"I am sorry Mr. Meakim." The woman on the other end of the phone call, from the insurance company, apologized. "But this is considered an Act of God. There was no property damage so we will not cover the cost of the tree removal."
"But if there was damage to my house, or shed or other property, it is not considered an Act of God?" I asked.
I had already explained to her that the freak late October snow storm caused my neighbor's tree to fall and crash over the fence into my yard. I was annoyed that the insurance company was telling me it was my responsibility to remove the fallen tree. They did not care it was my neighbor's tree. I had already talked to my neighbor from behind us, who is not that great of a neighbor, and he did not care his tree fell into my property. He knew it would be my responsibility and almost laughed it off.
"But if a Tornado, which is an Act of God, hell it is even called the Finger of God, destroyed my house, it would be covered? I don't get it." I was just annoyed and wanted to argue. What was their definition of an Act of God?
The insurance company representative then started to discuss actuarial stuff and underwriting and deductibles and I knew I was done. I thanked them and hung up. I was miffed by the "Act of God". I knew that I was going to have to take care of the fallen tree myself.
I stacked the large branches in one pile to be used as future kindling. I stacked the larger portions of the cut heavy trunk to be split and used for future firewood. The Act of God was causing my back to ache and knees hurt.
I went in the house for a few minutes to take a break trying to catch a second wind. This Act of God made me feel old. I was not happy about that. I was a mumbly, jittery, sweaty, achey, cranky old man. When I went back outside I saw that Maxfield, Wyatt and their friend G were moving all of the neatly stacked branches and pieces of wood all over the back yard. It was a mess. I was even more annoyed.
The three boys, who would usually rather be playing video games, were using their imagination and creativity to build forts with the branches. They made the sticks into pretend swords and guns. They moved the stumps to make walls and then drums and then seats. They moved every branch looking for just the right ones to use for their creative purposes.
They took a break to drink some water and catch their breath. I found myself seeking out the right types of branches, cutting them down into the perfect size for a sling shots. I trimmed a few sticks to give them the curve of a long bow. I didn't feel so old any more. When they were done they went right back to their adventures with the fallen tree undoing all of my hard work. I didn't mind.
I was watching the three boys, three friends, having fun and laughing. Boys bonding without a care in the world was another Act of God. It was an Act of God I enjoyed.