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BOOM!orIf it ain’t one damned thing, it’s another.

So there I was this afternoon, waiting for BHM to come back online (seems that failed security update was a doozy), listening to the sound of roofers overhead. Scrape, scrape. Thud, thud. Bang, bang.

Then — suddenly — BOOOOOM! Absofreakinlootly sonic. What? What? What on earth have those guys done? But the sound seems to have come from the front of the house and they’re working on the back. They also go very, very silent very quickly.

I look out the front window and there are … wires. Not just wires. Big, thick cables hanging down.

I look further:


Out of the blue, on a windless 80-degree summer day an 18-inch diameter tree has crashed onto the road.


Yes, that’s my electrical service draped over the lower half of my car. Internet cable is drapped over the roof.

The dear old tree also managed to yank the metal stanchion right out of the top of my electrical box and bend it in half, taking a chunk of the roof with it. (And of course, it just had to be a part of the roof that’s already been repaired.)

Amazingly, though there were four vehicles where there’s usually only one, and the tree came down right next to the neighbor’s house, there is no damage other than to my services and my work schedule.

Even more amazingly, though the emergency required responses from the PUD, an electric contractor, county road maintenance, and Comcast, all but Comcast responded within half an hour. (This is especially remarkable because the electrical contractors have already been avoiding me for at least a month.) Comcast will be here tomorrow. Meanwhile I’m war-driving a neighbor’s insecure wifi, which isn’t working all that well, but under the circumstances, who’s complaining?

Although the roof crew had to knock off, what with no power and loose live wires hanging hither and thither, they were great about it. Three of the four guys even hung around to help roll the pieces of the tree out of the road.

When the guys started their roofing work this morning, I prayed, “Oh, please don’t let them find anything expensive!” Because you know that when people tear into an old house like this, they always find something expensive.

So you see, prayer works! They didn’t find anything expensive; they merely had it drop onto the roadway in front of them.

Fortunately, the tree that fell is on county property, so I’ll only have to cover the electric contractor and the brand-spankin’-new hole in the roof. And maybe the hour or so the roof guys had to hang around, unable to escape because of live wires looping over the driveway and service trucks blocking all egress beyond. But maybe not, too. They’re pretty good guys.

In any case, they were awfully nice about it and I do believe I owe them the recreational beverages of their choice when they come back tomorrow. The neighbors, who couldn’t get in or out, were patient. And hey … it’s not raining. So all’s to the good.

The little neighbor boys, ages 6, 8, and almost-10, thought it was the best thing to happen since their family’s fifth-wheel caught fire.

Me, as Ragnar recommended for my last case of the blues, I’m going to “rub vodka on it.”


  1. Matt, another
    Matt, another September 12, 2014 7:53 pm

    What a great story!

  2. Bear
    Bear September 12, 2014 8:43 pm

    Glad it wasn’t any worse.

    I live in the woods, and trees do come down occasionally. Enough that I actually do plan for the eventuality when I park my truck. (Especially after that 36″ oak missed my spot by about 20 feet.)

  3. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal September 12, 2014 9:06 pm

    I only have… oops… HAD one tree in my yard and this spring it decided to snap off and do some damage. Of course the powerful, dry, dirty wind probably had something to do with it.

    I once saw a friend’s station wagon after a thick, tall pine decided to fall exactly across the center of it (the top of the car under the tree ended up about level with the ground), so it could be worse.

    But, every place has its own indigenous disasters just waiting to strike.

  4. Tom
    Tom September 13, 2014 4:17 am

    Shouldn’t your insurance cover this?

  5. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty September 13, 2014 5:02 am

    Glad nobody was hurt and your car wasn’t mashed. These things do come out of the blue, all too often.

    I had a nice leather covered recliner sitting in front of a big window looking out over the desert years ago. One afternoon, I was sitting there watching a thunderstorm in the distance and suddenly decided I needed something in the kitchen. I’d no sooner gotten through the doorway when something smashed that window and large chunks of glass landed in the chair I’d just vacated seconds before. Never did know what broke the window… The chair was shredded and the glass went everywhere, and anything else loose in the room was flung around, including the house plants. What a mess. Looked like a mini tornado had come through the place, and I was actually surprised the big window on the other side over the dining table hadn’t broken as well.

    As for insurance, the damages just met the deductible. As usual.

  6. Joel
    Joel September 13, 2014 6:28 am

    Trees are overrated. πŸ™‚

    Seriously, it looks like 10 feet to the left and that could have been a much more expensive adventure.

  7. Karen
    Karen September 13, 2014 6:59 am

    Wow! Close call there! It seems that whenever I get feeling grateful and lucky, something comes along to set me straight. Earlier this week we had a lightning strike that came from nowhere(no storm, no rain) that fried our little phone/internet box, one PC and one electric circuit in the garage. I’m still feeling grateful and lucky it wasn’t worse, but can’t help wondering what’s next from Mr Murphy.

  8. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty September 13, 2014 7:55 am

    Ah Karen… Murphy is indeed an optimist.

    A lightning strike out of nowhere? Now that’s bad. When I hear thunder in the distance here, I shut down and start pulling plugs. Had one close call, and won’t forget it very soon. The storm can come up really fast from the south here, but I’ve always had some warning.

  9. LibertyNews
    LibertyNews September 13, 2014 8:57 am

    I’m glad that tree chose the right path to ground. Just think with all these disasters right now it should be smooth sailing for a couple years πŸ™‚

  10. Ellendra
    Ellendra September 13, 2014 10:36 am

    Yikes! I hope the extra raised by the fundraiser is enough to cover this!

  11. jed
    jed September 13, 2014 2:34 pm

    Wow. Glad it wasn’t worse. Have you had a look at the base of that tree? Was it diseased? Can we blame global warming?

    I haven’t had a close call like that, but if I did I think I’d treat with vodka too, or more likely, Scots whisky.

  12. Zelda
    Zelda September 14, 2014 3:52 am

    Karen and MamaLiberty, after watching some amazing/terrifying things involving lightning happening around me, I finally had a meter base surge protector and panel surge protector installed this year. They require a really good ground for your electrical system which can be an additional cost. In addition my computer is on a very good grade separate surge protector. With all that done, I worry less. All it takes is one high energy incident that fries wiring or equipment and the paying the cost of repairs/replacements to make surge protectors seem like a good idea. But like MamaLiberty, if it’s really interesting out there I still unplug anything with a board or chip in it.

  13. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty September 14, 2014 4:54 am

    “I still unplug anything with a board or chip in it.”

    That would include so many things today that it is much easier just to unplug the whole house. Shut off the main breaker and wait it out.

    I have serious surge protectors on everything vital, but the things I lost in the near miss were not on one of them, unfortunately. The stereo and the land line (portable) telephones were the victims then, and it never dawned on me to unplug them.

  14. Jim B.
    Jim B. September 14, 2014 12:55 pm

    Waterworld??? Why??????????

  15. Zelda
    Zelda September 15, 2014 6:13 am

    MamaLiberty, I try to avoid tender sensitive things with boards or chips so I can keep going in a storm and not have to shut off the main breaker now that I have the surge protectors. And surge protectors work 24×7 even if you aren’t home to shut off the main breaker. My water, hot water, heat, lights, some power tools and radios are all board and chip free. A landline phone line or other communications lines wouldn’t be protected where I live because they don’t go through my panel, and I do a lot of tasks by hand, choosing to live as simply as I can.

  16. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty September 15, 2014 6:41 am

    Unfortunately, Zelda, it is not only things with chips and boards at risk for lightning. Neither the stereo nor the telephone had chips. Anything plugged into the electric circuits of a house can be damaged by lightning, and the closer to the house the strike, the greater the risk. I don’t dump the breaker for every storm, by any means, but I live on top of a hill and it often gets mighty close. I just figure better safe than sorry, so while the surge protectors help with the most sensitive stuff, I do what I can otherwise to protect the rest as needed. πŸ™‚ And I suspect a direct hit would fry a lot of things even if they were not plugged in or if the main was disconnected. Electricity like that is scary stuff.

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