The day a tree smooshed our house

It’s been about two and a half weeks since Trey’s birthday. We went out to dinner as a family and got stuck at a restaurant in Little Rock as we waited for a crazy storm to pass through. Weather reports were saying that winds were blowing up to 80 mph. When it finally calmed down enough for us to drive back, we came home to (surprise!) a tree on our house. Happy birthday, Trey.

Since it was raining in our living room and bedroom, we quickly packed some overnight bags and crashed at my parents’ house for the next two nights before moving into an extended-stay hotel. Although I’m starting to feel a little homesick, it hasn’t been too bad… free breakfast, an indoor pool and hot tub, and someone else makes the beds and vacuums the floors. The kids think we’re on vacation. I was feeling them out a few days after it happened, trying to decide if they were traumatized by the situation at all. Their response? “Can we go swimming again?!? Yippie!” (Although they’re not quite so enthusiastic about having to share a bed.)

I don’t know how much longer we’ll be without a home. Part of me is very tempted to worry and complain and whine about how hard life is. But I think about friends and family members who have gone through true tragedies, and I realize a tree falling on our house does not qualify as a bad day. We are all safe, healthy, and happy, and our home can be fixed. 

I’ve even wondered if we might laugh about this someday or use it as one of our stories to tell at dinner parties. “Remember the year when you got a tree for your birthday? Ha ha!” I admit I can’t laugh about it yet, but I can imagine a day where perhaps I can allow others to laugh about it without me wanting to kick them in the head. 

Even though I can’t laugh about it yet, I can feel thankful. Thank you, God, for getting us out of the house that night so that my children wouldn’t have to experience something so scary. Thank you for our wonderful family and friends who have been so supportive and encouraging. Thank you for trustworthy neighbors who are keeping an eye on our house. Thank you for a safe, clean, and fun place to stay. Thank you for my husband who has taken on the burden of dealing with the insurance companies and contractors so that I don’t have to.  

Oh, and we’re all set with firewood for the next millennium. 

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