Rude Awakening! - Put the Kettle on.... Blog at - 283301

Put the Kettle on....

Rude Awakening! 
Sep. 3, 2012 5:00 am 
Updated: Sep. 18, 2012 7:11 pm
Sunday morning started out like any other Sunday morning around here.  Suzy finally cajoled one of her humans to get up and feed her breakfast and let her out for a morning romp at 6:00 am.  Suzy doesn't understand that on Sunday it is OK to stay in bed just a little longer.  This Sunday it was Jon who got up and took care of her.  They had just gotten back to the bedroom and got settled back in bed for a short snooze before getting up to prepare for the birthday party we were finally getting around to having for Kristal, our daughter, who turned 27 a few weeks ago. 

About 7:00 am I got up to start the macaroni salad and check on the<  I had going in the crockpot overnight.  In our family we always let the Birthday Girl (or Boy) choose their meal and this year Kristal chose pulled pork sandwiches, macaroni salad, pineapple & strawberries and chocolate cake.  I just put the eggs on to cook for the salad when I heard some of my spoons from my spoon collection fall off the wall.  Thinking our "devil kitten" Amigo had knocked them off I turned to scold him and that's when the "fun" began!  First it was a series of creaks, splits, groans and cracks.  Then the house was shaking to a slow rumble.  It seemed like this was happening in slow motion, but I had plenty of time for thoughts to race thru my head like "is this an earthquake?  Is it a tornado?"  and "Oh My God! What the Heck is Happening??!!".  Looking out the windows as I ran toward the bedroom all I saw were green leaves swirling around and falling everywhere.  This was NOT normal!

Jon met me at the corner of the livingroom and that's when the huge THUD hit the house and all was quiet.  Racing to the door we could not believe our eyes!  A tree was in our yard and on our house!  Not just a tree - but one of the biggest, grandest trees from the side of our hill at the edge of our woods - a grand old oak tree!  This white oak had stood it's sentinel for probably 200 years or more.  She was grand and home to countless critters.  One morning I sat on my deck and counted 57 squirrels roosting and playing amongst her branches.  Now she was a massive ruin all over our yard and across our house and garage.  On her way down she took most of another tree's limbs that stands by our back door.

Our neighbor was over in a matter of minutes.  Their dog had begun growling a low, frightened growl just minutes before they heard the crash.  We were unable to get out either one of our doors as they were both blocked by tree limbs.  So, we used Steve's old "escape" route from when he was a kid and would forget his key - his old bedroom window.  Other than pictures and knick-knacks being knocked from their perches, and ceiling plaster being knocked off, the interior of upstairs seemed fine.  I went down to check out the lower half of the house.  Steve's bedroom window was busted and a part of a tree limb was now resting on his windowsill.  Steve doesn't live here anymore, but his iguana, Paulie, still takes up residence in this room.  Poor Paulie was huddled in the corner of his cage looking pretty frightened!

Jon and our neighbor cleared a part of the porch so we could use the door and we let Suzy out.  The look on her face was one of part puzzlement (what the heck happened out here??) and pure joy (Sticks! Sticks! Lots of sticks! And they're big ones, too!!). Suzy is a black lab and she loves to collect small tree branches from the woods and drag them to the yard and chew them up into "mulch".

Inspection on the outside proved to reveal some damage.  We won't be sitting in our hot tub any time soon. Or sitting on our porch in our patio chairs either.  The satellite dish was taken off the garage and busted up as well, so no TV for a while. This won't bother me as I don't watch TV, but Jon does. To get to our driveway we have to take the long way - all the way around our house and thru the yard.   Part of our chimney was sheared off and there were tree limbs sticking out of our roof. A call to the insurance company and Jon then headed off to the store to get supplies to cover the roof.  Since the house is still livable the insurance man said they'd be contacting us Tuesday. Our roof is now covered in blue tarp. I always did like that color of blue.... If it rains, we don't have much of our gutters left to channel the water. And, we have huge tree branches that are buried in our yard. Some of them looks like they went down 2 or 3 feet! This tree was about 4' in diameter at it's base, so the branches are quite large.

All through the day we heard creaks and cracks. We even were standing beside the mess when we heard a huge crack and saw a branch split! We surveyed the damage and decided that the party could go on so I got busy making macaroni salad and Jon, as a precaution, shut the gas off. We only use it for heat and the lines are buried right where the tree landed.

 My cats did not show up for Kristal's party. They were badly frightened and we didn't see them until around 9:00 pm. Everyone else had a good time and ate plenty of that pork.  Nothing stops this crew from having a good time.  After all - we've had parties during blizzards where the power goes out and we sit huddled around the fireplace in the candlelight.  We've had Thanksgiving dinners with no power and the turkey gets carted across town to finish roasting.  Heck - Jon and I even went camping in a tornado. While I was 7 months pregnant!  Yup - this family just likes to have fun and we let nothing get in the way of that!

Some would say that God was in a foul mood at us this morning to cause this mess.  No, I say God was watching over us this morning, to help guide this massive tree's landing where it did.  If this tree had fallen just a foot more to the left, our house would have sustained major damage, and we would be staying elsewhere. 
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Sep. 3, 2012 5:40 am
Oh, Mother Ann! I am so sorry this happened to you and Jon! Wow! Your incredible edurance and positive attitude is just amazing, I love that "the party must go on"! You are my kind of gal. I can learn a lot from you ;). Well, I guess the good news is the weather is still good and I suspect the "fix" is begining as we speak. You and yours take care....please keep us posted on the progress of the clean up and repairs, and hope your kitty's mental health is resored, soon! Jeff and I send our love and ((hugs)).
Sep. 3, 2012 5:49 am
Hi Wendy! Thanks for your and Jeff's concern! I learned a long time ago to not sweat things you cannot change. When Kristal got here and once she saw everyone was OK, she remarked how sad that this tree is gone. It was just so massive and if it could have talked would have had many, many stories to tell. I will say our yard will have a lot more sunshine now that this tree is gone! Other than the "quick-fix" patch Jon did we can't really do anything else until the insurance guys get here and we can start gathering estimates on cost of repair. It is comical to watch the cats sneak around corners. And they are pretty "jumpy" right now. The iguana is back to his old lazy self; I'm guessing iguanas have pretty short memories.:)
Sep. 3, 2012 5:53 am
You crack me up girl! I've got the igana visual...I'm supposed to be cheering YOU up and you just slay me! Take care!!!
Sep. 3, 2012 5:59 am
Oh my gosh! I've always worried about huge trees being close enough to hit my house, especially during a windy storm. Sad to see it go, but glad the damage wasn't worse.
Sep. 3, 2012 6:01 am
What a wake-up call! It's a good thing no one was injured and that your insurance will pay for the repairs, but how frustrating to have to deal with it all. Say, now might be a good time to put that window in where you've always wanted one ;) I hope Mother Nature co-operates while your roof is covered in tarp and doesn't send any more rain your way.
Sep. 3, 2012 6:02 am
If you could only see Paulie the Iguana! Steve got him when Paulie was about as big as my thumb. He is now quite large, but just so docile! Steve & Jon built him a palace - complete with climbing trees, hammock, "pool" and large windows. His cage takes up one whole wall of the room and half of it is 5' tall!
Sep. 3, 2012 6:04 am
Scotdog - we always talked about what would happen if that huge old tree decided to fall. Now we know. We live in the middle of a woods, and have had a few trees go in the past, but this tree was the biggest one by far.
Sep. 3, 2012 6:05 am
Sugarnspice - I hope Mother Nature cooperates, too. I'm just glad it isn't winter. And somehow - that huge tree managed to miss hitting our a/c unit outside or any other important wires or whatever into the house!
Sep. 3, 2012 6:21 am
What a story, Mother Ann! So glad every one is OK! I don't know if I would have such presence of mind, given the same circumstances!
Sep. 3, 2012 6:25 am
We had an iguana that got HUGE. Boy can they poop! I hate to admit it, but I was glad the poor thing finally bit the dust.
Sep. 3, 2012 6:26 am
I feel for you. Hurricane Andrew took out two big old trees in my yard. I had State Farm Insurance. I did not realize that my policy only covered $500 for tree removal. It cost twice that just to have the trees cut up and hauled away. I hope your coverage is better than mine was. I missed the shade and the ambiance they provided us. Some of the sense of graceful living went with them.
Sep. 3, 2012 6:33 am
Oh, you are a brave soul! Glad that no one was injured, animal or human. Party on!
Sep. 3, 2012 6:46 am
Mother Ann-I am glad no one was hurt when the huge tree fell on your house. I am sure your daughter enjoyed all the wonderful food you prepared for her birthday. Your descriptions of the tree episode and story kept me riveted to my seat. I used to live in the city and I miss the trees that shaded our house. I now moved to a house in the prairie desert where trees do not grow naturally. We will plant some trees, but it will take awhile before the trees shade our yard.
Sep. 3, 2012 6:51 am
Glad everyone is ok and the party went off without a hitch! When life hands you lemons, MotherAnn makes lemonade!
Sep. 3, 2012 6:59 am
So glad no one was hurt! I'm sure this will be a real pain getting everthing put back and you will miss that old tree but thank goodness there wasn't so much more damage. Glad you were able to have the party too!
Sep. 3, 2012 6:59 am
I'm so glad no one was hurt! Hopefully the weather cooperates for a while until all can be repaired. Love Suzy's reaction- Lots of sticks!!!
Sep. 3, 2012 7:00 am
So glad no one was hurt. While reading your story, I felt that I was right there with you. As they say... when life gives you lemons, make lemonade; I think you will need lots of lemonade for this one! Take care.
Sep. 3, 2012 7:00 am
I am thankful that you and your family are ok. With your description, I felt like I was right there with you! Really frightening. I too love your attitude. Thank goodness for insurance! I'm so happy for you that it wasn't any worse. Best of luck with your repairs.
Sep. 3, 2012 7:07 am
OMG Mother Ann! Wow, what a story! Thank God you are safe and the damage wasn't worse than it was! Glad the party went on as planned too! Hugs to you and Jon!
Sep. 3, 2012 7:33 am
It's always so sad to me to lose a tree like that. We had enormous oaks at our family ranch in Calif. A couple of them were reported to be pre-Civil War. One crushed the old house we had just moved out of and another later blocked the drive in for 6 weeks. I can only IMAGINE the noise it must have caused when it landed on your house! So glad more damage wasn't done and no one was injured!
Sep. 3, 2012 8:24 am
I, too, am glad you all are not hurt, but I sure hate to hear about losing that old tree. We built a house once to save a tree on DH's parents' farm!
Sep. 3, 2012 8:55 am
Oh my goodness! You were indeed fortunate! I can just imagine the adrenalin rush. I am not sure if I could have carried on with the party however it will certainly be a party that will be remembered forever!
Sep. 3, 2012 9:17 am
So very sorry to hear about that,but i do admire your attiude,very glad that no one was hurt,poor kitties though,they do get skittish.As you say suzy will have lots of sticks to mulch,we have a black lab also,they are so much fun.Hope it doesn't take long to get your house back in shape.Take care.
Sep. 3, 2012 9:56 am
wow!!!! thank goodness you are all ok!... hope the repairs are quick! and happy birthday to your Kristal!..WILL YOU BE PLANTING ANOTHER TREE???Let know and they will send you free saplings to replace!
Sep. 3, 2012 10:02 am
Mother Ann, I love your positive attitude in the face of what lies ahead of you. Thank God no one was hurt. Wow, those pictures really show the damage. I'll be thinking good thoughts as you tackle the repairs.
Sep. 3, 2012 11:03 am
so sorry for your damage! and i feel bad for hubby because he who contols the sports won't get to see good games. think goodness insurance will handle this and the tree missed the majority of ya's home. good luck on repairs. i hope your deductubile is LOW!
Sep. 3, 2012 12:09 pm
O.M.G.! You probably had the bejesus scared out of you. Thank God no one was hurt. Someone was surely looking over you and your family.
Sep. 3, 2012 2:00 pm
Thank you all for your kind words and concern. We are all very thankful nobody was injured and we're able to continue living in our home. It really could have been so much worse! Lori - I will not be planting a tree to replace it. We live in the middle of a woods, we literally have 100's of trees; just none as grand as this one was. gderr - unfortunately we were saving a few bucks on insurance and have a pretty high deductible. :( It's amazing how that tree is settling today - and there are still some creaking and cracking going on!
Sep. 3, 2012 4:22 pm
Invest a few hours of your time and call around to saw mills. White oak that size is worth a small fortune if you can sell it because it will yield wide planks. Maybe you can offset your deductible. I grew up in a wooded area too. I'd rather take my chances and have the trees. I'm glad you all are unscathed.
Sep. 4, 2012 3:22 am
BSM: My hubby is a carpenter and he's already been thinking about what he could build out of it; it'd be neat to have a "souvenir". My leaf raking this year has been quite diminished. :)
Sep. 4, 2012 7:30 am
Rejoicing with you that no one was hurt and no worse damage was done.
Sep. 4, 2012 9:43 am
I commend your outlook on life's mishaps. Fortunately, here in the high desert of California, tumble weeds have no effect when hitting the house.
Sep. 4, 2012 6:51 pm
I think it is so cool that your husband can make something from the wood. Glad you're all OK.
Sep. 5, 2012 5:38 am
I am so happy that none of you were injured and even were able to celebrate the birth of your precious daughter. I know you are in for quite a few challenges as you pick up the pieces, but I know you will rise to the occasion. Take care kid!
Sep. 5, 2012 9:14 pm
I am impressed with your writing skills. I am very sorry for what happened, but I am pleased that you and your family is OK. All the best.
Sep. 6, 2012 3:25 am
bd.weld, I think I'd take a few of those tumbleweeds about now!! :) The tree guy is coming today to remove the tree away from the house and make it clear so the roofer, sider, etc. can get in here and see just how bad the damage is. We did have a guy last night working on our fireplace chimney and he'll be back to repair the furnace chimney, so I feel like things are happening.
Sep. 6, 2012 3:25 am
recipelover - thank you for such a nice compliment! :)
Sep. 6, 2012 7:46 am
Thank goodness you are all OK! Please make sure that your insurance company checks your house for structural damage. Living in CA, I have experienced many earthquakes, and the one in '94 caused severe structural damage to my home, resulting in a total loss. In my opinion, insurance companies do not willingly go above and beyond to help unless you push them. We had to sue the insurance company in order to get the help we were entitled to, and it was a nightmare. I f I were you, I would would tell the insurance company that you are very concerned for the safety of your family and insist on an inspection by a structural engineer. Put it writing also; damage that was undiscovered could weaken your home and God forbid, should another incident occur, result in a major issue for the house. I don't mean to frighten you, but better safe than sorry, IMO! Good luck!
Sep. 6, 2012 2:19 pm
My husband has been a contractor and most of our friends are as well, believe me - the possibility of structural damage has been discussed and will be checked out. The tree was moved up and off the house and garage today. What a mess! Now we can better see what all is damaged. So far it sounds like our insurance company is willing to work with us with no argument. Keep your fingers crossed that continues!
Sep. 6, 2012 8:41 pm
Wow! That is crazy!!! O_o So glad every one was ok :) *Fingers crossed* for you and yours xoxoxoxoxo
Sep. 8, 2012 6:07 am
Riveting story--but glad to hear everyone is okay. My sympathies to the kitties--they get so traumatized.
Sep. 9, 2012 7:03 pm
Best wishes for sure, and keep a positive attitude! Some things are simply beyond "our" control, and thankfully damage can be repaired. Thanks for sharing your story! Be well!
Sep. 11, 2012 3:16 am
Stevie - I've always tried to keep a positive attitude and believe like you that some things we just can't control. I like to try and find the bright side to all things, too. Hey! Last night we worked almost 3 hours on the clean-up of tree branches in the yard - what a great work out!! We still have many hours left - maybe I'll lose a pound or two. :)
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Mother Ann

Home Town
Streetsboro, Ohio, USA
Living In
Ravenna, Ohio, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2009

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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Dessert

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About Me
I've been married for 33 years, and live in Ohio. We have a daughter who is married and lives nearby. Our son graduated from college and moved to South Dakota. He has his own place but still goes to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have dinner with them occasionally. We have two black labs that get to go duck hunting with dad and two cats. We own a Mexican restaurant and are learning alot about the food industry. I love to eat, go camping, read, spend time with family and friends, watch movies, and drink wine; not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake - anything chocolate is fine with me. Seafood, chicken dishes and slow-cooker fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband and I enjoy cooking together with wine. We pop open a bottle of wine and get cooking. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Whenever I can put together a meal that gets many compliments and leaves the diners satisfied is a triumph in my book! I love to cook meals for family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married we had my grandparent's-in-law over for a pot roast dinner. The meat came out great, but the potatoes and carrots were still half raw. My husband's grandfather went to cut his fork into a carrot and it flew off his plate. He looked at me, winked, and said he loved his carrots that way!
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