Sunday, June 29, 2014

Seeing the forest, instead of the trees

We used to live in a forest. It's been a little over two months since a tornado destroyed most (but not all!) of our forest.

Our neighborhood still looks sad, but rebuilding and reroofing has begun! Some houses are even finished! We have our insurance money (only for half a roof) a plan, and a contractor should start on a sunroom addition next week. We took down our deck and cleaned out our pantry in preparation. A huge volunteer effort will help us with re-roofing the non-sunroom area as long as we provide the shingles and supplies. That will start in the middle of July. We've got a carport full of shingles and supplies. We are ready. And lucky.  Many of our neighbors are having massive issues with insurance.

Some of those have wanted out of the neighborhood for a while. I worry about those. I worry about them leaving shells of houses behind, or selling at a rock bottom price to a low-rent flipper who will cosmetically fix things and rent it out for low prices.  My worries are founded, and we, as a neighborhood are doing what we can. This has been my biggest source of frustration. I want everyone here to love it as much as we do, and most of our neighbors do.

The boys are ok, for the most part. Little Elvis is a little obsessed with tornadoes right now. We have a book about a tornado that hit our city in 1936. He loves to look at it and talk about it and all of the damage. When playing with his friends, they sometimes imagine tornadoes are coming to get them. He seems fine, but sometimes I wonder if he's not exactly ok. And this obsession is his way of dealing with it.

Bob is fine. The storage building/playhouse he built last summer was unscathed. I think he would have been much more upset if it had been damaged. He's a positive, even-keeled person anyway. It probably helps that he's a meteorologist.

I'm mainly jealous. I don't like driving through areas that still have beautiful old trees. I think why do they keep their beautiful trees and beautiful neighborhoods, while we don't? Then I feel really petty and ridiculous for being jealous of trees. Trees.

We've been very fortunate. We stayed in a friend's basement during the storm. Our house is damaged, but water-tight. We were able to stay with my parents until our electricity was turned back on. It only took 6 days to get power back. And most of the power poles in our neighborhood were knocked down. We had so much help from so many volunteers, and benefitted from so much kindness. Our mayor even helped clean up our yard one day. All of the debris has been taken out of our yard. I got a free wardrobe last weekend (seriously! a free wardrobe of clothes I would never buy for myself!) The boys got a gift card to Chuck E. Cheese.

We've experienced lots of kindness. I don't know why I sometimes focus on the trees.


Blogger Ann Wyse said...

I get it. I feel that way about trees, too. Oh, how I love them! Oh, how jealous I become in surrounding tree-d areas!

Our neighborhood is full of very small, recently planted trees; but it still feels treeless. Sometimes, it helps me to focus on the advantages from the lack of mature trees: like the vegetable garden (YAY, TOMATOES!) and sun-loving flowers. Grape and hopps vines can be fun, too. You also get to decide what to plant where! And I have a new found respect for what it takes to actually grow a mature landscape. I think I used to take it for granted.

Here in Colorado, I've noticed that it takes about 7 years from the time a tree is (trans) planted until it starts to look large enough that I no longer think of it as a new tree. I'm counting!

I'm glad that you've had so much help!

12:31 AM  

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