, ugh. It was about 4pm when the tree fell. It was dark by the time the power company and our electrician started working.  I always assumed that if the power went out we could still use our gas stove top, wrong...the stove has an a electric ignitor switch. Lily ate a cold hot dog, apple sauce, and a slice of peanut butter bread for dinner. Matt and I called for take out and Matt ran down the street to meet the delivery guy. Do I have a good man or what?!

The power company guys worked all night. Luckily our electrician finished up around 9. Eight hundred dollars later, the power box was back on the house and the power company estimated that we would have power by noon on Sunday.

Not a lot of sleep was had on Saturday night. For one, it was bright as day light and loud with the crew working just out our front door. Two, it was cold. Fireplace or not the house got down to about 53 degrees by 6am on Sunday. Dingle was able to drive the car out over the lawn on Sunday morning and came home with just what the doctor ordered...donuts and coffee!!

The power company made good on their promise and by noon on Sunday we had power again. Verizon on the other hand didn't get our phone, internet and TV hooked up again until Tuesday. It is nice to be back on the grid. When everything was said and done this was all that was left of tree...and even that was gone by Monday as if the whole thing had never happened.

And now the house looks naked!

Matt and I may never sleep past sunrise ever again. Looking at the above picture makes me sad.
We will definitely miss our lovely shade tree this summer. 


  1. This post makes me sad, too. What a nightmare and I'm so glad you guys are okay! Beautiful, old tree will surely be missed. Maybe planting a new little one in honor of this new little life in you will help?

  2. So glad it went street side and you got to have Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast! That will stink to not have the shade. You should definitely plant a new one!