Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I wonder why...

...the time between posts is so darn long? Perhaps because my internet connection wasn't so good. Well, what's been happening?
On the 14th western Washington experienced it's worst storm in many many years. Where I live we had gusts of wind upwards of 65 miles per hour and planes were grounded for hours at Sea-Tac International Airport. Most families in my neighbourhood didn't experience much to any damage to their houses or property which is thankful. I am sure in saying that my house experienced the worst damage in the block.
We were awake most, if not all of the night and were "blessed" with being able to watch two trees fall in our yard. The first was in the back of the house. We were watching it sway in the heavy gusts of wind, astonished at how far the invisible force pushed it from side to side when one time it didn't bounce back as it had before. There was a crack and the medium height pine toppled over the back fence. This caused damage only to the tree and the dirt around it. Nothing in our back yard (nor the adjacent yard!) suffered any damage.
With our hearts pumping a little faster we shuffled about our dark house listening to the shrieking, howling, horrible wind as it gusted and buffeted our fragile world.
It is times such as these when the fragility of life as I know it is made so apparent. I have no control over the weather, no control over what it does to what I can control. I am simply at it's mercy, and must huddle in whatever form of protection I can muster until it calms down and life slowly reverts to normal.
So, to continue. I was in the hallway upstairs doing something, perhaps coming back from shining a flashlight out the bathroom window to view (what little we could) the backyard and fallen tree when there came another crack-thump! This time from the front yard. My heart flooded with dread and foreboding as I rushed to the living room to find that the stately and exotic eucalyptus had completely eclipsed the view from our picture windows. We were suddenly awash in shock, wonder, fear, and thanks. Opening our front door yielded a face (and doorfull) of eucalyptus branches so my brothers and I ran to my room with the powerful flashlight. Bells that once hung above a shop door clanged in the sudden wind from outdoors as I opened my window to reveal the damage and the blessing. The eucalyptus had fallen, and in doing so crushed our Dodge Caravan and our Kia Sephia in one fell swoop. We giggled from fear as we turned to tell our mother that we were without cars, and went to wake our father.
Previous to this, my mother and I were discussing whether she should go outside and scoot the Kia up against the garage door. I vetoed the idea weighing that it would be nasty if she got whacked with a piece of eucalyptus bark in the process. In retrospect, the Kia might have survived if she'd moved it, but who could say the tree would have fallen in the same place?
My brothers and I spent the rest of the night in the basement tending the fire and sleeping fitfully. Each time a gust of wind buffeted the house I was sure yet another tree would fall and this time come crashing down into our house. It was awful.

Dawn was a long, long time in coming and we passed the time talking, counting out how long it was until light, and napping. Finally there was light enough to see, and I was able to view just how badly our cars were crushed. They were kaput, zip, finito. As the rest of my family slept, I surveyed the backyard tree. It had broken at the point where it would have rested on the fence, thus preventing breaking the fence. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the worried faces of our neighbours, their hands laden with a silver carafe of coffee.
Fortified for the morning with caffeine, my father, brother and I set about cutting our way out to the world. Opening the front door was like a scene from the film, Jumanji, in short, a jungle lay between us and the street. A eucalyptus jungle. It was beautiful and extremely slippery.
We set to the branches with a hand saw and pruning shears, slowly making a tunnel to the street. Underneath the fallen tree was a new magical world just begging to be explored and conquered.
You may be thinking, 'Just a minute, you lost both your cars to this tree and you still view it as a thing of wonder and beauty?' Let me put it this way,if the tree had hit the house, it would have taken out my bedroom, my brother's bedroom, our front door and part of the living room. Probably seriously compromised the building's stability and evicted us at 1 in the morning. I am glad it hit the cars and not the house. I may not be here had it hit the house as I was down the hall near my room. So I take a positive mental attitude and view what happened as God using a bad situation to bless us with many good ones.

So I have passed this Christmas in a very thankful state of mind. All I want are two new (used) cars for my family, I didn't care about what I got. Only that we were taken care of.