Thursday, July 15, 2010

And the heavens opened.

It was a sultry day in Detroit; one that ended with a line of wicked, wicked storms. I was stuck in a patient's home on the east side of Detroit, trying as best I could not to strip down to my skivvies and staying as close as possible to the tiny, overworked window air conditioner when the storm hit. There were torrential rains, impressive displays of lightning and high winds. What blew in was a little more forceful than the summer zephyr we'd experienced all afternoon.

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.

The tree was not.


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.


21 comments:

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh my GOSH!!! how awful! so glad there weren't injuries and hope your house is all okay honey!

have a little cake. and a nap. you'll feel better.

smiles, bee
xoxoxoxoxoxo

Sandy said...

wow, wow, oh my God...so glad Roy is okay...and you too! Must have seen some storms.

All we have had is a heat wave for two days. But tonight I see the fires have started out here in So Cal..not near us though.

Lisa L said...

Yes. Trees *do* fall in the wrong places. I am so sorry for your neighbor's loss. And plight. I am so glad he has you.

Quiltluver said...

Gee, that's ugly. Lucky you didn't lose power with all of this heat, and glad your neighbor is ok.

I was driving home when the rain started. Going 30 mph (on the highway!) because you can barely see the road, with your flashers on hoping nobody hits you from behind was a bit scary. Then just as suddenly, it went away as I got home. No damage in our neighborhood...

Quiltluver said...

Just turned on the morning news, and Channel 4 was showing your neighbor's tree damage...

Brenda said...

Oh no! What an awful night for everyone. I hope the city will help Roy with his tree.

sapphireblue said...

Phew! Glad Mr Roy is okay, and there doesn't seem to be any structural damage.

Finding Pam said...

I am so scared of bad storms and tornadoes. I am glad that Roy was safe. I hope your home did not have and water damage. That was some kind of crazy storm.

Take care, eat cake and celebrate.

ari_1965 said...

Best wishes to your neighbor.

ari_1965 said...

I vote Roy replaces Mr. Larger Than Life.

Stephanie V said...

How frightening to be right at the window when the tree toppled. I'm glad your neighbor is safe - and you are, too!

Rositta said...

We were so lucky here, the storm missed us completely and headed north. Your neighbour sounds like a real prince of a human being, you Mr. LTL not so much. Keep well...ciao

Gail said...

Glad every one is okay.

Maybe you should have a talk with the wind gods about larger than life and next time they are in town...

Jadekitty said...

Wow, that tree was huge. I'm hoping there was not much damage to Roy's house? So glad to hear he wasn't hurt.

NCmountainwoman said...

How fortunate that no one was injured. Your neighbor sounds like a wonderful person. I'm glad he is all right.

jeannette said...

What a scare! Glad that everyone is okay! Hopefully there's no storm when you have that dress on!

Queenmothermamaw said...

Oh man same thing happening around her. So glad you had a driver. I read your previous post and loved it. Don't miss the comment on it, I meant to put it up here.
QMM

Winifred said...

I love that "Sometimes I think trees fall in the wrong places." Priceless Rudee!

What a lovely bloke Ron must be. Total contrast to the other one. Thankfully he's the one living next door and he's OK.

Michaela said...

A lucky escape for Ron. He must be part cat, to have lived so long! Im impressed with your refusal to pander to MLTL. He is an unbearable piece of work, eh.

CT said...

Sometimes I think they land in the wrong places too!!!!

I'm glad you have such a good neighbor if you have to put up with MR. LTL... you can pretend he's your family, like I did. I had a surrogate grandma (my great aunt) because my own was never around.It was tons of fun and I still call her Grandma in front of her sister (my "real" grandma).

I really like the comment Roy made about the bird feeders. I would be in a funk or plainly depressed. (and I am not using the term lightly. Things like that depress me right into a sort of sleep walking state)

Glad you made it ok! it's hot in here too, but we haven't had storms yet. Sending you hugs!!!

CT said...

oh and could you give a big bear hug to Mr. Roy from me too? He is one cool neighbor.