We had a tree fall on our house towards the end of December. We were in the middle of an awesome thunderstorm when suddenly the house shook more than usual with a crack of thunder. I woke Bruce up and we rushed outside with flashlights and found a tree. It had fallen on our roof, taken off the eaves along the whole side, and landed on the ground/fence/hose. Luckily nobody was hurt, but C did spend a handful of nights with my parents while we had her room dried out. (Three times. We had to have her room dried out three times!)
We had already been in the market for a new roof since our old one had sprung a few leaks, but the tree expedited the process. Thank goodness for good insurance, because a month later we were sitting pretty under a beautiful new roof.
We learned a few things during this time that amazed me – especially how much we took our old leaky roof for granted! I have never been more thankful than I am now that we live in a home with a solid roof over our head. Even before the tree fell when it was leaking, causing Bruce to climb up into the attic during every rain to adjust buckets and plastic sheets, we were still kept (mostly) dry. Looking back on the whole process (tears, wine, and wanting to shake our insurance company included) I learned a couple of really important things.
1 – It’s easy to get accustomed to less-than-steller conditions. C’s room had a massive stain on it and sagged for over a month while we waited to have it fixed. Our fence is still crushed as we try to get a reasonable quote on repairing it. We had insulation hanging from the ceiling during this whole time, and water poured in through that hole each time we had a hard rainstorm. At first, these were all eyesores and I grimaced every time I saw them. But, as time went on, I noticed them less and less. Suddenly I looked past them and they stopped bothering me as much. It’s amazing, as humans, how quickly we adapt. What I learned from this is to repair quickly! The longer things sit broken, messy, or out of place, the easier is is to allow them to stay that way.
2 – I am so, so glad to have a house that keeps us safe and dry. Admittedly, I’ve cringed during the last few wind/rain storms we’ve had – because I know how horrible the whole experience of getting your home fixed is – but not worrying about rain coming into our home? Awesome. Knowing that limbs may fall on our house but unless it’s a giant tree again nothing bad will happen? Such a blessing. The size and location of your home stop mattering as much as soon as you realize that the importance lies in its ability to keep you safe and dry.
3 – Having family nearby to help with a child is quite honestly one of the best things ever. Without my parents being happy to let C sleep at their house multiple nights we would have been setting up an air mattress in the living room and letting her sleep in our bed. Obviously this would not have been the end of the world, but in terms of comfort and familiarity, nothing beats grandma and grandpa. Looking back, returning to my hometown after college made sense at the time. I love the mountains, didn’t want to be in a big city, and was able to find a well-paying job. Now that we have C and are a little older I’m able to see how grateful and happy I am to have my parents nearby. Not only are they people too, but they’re really awesome.
I wouldn’t recommend waiting for a huge tree to fall on your home to practice gratitude for the often overlooked things (like a roof!) in your life. It’s amazing how, if we slow down and look around, we truly are surrounded by huge blessings.