When I awoke yesterday morning, it was to the sound of something like cannon balls being shot at my house, hitting the roof and rolling off. I was reminded of the story of Ann Whittle spinning when the cannonball came into her house and rolled macro the floor during the Battle of Red Bank, October, 1775.
In my case, it was giant limbs from my 60 year old trees snapping under the weight of ice and wind. When I looked out my bedroom window, the view was entirely obliterated by a fairy tale jungle of tree branches, like a sleeping princess whose castle gets fenced in by brambles. The limb lay across the roof, the rain gutters and stretched down to the ground like a monstrous broom, leaning on the house.
Up in the attic, I checked to see if it had come through the roof itself, and once again, I was fortunate. I found a stress fracture in the drywall seam, but no hole in the roof. Once before like Thor's thunderbolt, a limb had punctured the two layers of roofing shingles and the layer of wood and came down into the attic about half a foot. My neighbor, Pete was still alive then, and he patched the roof (always for reasonable sums) and his son plastered the hole in the attic and we went on with our lives.
AS I have gotten older, I have felt a kind of diminishment of courage, or perhaps I always had it and forgot, but I do seem to feel shakier faced with such problems and I can fall into worry about the future, but a phone call to my daughter and a PLAN resolved all that. She said: Take a photo of the ceiling, call the insurance company, get some estimates, at least three, and see if the estimates are more or less than your deductible. Get someone to check the roof and then you can make a decision.
Once I have a plan, like a map in the desert, or a flashlight in the dark and moonless forest, I feel I can carry on. So I did everything but the estimates. I am waiting for the storm to subside and the snow to melt, then I can work on the estimates, but I did get a call from a friend who has a good tree guy. It's like that old song by the Beatles "Baybe you can drive my car.....I don't have a car, but I found a driver and that's a start."
I LOVE my house the way a turtle loves its shell. The walls are dressed in my art work, the shelves are filled with my books, my pets nap in the funny spots on the piano and the desk, and my treasure sit before me in the glass cabinet made by Van Sciver's in Camden in 1947 (it is signed under the drawers). My house was built in 1947! And I was born in 1945. We have spent our lives together through the last half of the twentieth century and we celebrated the beginning of the 21st together. My house has held me in its arms through many tragedies, disasters and we have shared many beauties like the sight of the trees all hung with crystals from the frozen rain, lit by the rising sun, and the flocks of black birds migrating who stop in the grove that is my yard and set everything crackling with their busy chatter, the owl that hoots every November, and the daffodils planted by someone who lived here before I moved in back in August of 1985.
This house was my wish come true. I have photos of my daughter and my father making a snowman in the front yard, and family barbecues in the backyard, back when I still had a family. But even though the family is gone, the trees are still here, the quiet guests who stayed.
I hope you are warm and safe and have a good book to read while snowed in - I do! And if you are really lucky, you have a snoozing dog on the carpet and a purring cat on your lap.