Monday, November 07, 2011

Act of God

"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.

"Again I am sorry Mr. Meakim. This is an Act of God which is not covered." she said.

"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 started by using loppers to trim off all the smaller leaf covered branches.
The process was slow going and somewhat tedious. I found myself mumbling, cursing under my breath,  irked at this Act of God.

I made tidy little piles of sticks, which would make bundling them easier later on.
With a  borrowed a chainsaw I went about cutting and dismantling the the rest of the tree. Power tools that are used in movies as a murder weapon or means of torture always make me nervous. This Act of God was now making me jittery and sweaty. Jittery and sweaty are not a good combination when operating a chainsaw.

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.

The three boys worked together building an entire imaginary play world. They did not argue or fight. They played. They helped each other. They mumbled under their breath expressing their ideas for a fort. They were jittery with excitement from finding perfectly gun and  rifle shaped sticks. They were sweaty from all the hard playing.

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. 


M@ said...

it's good you could turn it around like that. When I'm in Grump mode, it's hard to see past the red haze that seems permanently in my sights :)

Big question is, did they help you clean it up later?

Melissa said...

i love this! i love that you did find God at work in all of this!

yeah for trees, fresh air, and boys playing!

Anonymous said...

It was an "Act of God" the day you were born, and I didn't get any insurance help for that either. No support from anyone! I had to do it all by myself. Brought you home and then your brothers and sister got to play with you.....Acts of God are amazing!!!!

Karen said...

Beautiful story!! Love your blog!!

Lindsay said...

What a wonderful story! I'm glad you were able to have a good day in the end - and get bonus time with the kids! Lucky after all.

Anonymous said...

Don't tell the grumpy neighbor that your boys had fun with his tree. He will want it back.

Anonymous said...

What about when the giving tree had nothing left to give?

James (SeattleDad) said...

Great post, and great takeaway from the intial annoyance.

Unknown said...

Love this. :)

Effie said...

what an act of God. Impressive...I see you're still taking your writing courses? ;)

Thanks for this post--helps me to try to put things into perspective...

starlightsound said...

I would still throw that crap back over into the neighbors yard. Tell him God told you to do it.

Melinda said...

Starlightsound has some anger issues...but makes a excellent point.
I love it that you could see something wonderful from the fallen tree mess and hard graft.

jcbrown208 said...

Amen! and God is good to us when we see the blessings he gives us!