The NBC News Truck arrived in our neighborhood by the time I arrived home from the circuitous detour needed to get from our house to the kid’s daycare and back on Friday. This was a further sign that the high winds experienced that day were abnormal. Though the news reassured that a tornado did not touch down, the weather event caused a lot of destruction.
The willow tree that had previously survived a hurricane and a heavy snowstorm last autumn fell before the wind, covering the screened in porch with its branches. We did not know whether the porch was damaged.
Laura cried. She loved the willow. All summer, we watched a pair of downy woodpeckers fly in and out of its trailing branches. We played in its generous shade and rested on its knobby knees. But willows are weak trees with shallow roots. They do not hold strong and tall in the face of wind.
The power was out from Friday afternoon until Saturday morning. Jason ran through the house with a battery powered lantern, and Laura chased after him with a flashlight. Jung reminded me not to flush the toilet, since our well pump relies on electricity to bring water up from the ground. I forgot. Twice.
Saturday brought the work of filing an insurance claim and getting quotes for removing the tree. The lowest quote was $2,500, the highest $2,800. One guy offered to fake the invoice, adding our insurance deductible to the total. We were not prepared to commit insurance fraud to save $1,000.
And then our neighbor Jonathan showed up at our door. He, his son, Sam, and his chainsaw worked all afternoon to help us clear the willow tree. The porch roof was undamaged. A red maple had caught the willow like a gentleman catching a swooning lady. The backyard is now full sun, instead of part shade, and we are awed by the generosity of neighbors we had never even met before a willow fell on our house.