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Archive for September, 2008

Just last Friday night, while sitting in a bar with friends, I made the astute connection between hurricanes in the gulf and the cooling of temperatures here. Think it was something along the sophisticated lines of “Fuck them. They can tread water as long as it brings me cooler weather.” I also seemed to be shouting a lot about going to a tittie bar but that’s probably not relevant to this story. Anyway, ask and you shall receive. Evidently karma can be a bit of a bitch at times, and a hurricane named Ike left us a little present.

Thanks

At the bright and bushy-tailed time of 5:45 am, I heard a slight thump on the roof to go along with the howling wind I’d been hearing for a couple of hours. Thinking I was going to have to climb up on the roof during Hurricane Bubba to remove a large limb from the top of my house, I went outside to discover what you see in the picture above.  I immediately jumped into save-the-house mode which consisted of me walking around with my hands to my head saying “Fuck, fuck, fuck” over and over.

I then remember that we had a chainsaw in our storage building and I raced off to save the day.  A lightening quick 15 minutes later, I finally got the saw started and attacked the huge chunk of tree ensconced in the house.  In a matter of mere minutes, I had a fire log sized piece cutoff and the chainsaw perfectly stuck.  Apparently catching nearly all the episodes of Axe Men on the History Channel doesn’t make you proficient with a roaring chainsaw.   I was then joined by a neighbor from down the street who was wondering who the hell was running a chain saw at less than 6 am.  In the dark.  During a windstorm.   I was glad he was there so we could both stand witness to my stupidity.

Not knowing what else to do, I called 911 and asked for the fire department.  They made a quick response, looked at the house, asked if we had gas or were all electric, scratched their 3 collective heads, and split.  Next came a phone call to a tree trimmer who arrived, scratched his head, and left.  I finally called a friend of my Father’s who is a contractor to please come and take a look.  He showed up about 30 minutes later, looked, scratched his head, and said he’d take care of it.  Which he did after a couple of hours.  Somehow it was deemed highly necessary that I should man some chainsaws again.  I was more triumphant this time but lumberjakin’ ain’t easy.

Despite the attempted snark above, it was honestly a scary event.  My Father was out of town for the weekend, which in the beginning was a hassle.  You see, as The Ex recently pointed out, I’m fairly worthless.  That’s pretty much a paraphrase but that was her sentiment, which probably isn’t too far off.  I had no idea what to do, who to call, etc.  I just wanted to try to save the house.  It was an honorable thought but in retrospect, I could have done more damage than good.  But the scariest part of all this is that the parts of the tree crashed the ceiling of my Father’s bedroom.

Think that picture kind of speaks for itself but if it doesn’t, here is another view.

Just in case you can’t tell, that’s his bed in those two pictures.  The big pile of brown stuff in the second picture is insulation, which was piled high enough to completely bury him.  I’m not saying he would have been killed had he been sleeping there, but he would have been seriously injured.   It was a definite miracle that we was gone and that no one got hurt during the storm or during the clean up.

The contractor, with the help of myself and the neighbor, did a good job of getting the tree parts off the house.  It took a couple of chainsaws, a tractor, and a trip to the visibly rickety-assed roof for me to get it done but we did it.  This is the aftermath of the aftermath:

Both the insurance agent and an adjuster have both been by to asses the damage and I think everything will be ok.  The adjuster did not seem bent on low balling us and the agent seemed to genuinely concerned for our well being despite our just recently becoming customers of his.   Dad gets to sleep on the couch for unknown amount of time but the rest of the house is good and inhabitable.  I’m sure that one or both of us will take the adjuster’s offer of a hotel room once reconstruction starts, which should be within the week.

I would like to thank my neighbor (name withheld because I’m sure he wouldn’t want to be affiliated with some of the fine, upstanding discourse that takes place on this blog) for coming to help someone he had never met.  Also longtime friend Dolph who not only left preparations for his baby girl’s first birthday party to come help, he even offered to call in to work Monday to come and help shore up the house (to which I told him hell no).  And finally, to Gann for checking on me and offering me a couch to crash on if needed.  I may just take him up on that couch, and some of you others, you all just don’t know it yet.

And just so your information, it is currently an oh-so-cool 56 degrees with clear skies.  The stars look kind of pretty through the ceiling hole.

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