While waiting for the ambulance to arrive and take my patient to the ED, my son called to report water above the sidewalks with trees and power lines down everywhere in our neighborhood. He was stuck on the outside looking in. While going through my mental checklist of what was in the basement, I kept thinking about the tree in our neighbor's front yard. It looks old and none too healthy. I tried to recall where I'd parked my car, because of course, if I'm in the city working, someone else does the driving. I'd put it far up the drive. I kept telling myself that if my house is still standing after 85 or so years on this earth, then it'll still be standing when I got home.
More precisely, 1/3 of the tree was gone and was laying on Roy's house. As Pete, my driver, drove up my drive, my heart was in my throat. All I could think was that I had to check on my favorite neighborhood bread baker. Even our hair-raising drive through our storm damaged neighborhood and flooded streets didn't make me worry as much as I did when I saw Roy's house.
I like this man. So much so, when I cook and there is extra, I take him a plate. He's always so thankful and bakes me bread and shortbread in return.
Though the neighborhood had lights, Roy's house was dark. With trepidation, I opened his back gate and climbed the steps. There he was peering out his kitchen window. He was OK but badly shaken. It turns out he'd been closing the windows on his front porch when the tree came down, almost on top of him. As he surveyed his back yard, he took note of the bird feeders down with their contents scattered everywhere, and said, "oh well, I guess the birds will have a feast this week." Nothing rattles this 96 year old man and I assure you, this is a big part of his charm.
Tonight the boys were out entertaining Mr. Larger Than Life. It's his birthday, and he'd done nothing but bitch all afternoon. There were not enough people there to celebrate his orneriness and not enough gifts in his estimation. Nothing is ever good enough for him.
Sometimes I think trees fall in the wrong places.