Pam and I were raised in and the boys spent their early years in hurricane country and yet last week was the first time I have ever had a house substantially damaged by a storm. Last Saturday we had straight-line winds that reached around 90 mph (which I now know is called a Derechos wind storm) and they tore down a healthy 75′ white pine which thought it would be a good idea to plop down on our garage and house. White pines are not known for their wisdom in finding places to lay down. So basically the garage is destroyed, but thankfully no one was hurt, the house itself is barely damaged, and we have insurance.
Noah and I blame the whole incident on the fact that we were watching “Boss Baby” on Netflix while the storm was going on. Darn you Alec Baldwin!!!!!! I can’t help but think that if we had been watching “The Outlaw Josey Wales” this would not have happened. The lesson here is never watch Boss Baby.
I’ve been a part of friends’ lives who have had similar, and much worse, situations, but I have never been through it personally. This past week I was reminded of how good my friends are. The day of the storm we had people just come over and help us. This doesn’t include the people who called and offered to help who Pam and I also very much appreciate. Nor does it include the people from out of state who reached out to make sure we were ok and even said to let them know if insurance didn’t cover something. We are surrounded by amazing friends and we are very thankful for y’all.
Thanks to those that showed up Saturday everything that could be moved by non-professionals was taken care of before evening came on the day of the storm. One of my neighbors had hired some landscapers to clean up his trees (he lost 6) and debris and I talked with them concerning coming over when they were done. There were 6 of them and they were charging $60/man hour (high but fair for the circumstances). We had so much help that I went back over to the landscapers and told them I wouldn’t need them, all the work they would have done was completed by friends who had come over to help us. Some of these were “threads” (Eric G is a beast with a chainsaw) and some from other churches. I know of many “threads” helping in other places and if you are interested I know of another spot in which we can help this week.
Unfortunately I also know of some circumstance were people tried to take advantage of the damage the storm caused. Unless my interactions in the near future change dramatically I will begin to steer people away from one local company because I don’t believe they have acted ethically. Charging 5 to 6 times your normal rate might be capitalistically good on the short-term but you probably lost one customer who would be using your service for the next 5 years and who loves to refer people to services he believes in.
Since last Saturday, and for the foreseeable future, we are now on the storm tourism tour. People stop in front of the house and take photos to send to others to convey what the storm was like. I get it because I have done it. I’m fine with it. Take your photos and be in awe of the power of God’s creation. Just please don’t pull into our driveway while we are working and stop us from working by trying to ask us questions to satisfy your curiosity (yes this happened). I’ve got work to do. If you would like to ask me about the storm I’ll gladly answer your questions if you put on a pair of gloves and start helping. Otherwise, just dry by slowing, pause briefly, and take your photos. Sorry, my grumpy old man side is peaking out.
Anyhow, as I said above, Pam and I have great friends and we are very appreciative for all of y’all.