The Day the Tree Fell

I am sure through out your life you will hear your Dad and I refer to “The Day The Tree Fell.” It was one of those really crazy days in our lives that your father and I will remember forever like it had happened the day before.

We had a pretty sad few days leading up that day. Your Great-Grandma Evelyn had died a few days earlier and your Dad’s cousin had lost her boyfriend, Al, in a motorcycle accident likely caused by the heart attack he was having while driving. We had been to two funeral/memorials in 3 days. That night we had just attended Al’s memorial and it was sweltering hot that day. Al’s memorial was a wonderful event celebrating his life but your Dad and I were exhausted by the events of the last few days so we opted not to go to the meal after the service.

We got home and it got terribly dark and weird out. The wind was roaring one moment then still the next. It was just plain weird out, not a typical thunderstorm… little did we know what was to come. Harpua disappeared but I did not notice right away because your Dad decided to watch the storm roll in from the porch. It started to simply not feel right, I begged your Dad to come in, it was raining now and wind was furiously whipping things around.

I finally convinced him to come in… no sooner did we close the door than did the lights flicker and I see the air conditioner in our window bounce up and down in the window. It then sounded like glass was falling everywhere. We had NO idea what was going on.

Your Dad thought the windows were breaking I ran to check, nope… your Dad opened the front door and looked outside and there it was the tree that lined the street had fallen into our yard. I ran to the 2nd and 3rd floors to see what damage had come to the windows up there. Nothing except this giant 100 year old tree was blocking the entire view outside the 1, 2, and part of the 3rd floor windows!!!

The tree was so tall it had branches and leaves down on our deck at the back of the house. It knocked down part of the other tree in the backyard almost like a domino effect.

Then it occurred to me… where is Harpua? We could not find him in all his typical thunderstorm hiding places. He usually hides in the closet in the front bedroom. Sometimes he would hide in the guest room in the back under the bed. Other times he would just shake right at my feet! Finally, we found him in the closet at the center of the house… he is one smart dog that was the safest enclosed space in the house for the direction the storm was coming in.

In the following days we got meet every single one of our neighbors, several municipal government employees and our tree was on the news (we were not there when they filmed it but we heard about it).

It turns out there was a super cell in the area and hundreds of trees were down in a 2 mile radius of our house. They all eerily fell in exactly the same direction ours did. There were several old trees on our street but we happened to have a double lot and the tree fell in the lot and did damage to the house but not enough damage that required us to move out of the house. If any other tree would have fallen someone could have died and houses would have been ruined so despite the fact it plain awful we were the only people on the block this could have happened to without any major injury.

Lessons to learn:

  • Do not stand on the porch during a storm you never know when a tree will fall
  • Dogs are smarter than we think and when they hide we probably should too
  • When things are bad for you think about how someone else might have had to deal with it and see that your situation is actually not as bad as theirs could be.
  • Watch the weather channel to see when anything purple is coming in your direction (purple is worse than red).
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54 Responses to The Day the Tree Fell

  1. How old was the tree, do you know? I recently drove around with my husband and was amazed to think some of the trees were over 100 years old. There is a lot of history in those old beauties.
    Glad to hear nobody was hurt, and your dog found a safe place to hide out!

    • green4u says:

      We are guessing the tree was over a hundred years old. That is what the DPW guys told us when they came to clean it up. As someone who cares about the environment, I am torn by this event (that happened 2 years ago) and wanting to have all our trees taken down in our yard so they do not actually knock our house down… deep down I know that is not a good idea but I do not like thunderstorms anymore.

  2. Thank goodness you’re all safe and sound! Wow. That must have been terrifying to have a tree fall in your yard. Great post, and the pictures of the tree are amazing. Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed! :)

  3. Angie says:

    WOW! Glad everyone and the house is okay. Sad to see such an old tree meet it’s demise.

    http://angnic.wordpress.com/

  4. johnjacobh says:

    Yes, trees are an extensive problem that your children will need to deal with when they grow up.

    In Liberty,
    JJH

    http://johnjacobh.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/trees-are-evil-they-deserve-to-die/

  5. wadingacross says:

    I have a number of old, large trees in my yard and next to our home in our neighbor’s yard. I cringe every time we have a nasty-bad storm, especially since we live in a hilly community and a couple of these trees could smash the house well.

    I love trees, but I wouldn’t mind removing a few of them… but the cost is quite prohibitive.

    Times like this I wish I lived in the country with a larger plot of land.

    Glad to hear everyone made it okay.

  6. Wow! glad everyone was ok. We’re about to enter the summer storm season here in Australia, so I will be taking your advice!

  7. ryoko861 says:

    Wow, you’re lucky! And if something isn’t right, trust your instincts and listen to them. It usually means exactly that.

  8. Iszzy says:

    I took down a few trees around my house years ago…..just in case. We get a lot of wind here where I live and was afraid. Glad everyone is ok.

  9. I love the concept of your blog. Such a sweet way to remember to let your children know stories that you might eventually forget to relay to them. Animals are definitely great forecasters of many things…we should all pay more attention to them. They are wise. Congrats on being FP’ed!

    • green4u says:

      Thanks, I have had the idea for a while. I actually thought it would be more of a diary with not alot of readers… I am really happy with everyones enthusiasm and comments!!

    • educlaytion says:

      I was just about to say I love the concept of your blog and then I saw She.Is.Just.A.Rat already handling that. So let me just say that we once had a similar incident. The tree blocked exit from the entire neighborhood. The kids who missed school loved it. Always a good story as long as no one gets hurt.

  10. I grew up in tornado country with storms every summer. I have seen trees come down before but not so close to the house without damage. What a story this will be for the family for gatherings in the years to come. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  11. Evie Garone says:

    Nice post, good premise. I’m glad no one got hurt. Funny how animals are still in touch with their instincts and know what to do! We should follow their lead, right?! Congrats on FP’d.

    evelyngarone.com

  12. Catherine says:

    Amazing pictures! Great story.

  13. santasown says:

    I enjoyed reading your post a lot! Especially the tips you left at the end… it gave me a good laugh. I think my favorite were “when the dog hides we probably should hide too” and “purple is worse than red”. LOL.

    Sorry about your tree though, this is why we stick to artificial trees, easier to clean up! Haha!

  14. mmgoodsongs says:

    Trees are amazing and storms sometimes remind us that we are not in control. It’s good to see that you are all o.k. and learning some lessons from it so it isn’t a total loss. I hope your meeting neighbors has been a good thing as well. Here in CA. we always seem to meet our neighbors after an earthquake. While I would rather not have earthquakes…it is lovely when a community comes together. (and dogs are quite smart!)

  15. flowerschi says:

    I very happy no one got hurt and I have to go and get a dog so that I know when to hide.

  16. boho fangirl says:

    I’m touched by your blog. I wish my mom had written one when I was a kid too, so I’d know about her heartfelt stories. Great job! 😉

    http://hollywoodremedy.wordpress.com

  17. I wish so much I had written like this for my kids as they were growing up! Love how you’re doing this & glad you were all ok!

  18. Robin says:

    Oh my! The same thing happened at my brother’s house several years ago. They called it a “microburst” He was not so lucky. He and his fiance ended up living in a hotel for 6 months and then with my parents for another month while the house was being fixed. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds as far as damage goes, the tree fell on the double carport, laundry room and covered patio in the back, but the county wouldn’t leave the power turned on. The actual living square footage was not at all damaged, but they weren’t allowed to continue living it. Annoying and inconvenient to say the least. On the bright side, the carport was rebuilt, what was the covered patio is now a den and there is a new master suite as well as a much larger covered patio.

    I wish I had been blogging back then! Glad everyone is ok and isn’t it funny how the animals ALWAYS know?

  19. mc6pack says:

    The idea of writing to your kids is very unique. What a great gift to them.

  20. marinasleeps says:

    Damnit now why didn’t I think of that? LOL
    Great blog…. love your concept.
    Congrats on being FP’d

  21. Matt says:

    Good story. I am a firm believer in purple bringing nothing but trouble for people. Unless they are Prince (he’s exempt).

  22. It’s a lovely idea to write down some of your memories for your children – in discovering more about you, they might even get to know themselves better.
    I remember a huge storm once during my schooldays – I was sitting in a lesson when we heard a great cracking and whining noise, and we rushed to the window to find that an enormous tree had fallen down in the park – it was immensely tall and probably very old. Our teacher nearly cried, as she was very fond of trees, which I am too.

  23. This blog is such an awesome idea. Your kids are lucky to have this.

  24. sylviangirl says:

    Whenever we have a storm my mums dog hides under the kitchen table….I will now be joining him 😉

    http://sylviangirl.wordpress.com/

  25. What a wonderful way to share memories with your children, the good and the not good. Ah, I wish blogs were around when I was raising mine! Great post.

  26. Enjoyed your post. I remember weathering so many storms in the basement at camp with all the campers huddled around. When the camp ranger’s dog hid in the bathtub, the ranger would call me and have me move the kids indoors. There was even a very scary storm in which a tree obliterated a platform tent. Luckily no one was in it at the time. It is amazing the things wind can do, and even more so the survival sense that our animals have! Enjoyable blog!

  27. rtcrita says:

    That’s so sad about the tree. Especially, because it was one of those big, beautiful old trees that make a neighborhood look like a great place to live. (That’s why I don’t like new additions–they have no trees!)

    But I’m glad to hear no one was hurt and your house wasn’t totally destroyed. I live in Kansas (the Land of Oz)and we have all kinds of tornadoes during the spring and summer months. I have several old trees in my yard and three of them line up on my driveway. I love them, but I worry every time there is a storm that they will end up on top of my house, or worse, on top of me or one of my children when we’re sitting in the living room or I’m asleep in my bed (my bedroom is on the driveway side of the house). It would cost me a small fortune to have them removed. So…they’re staying.

  28. Aurian says:

    I’m so glad you were Freshly Pressed! I love your blog’s premise and think it is a great way to share your life with your kids. I wish I knew half of the stories that bounce around in my mother’s head.

  29. I think it is great that you are writing this for your kids, I shared this with my daughter-in-law because she does journals for her kids from the time they were in the womb, and she just found out she is having twins so she is starting a new journal. She loved your site she called after she read it and said this is a really great parent and the kids will love it later on.

    • green4u says:

      Glad you and your daughter in law like the blog. Have your daughter in law email me if she wants I carry a notebook in my purse to write down inspiring ideas. I bet since she journals she has alot!! A handwritten journal is even more special than this… unfortunately my handwritting would make for a pretty worthless notebook for my kids 😉

      Thanks for the kind thoughts.

  30. I love this I called my daughter-in-law and told her about your blog, she loved it and said what a great mom and her kids will always remember this stuff, for ever.

  31. Abigail says:

    Wow. May the sun begin to shine very soon for you and your family. I’m sorry to hear about your losses.
    I’m really enjoying reading your posts and love that you’re doing this for your kiddos.
    All the best to you and yours!

  32. ellejay89 says:

    I really appreciate the lessons there at the end. My dad has this thing for standing outside during storms, too. It makes my mom pretty skittish. I’m going to pass this along to her so she can show him. By the way, I love that you’re blogging to your children. It’s so sweet!

  33. Mcb46 says:

    That is crazy all trees that fell in a two mile radius fell exactly the same way. Was it a tornado? You are right about dogs. We had a storm here yesterday, and one of my dogs (who isn’t very cuddly) came running up to me shaking. He just sat right next to me for protection. Sorry that happened to you. I like how you put the lessons learned at the end.

  34. I had a similar experience of which I wrote a poem about it. My wife says she cannot handle hearing or reading the poem, because she feels it is too sad. While on the other hand, I feel the poem celebrates life: http://spiritfilledpoetry.wordpress.com/2010/o5/11/the-bradford-pear-tree-of-club-lake-trail-copyright-2004-a-lost-poem-recovered-preview-in-incoming-passion-amidst-apathy/

  35. Sulfonix says:

    I feel sorry for your losses.. And even for the tree. I like your style of writing how you’re talking to us as we’re children, cute. I never check the weather channels and I don’t remember a storm headed towards where I lived since the past 10 years! Though when it gets windy I love to stand and watch the clouds at my roof.

  36. Slamdunk says:

    That must have been something to see in-person–as you say that you met all of your neighbors.

    Glad everyone was ok there.

  37. inkgwen says:

    Great pics, great lessons to learn. My dog shakes and hides when storms come.

  38. I quite enjoyed reading your blog, and also congratulations on it being freshly pressed! I love trees, they have always been an important aspect in my life. When I was younger and living in Africa, we had a huge rubber tree in our backyard, it was the greatest tree I have ever seen in my life. It provided shade to numerous lawn parties and family get togethers until one stormy night it collapsed. Oh well, what can I say, ces’t la vie.

    http://www.mysteriousmystic.wordpress.com

  39. hearttypat says:

    oh my gosh. that’s a terrifying experience! Not helping that it’s a downpour outside right now!

  40. Ah so glad you were all safe! Keep writing for your children, what a beautiful idea!

    There are nothing like childhood memories – but it’s sad how they get cloudy and distorted as we grow up. This blog is something you can keep and show the children when they are older – to sharpen and add the colour back into such precious memories.

    Thanks!

    http://www.meandmybiro.wordpress.com

  41. GirlOpinion says:

    This was such a disaster for me. I mean after all the emotional struggles you have in there, suddenly a tree collapse in front of your house causing damage. Hopefully you will be able to recover from this. I believe this has made you even stronger and of course, the important thing there is that, you have learned a lesson.

  42. paperforgood says:

    That sounds pretty horrible. I’m glad your okay. And from the pics you’ve posted, I just LOVE your house!

    Thanks

    http://paperforgood.wordpress.com

  43. I live in queens, and there were giant felled trees lining the streets. And this all happened in 5 minutes!

  44. This is insane, that tree is ginormous, thank god it didn’t crash land anywhere inside your home. I’ve seen it happen way too many times hun, and it ain’t pretty. Nature can make the biggest scars.

    -Tony Salmeron

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