Boy are we lucky.
I have always said to Mike that we are "blessed", but not "lucky". I define the difference as "never having bad things happen to us" vs "never win anything, even a stinkin' scratch-off lottery ticket". We grumble at times that we have to work so hard for everything we get, while friends around us seem to have things handed to them (even their mortgage! not kidding!) Though, the balance was there. Until we lost Ruger, no major unforeseen losses have ever graced our lives. So, we made peace with the fact that being "blessed", this was His gift to us.
That balance unhinged after we were left without our gentle puppy dog. I confess that I was pretty mad at God for taking him away, especially so early. I was holding a sizable grudge, and that makes my face flush just saying it. Previously, our hard times were more easily bearable when we knew he would keep the awful things in life at bay. So, now where were we? I guess that makes me a terrible Catholic, falling to pieces in the hard times, leaving His side, angry with Him.
Well, He had a message for us...that maybe we are all given "just enough" to get us by. We are "blessed" just enough and also "lucky" just enough.... enough to get us through this life, enough for us to handle things and enough for us to be strengthened and learn without losing faith. Just enough grief, happiness, hard times and good times to keep the balance, to make us appreciate all that we have and all that we are because of His "just enough" teaching moments.
Here was our message:
A Tree... About 2 1/2 feet in diameter... will fall in the night... and fall right smack in the middle of your house and your barn. Just so you know how lucky you really are.
Hurricane Ike had delivered incredibly strong winds that night, even in its downgraded state. Winds like I have never heard before made me come to understand why people in a tornado say it sounds like a train is coming through their house. It was incredibly loud and sounded so scary to me...I worried we might lose a tree, one of the many that surround the house, but that night they felt more like weapons to me. Any given day finds me in love with the forest all around us...but that night I worried.
It was about midnight, and we had just fallen asleep. The wind was so loud it was keeping us awake! I heard it first...the crack! of the tree snapping - that is what woke me up. I opened my eyes to see a flash and then, a BOOM! Mike heard the boom, and thought he saw a flash behind his eyes... At that moment, I thought it was thunder... yet peculiar because I remember that the boom never rumbled like thunder does afterwards. I was scared awake, and then felt a sense of dread because a thunderstorm would wake the kids.
Mike got up and realized the power was off, thinking the most likely culprit was the high winds. He went to get a lantern and a flashlight for both of us and glanced out the window. Our next door neighbor's lights were on. Hmm... That's weird! He and I both started thinking the same thought then - was that our power line that flashed?
He took the flashlight and panned it through our bedroom window, and we saw the reason for our lost power. The leaves obscured most of our view and we stared in awe. How did that NOT hit the house? Like a crazy person, Mike decided to go out in the storm and check out the damage... I sat there and worried again.
He realized out there that we were indeed, very lucky people. The tree snapped off 10 feet above the ground and had fallen right in between our two structures, almost exactly in the middle. It pinned our power line down to the ground, ripping it from our house in the process. That was the flash of light we saw, an arc of electricity from the house to the disconnecting wire. It lit up the night! The tree was situated right next to the house, so if it would have fallen to the right, it would have ended up in the kids room, right on top of the kids. We both shuddered at the thought, of what we had escaped. No losses, no damage, just a few deep holes in the ground, like scars, to remind us of what we could have lost....of how lucky we truly are.
Cody lost in the branches...
We didn't have power for a few days, but luckily we have a generator - it's presence generated by the lovely October Storm almost 2 years ago today! The story of how we got it back on and how the kids slept through the chaos is kinda funny so I will post that later. Goofy electricians, one loud chainsaw and babies who are excellent at sleeping. Good times, good times....