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After I got out of a hot bath Friday to a Ponderosa tree poking its way into my living room ceiling and triggering an explosion of the electrical transformer out front on the utility pole, the weirdness that ensued today seemed routine. Actually, Debbie did almost all the heavy lifting of phone calls to various people trying to find out what our insurance situation was, then a couple of roof repair folks, then some conversations with tree removal men, then talking about our situation to other neighbors who were having similar situations.

It was similar to buying this house six years ago; it was a controlled chaos with large sums of our money held in the balance. The problem, of course, is that everyone has their fingers on the monetary scales. I’ve lost count, because I wasn’t counting, of how many people have been on our property and in our house these last few days. About twenty various categories of official people outside, and about five inside. I would be working at this computer and notice that Debbie was talking to some unknown person in the living room. It was all disturbing because when I did talk to someone it was about things that they seemed to know a lot about and I didn’t even know the right terminology.

In fact, our living situation hasn’t been disturbed very much. The front yard was cleared of the fallen Ponderosa and the holes in the roof covered over with tarpaulins the first day by various helpful folks. The exploded juice from the transformer was cleaned up by the hazardous materials crew on the first day, and they came back and dug out a puddle of stuff from the front yard yesterday. They claimed it wasn’t dangerous material, but those soothing words seemed a little disingenuous because they were all wearing moon suits.

The elderly lady who lives over our backyard fence is lucky to be alive. One tree fell in her back yard and a guy was on her roof trying to straighten things out from that problem when a much bigger Ponderosa fell right through her roof into the living room. The guy on the roof saw it coming and ran off to the side, and the old lady wasn’t in her living room because she was outside watching the roofer. She stayed with the Red Cross for the next day. Every neighbor contiguous with our property suffered some form of damage. The storm took out half of the two-hundred-year-old Ponderosas so I suppose the risk of a tree falling on us has been diminished by half.

My meetings were typically interesting today but I just sat and didn’t say much.