Anatomy of a Small(ish) Catastrophe – #HurricaneIrma Part 2

Sound the Bugles!
The Cavalry Arrives!

Nearly a week after Hurricane Irma raged across the Atlantic, giving us a love tap on her way by, I finally found a tree service able to help us. The crane arrived first, then the bobcat and a crew of 15 men in two other trucks.

They closed off the road, and got to work, much to the entertainment of the neighborhood. (Folks set up folding chairs across the street to watch the production, though sadly, I have no pictures of the audience.) You can get an idea of the size and scope of this job from this shot. (That’s my husband, Mark, on the left side of the roof, keeping a sharp eye on the proceedings.)

You can see in this next  picture that there is a huge portion of the tree resting on the ground in front of the garage window. That’s what kept the garage walls from being crushed completely flat, as it supported a much of the weight of this huge laurel oak.

The process begins! Men swarmed our roof and yard,  sawing huge sections of tree trunk and smaller, but still giant, limbs away from the main trunk.

Stepping back to get an overall look. Did I mention how HUGE this tree was?? And rotten at the core. I think the only thing holding it up was bark! In this pic, you can also see a “small” limb being lifted up by the crane. (See the cable coming down from the top of the pic?)

And here it is, being lowered to the ground where it could be sawn into pieces small enough to go on the growing piles along the easement.

Another tangle of branches from the garage roof. I’m still amazed at this whole process.

Eventually, all of the tree was off the garage, and on the ground, being cut into bite-sized pieces for the eventual pick-up. (Which has not happened yet, btw.) But LOOK!! Included in the price tag was a guy with a leaf blower, making sure our roof was pristine again. Except for the freakin’ big HOLE in the garage portion, of course!! 😯 Lesson learned: Never let anything happen to your home that requires a crane to put right again. They are COSTLY. $7,000 for this one and crew, but they worked like champions and finished the job in 3 hours.

The bobcat driver amassed the cut logs into 8′ tall piles along the easement, essentially providing us with fort-like walls dense enough to protect us from machine gun fire, should the neighbors ever become really, really P.O.’d at us. (Hopefully not. They seem pretty nice.)

Below, just one of many piles marching cross the front of our yard, with Mark adding a few more bits. BTW, the first log shows you the rotted core of the tree. The one next to it is 4′ high at the end under Mark’s foot. (Comes past my waist, and I’m 5’10”!) Oh, and there’s a log across the street, because there was no more room for it on our side. You have to leave openings for the mailbox and the driveway, otherwise that one would be with the rest of the mess.

And that’s about it. Except for this.

And this.

And, of course, this.

Now, it’s all over but the waiting. And waiting. And waiting. With the amount of damage Florida sustained in this storm, especially in the southern part of the state and in the Keys, everyone is slammed. Adjustors, contractors, subcontractors, tree crews, and on and on. They are all up to their eyeballs in clean up and repair work.

We do (finally, after 3 weeks) have an appointment with an adjustor for tomorrow. She’s going to need to set us up with an engineer (if she isn’t one, herself) to write a report on the structural damage before anyone can even begin. And then we will need builders to replace rafters and attic flooring, block workers to replace the shattered lintel over the garage door, electricians, plumbers, and a roofer to replace the entire roof. And that doesn’t count shoring up the ceiling and removing the mangled garage door so we can actually get the vehicles out and assess the damage.

With any luck, Mark’s vintage VW will have only superficial damage, but I suspect the Honda will be a total loss. It’s been holding the full weight of the rafters and attic flooring and contents all this time. It will be a miracle if the frame isn’t buckled.

We are blessed compared to so many recent storm victims, but it’s still a lot of hassle and disruption. It’s also pretty stressful, and something I hope none of you ever have to deal with. Wish us luck! 🙂 I can’t wait for life to return to normal!

57 thoughts on “Anatomy of a Small(ish) Catastrophe – #HurricaneIrma Part 2

    • Exactly so, Kass. And I don’t expect the repairs to being for some time, making it well into next year before they are complete. But once it’s underway, I will feel vastly better, because at least I’ll know what the plan is. (I don’t do well without a plan, even if I have to modify it here and there.) 😀

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  1. Oh Marcia I feel your pain in all this. It’s going on all over our state and as you said many more worse than the damage done to us. There is always a silver lining though – think of all the good stuff you now have to write about in future books! Good luck in your road to getting your life back to ‘normal’!

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  2. As others have said already, it sounds like you are still a long way from resuming normal life. It’s good some progress has been made. Thanks for sharing with us. You’re doing amazingly – and getting your latest book out while all this is going on. I wish you luck with the next stages of the operation.

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  3. Wow, that was some process! Those photos were mind-boggling.

    We used to have a very ancient huge ash tree in our rear yard which we had cut down two summers ago. We suspected it was rotting (it used to drop small branches in storms) and knew if it fell, it was going to land smack on our neighbor’s garage. Rather than face potential disaster, we just paid to have it cut down.

    I hope life returns to normal for you soon. I’m going to be in Cape Coral the end of October. They weren’t hit as bad as they feared, but I have relatives on Santibel Island and a friend in the Keys!

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    • We’ve already lost most of the oaks in our yard, over the last 14 years, but this one was our neighbor’s and I have to say, I never dreamed it was this rotten inside. 😯

      My parents lived on Sanibel Island for about ten years, Marks lived in Cape Coral for much longer than that. I lived in Estero once, myself, which is just south of Ft. Myers. I have to say, I like central Florida better than south Florida, but I really don’t like either as much as I love the mountains.

      I hope your friends are safe and didn’t suffer much damage, especially the ones in the Keys. They were truly devastated down there, and will be a long time getting things sorted out. Makes my problem look small.

      Glad you enjoyed the pics of the removal process. It was pretty mind-boggling, though I wish I hadn’t needed to find that out. 😀 ❤

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  4. Marcia, what a dramatic time for you and your family. It is great to see that you now are rid of the tree, at least you can feel that you are more in control of events.
    I wish you lots of luck and patience and may the repair not take too long.
    You have kept your reports remarkably entertaining for what I know can’t be entertains. Tough stuff.
    Keep well
    Miriam

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    • Thanks, Miriam! These posts are my therapy, and one way to tell myself it’s not the biggest deal going on in the world. (Sometimes we do have to remind ourselves we aren’t at the center of everything!) 🙂 Thanks for your well wishes, too. VERY much appreciated!! 🙂 ❤

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  5. Whatever normal is nowadays?? Glad to see the big old tree is gone. Will make a lot of firewood!! Do you have a fireplace? What a debacle! I always wanted to use that word and I think it fits here. Hang in there, as my old dad used to always say, It could be worse.

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    • Oh, I love debacle! Well, not the ACTUAL debacles of the world, you understand. Just the word! 😀 My life is seldom normal, but compared to this, it was a real snoozer. 😀

      Yes, we have a fireplace, but most of this tree is too rotten to be good firewood. Plus, we have oak logs from the last three trees that had to come down. We only get to use them for a couple of weeks in the dead of winter, so they last a long time. 🙂 I just can’t wait for this mess to be hauled off. I tried to take a photo that would show the scope of these piles of wood, but no luck. They just don’t look as huge as they are.

      Thanks for all your encouragement, Darlene! I appreciate it. (Tell Amanda our trip to Scotland might be delayed slightly, due to all of this. 😉 )

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  6. Well ew can see why the tree came down now, for sure. That is one rotten core!
    Glad you’ve managed to at least get it cut down, even if the real work is now exposed. Great photographic history – you might try selling the story to the local newspaper if they aren’t already full of similar stories.

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    • Never thought about that Debby, but I suspect they have storm photos and stories out the door and back. So many homes damaged, and lives upturned. In the grand scheme of things, we were lucky, so I’m trying to be grateful. And patient. 😀

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      • That comes over clearly, but I’ll bet there are people who aren’t!
        I expect there are plenty of storm photos out there, but you could always go for the human story (along with illustrations) of one family’s journey to clear up the mess. You DO have some spectacular pics, and I’ll bet you could write a great article – or series of articles.
        That’s the journalist in me – always investigate, don’t assume.

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        • Well, it’s sure food for thought, anyway, Debby. And I appreciate your confidence in me. 😀 I will give this some serious consideration, as soon as I get through tomorrow with the adjustor. HOPEFULLY, I’ll then have an idea of what we are talking about long term. If they don’t find a way to get the cars out of that garage pretty soon, Mark is going to go berserk! 😯 So much to think about, but it would be kind of fun to document the process long term. And I have a connection with a local reporter for a smaller area paper, too. Hmmmmmm. Pondering, here . . .

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  7. Dear Marcia. It’s even more impressive now with the full pictures. I hope you don’t face the worst case scenario but of course, it will take time and it’s a distressing process. Fingers crossed that things get moving soon.

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    • Thanks, Olga. I have promised myself that I won’t get upset over how long it’s taking unless repairs drag on past my birthday: St. Patrick’s Day. If things aren’t back to normal by mid-March, 2018, I’m thinking I just might have a meltdown. 😯 Hopefully, that won’t happen. Thanks for crossing those fingers, though. We need all the luck we can get! 😀 ❤

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  8. Well,thank goodness, Marcia. That’s the first step over and done with. You’ve been remarkably stoic (at least through your posts) I guess there have been many times when you’ve hidden your distress. May it not be too long before life returns to a normality for you. Judith xx

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    • Yes, it was the first step, and it was a BIG one. That’s a relief. As for being stoic, sometimes I’m feeling in control and reasonable, and others I’m crying and whining (or whinging as my Scottish friends say) about this whole awful mess. But I’m getting better at the stoic part, because in the long run, once you’ve let off some steam, crying really doesn’t accomplish much.

      And did you get my email about The Emissary? If not, I’ll happily resend. 🙂 ❤

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  9. ok, it’s time for me to give everyone a reality check:

    1) I saw pics of that beautiful Laurel Oak’s trunk which looked very healthy.
    2) Was it lightning damage, from a top hit to bottom? Oaks are lightning rods.
    3) Who cares about the damn Honda?! The Magic Bus has to be saved, reborn!
    4) $7,000??? I spend $2,000 annually for the oldest house in Florida, and my Deductible is $6,000. I pray that every hurricane will flatten, eliminate my house–as long as me and my dog, and two cats, will survive. Home Owners’ Insurance companies know two facts. 1- Rarely do paying customers have more than “deductible” damage. 2 – Banks/Mortgagors demand you have it!
    5) I repeat my earlier “Q”: Nobody had a chainsaw on ‘The Morning After’?
    6) Lastly, almost, (winding down, so “safe-space” snowflakes can take a deep breath), this could have been worse. How, you ask?
    7) I’ve never met Mark or Marcia, but I like their history, bonafides (coined word), attitudes, and…Vietnam Vet/Florida Cracker resilience. God is good!

    8) I changed one word in my Amazon review. It bothered me for days that I said Misogynist, when I meant, chauvinist. Feel better now.

    Tomorrow is my FRS (State payday). I will get “Hunter” in print!

    #9 God Bless!!!!!!

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    • Taking your comments one at a time.

      1) The first 15 feet or more of the tree trunk was so rotten, I could reach in with my bare hands and pull out pieces of it, like chunks of peat. If you check the picture where Mark is standing on the pile, the very first log (from the left) shows part of that bottom section. Absolutely rotted away.
      2) No lightning at all. Wind blew it over. It snapped off at the base, where the only thing holding it up was bark and about 2 inches of wood. The rest was hollow and/or rotten. There was no lightning during the storm here at all.
      3) State Farm cares about the Honda. As does Honda Leasing. Mark cares about Victor Willie. He’s fairly sure the damage to it is superficial. It wasn’t directly under the hole like the Honda was. I, on the other hand, don’t care much about any car, except that I have one that runs efficiently with working a/c. After that, I’m happy. And we NEED two vehicles. Neither the VW nor my old PT Cruiser will hold up long with Mark driving them 50 miles round trip to work every day.
      4) The $7,000 had to be put out up front to get the tree off. I care VERY much about getting that back, the sooner the better, but I don’t think that will be a problem. And since it was an emergency expense, I don’t even think our deductible will apply. I actually don’t think it’s going to apply to the repair of the garage, either, because my neighbor’s insurance adjustor says that will be covered under their liability. However, since the entire roof (and not just the garage roof) is going to be replaced from wind damage, the deductible will definitely apply to that part.
      5) Standing over an open hole in the roof and trying to cut up a hideously huge tree the size of this one with an 18″ chain saw would be foolhardy in the extreme. Plus, it would likely negate parts of our policy, as there would be no way NOT to damage the roof and garage contents more. And no way would I let any non-professional friend or neighbor get near any of this stuff. The liability would be far too great.
      6)Yes, it could have been worse. We could have been severely injured or killed outright, as I mention in many of my comments, and we were very, very lucky. Thousands of people have suffered from recent storms far more than we have, but it’s still been frustrating, and blogging about it has been good therapy for me.
      7) We Florida crackers and Vietnam vets ARE sturdy folks. You don’t make it to be my age without learning how to roll with the punches.
      8) Hahaha on the review. I’m glad you are happier with it now. I was already pleased, and hope you will enjoy Finding Hunter. Be prepared for the romance, but also for some serious psychological drama. It may or may not work for you. I think you’ll probably like That Darkest Place better, and possibly even The Emissary. But Hunter’s story is my favorite.
      9) Thanks for the blessings. We’ll take them. And back atcha. 🙂

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      • Just a quick note re:#1. Laurel oaks have a lifespan of approximately 10-15 years before they start to die and rot inside. Any one of them that grows to the size of the one that fell on Marcia’s garage is DEFINITELY rotten to the core.

        They are the bane of Floridians’ existence, second only to Southern pines as the worst tree to have in your yard. They snap off and fall over at the drop of a hat!

        I know because I’ve had the limbs from a dying one damage my neighbor’s truck, I’ve paid big bucks to have that one removed and I now have another dead one in my front yard that I was hoping Irma would take down for me. (No such luck.)

        P.S. Removing big trees is not for amateurs and it costs A LOT in Florida, perhaps because tree companies know we can’t afford to not take them down since they can fall on our own or our neighbors’ houses in a hurricane.

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        • I agree with everything you’ve said, Kass, except the life span of laurel oaks. They have FAR shorter life spans than the live oak’s 250 years and up, but not quite as short as 15 to 20. They can start losing limbs at that point, but the life span is between 35 and 50 years, average about 40. STILL, that’s very short for an oak. Because they are fast growing, they were used extensively for landscaping for quite some time, but I believe that practice has caught up with a lot of builders/landscapers. Our home (and most in our neighborhood) was built in 1978, so our trees are coming up on 40 years, and are dying, or being blown over, throughout the neighborhood. They are senior, SENIOR citizens, and some are taking them out in advance of catastrophe.

          We had already lost all but a smallish one of ours over the 14 years we’ve been here. Some we had to have taken down. One developed sudden oak syndrome, turned completely brown in a week, and had to be removed for that. The city has been requested several times to remove the ancient one on the easement, but hasn’t done so yet. And of course, the one that fell was our neighbor’s.

          You are exactly right that they are the bane of homeowners in many Florida areas. And they are also a native tree, which can pop up uninvited anywhere. And you are especially right about removing big trees. It is most definitely not for amateurs. A very dangerous proposition. Of course, in our case, it was the necessity of taking it off the roof BEFORE even the pros would start cutting that ran the bill up so high. A crane is a huge expense.

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          • I hate those little laurel oak volunteers. I hunt them down in my yard and garden but they keep coming back!

            On the other hand, we have a mammoth live oak next to our driveway. Mixed bag—great shade but if it ever comes down in a storm it will take out half the neighborhood.

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            • The good news is that live oak will probably still be standing long after you are gone. Have you ever seen the Fairchild oak at Bulow? OMG. It’s staggering to think it’s 2,000 years old! I haven’t been in a few years. Hopefully it is still standing, unlike the Senator, an ancient cypress tree that was burned to the ground a few years ago by an addict who climbed the fence, crawled inside part of it, and set it on fire trying to cook her fix. I lived very close to that tree at the time, and had gone there many times just to admire it. I cried.

              Anyway, I’ll bet money your live oak will outlast all of us. 😀 And I certainly pray I’m right!! 🙂

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      • I guess it’s too late to say “Disregard my 9-point comment! I was “under the weather”, no pun intended.

        I got Hunter, but since I clicked on One Click, I immediately got the Kindle version. Bah! So I bought Darkest Place. I hope there aren’t too many mushy-sappy-kissy scenes. Yuck.
        Have a nice weekend!

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        • I don’t do “mushy-sappy-kissy” scenes. I do wildly romantic, passionate-without-being-graphic scenes. 😀 And they take up a relatively small portion of the drama in That Darkest Place. However, be aware that TDP is a sequel to Finding Hunter, and reading them out of order will likely be confusing. There are things that happen in Hunter that are necessary to understand TDP. Just so you know . . .

          Sorry you didn’t get the print version, but you can still read it on the free Amazon Kindle for PC, or on your smartphone. (I’m assuming you don’t have a Kindle?) Or you can return it within a certain number of hours. If you just got it like yesterday, I think you can get your money back and order the print version.

          It’s never too late to say anything around here. I wasn’t angry about your comments. Just wanted to clarify what was going on, is all.

          Have a good weekend, yourself.

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          • TY!
            I got one of those Kindle thingies. That’s how I read Swamp. But I prefer reading prints.
            Not to worry, my Darkest Place won’t arrive until the 9th. So, I’m looking forward to Hunter.
            Lastly: I don’t do graphic anything. My first, River Spirits, is an awesome country boy versus elite Maryland/Johns Hopkins psychiatrist. I prove that slow-but-burning flirtatious scenes are much more sensual than graphic stuff.
            You’ll figure that out w/Ocala. I love my couple” Travis & Monica.
            Lastly Part II: I have to tell you ahead of time that, in Ocala, Travis’ son–Chase Lee–is my easiest character. He is exactly my oldest son, the USMC Ssgt, with the most bizarre dry sense of humor on this planet. He’s a riot.
            Done. 10-7

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            • IN that case, you really should read Hunter first. I just ordered Ocala Spring, but I’m thinking I should maybe read them in order? I don’t like to miss anything with ongoing characters. But be forewarned, it might take me a while. I’m pretty backed up on my TBR pile. I was planning to take a breather between The Emissary and my next Wake-Robin Ridge book, just to make a dent in my backlog. Sadly, with all the hurricane clean up, etc, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. But I’ll get to them as soon as I can.

              Do you go by Gerald or Gerry? (Just checking so I can quit trying to pronounce glmwriter in my head)

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              • Gerald. I completely understand that you have a Yuge to-do list. No worries. Don’t worry about “order”. My first book did and still worries me because I put too much personal stuff in it. (A long story…) But it was 160K words, and I got it down to 120K, and cut a lot out. My point is that..never mind.
                The reason I checked in: I’m on Ch-5 of Hunter, and I need to go smoke a cigarette! Ha!!!!!!!!!
                I like it so far. Don’t like this bad guy.
                Have a productive weekend. Tell Mark to paint some flowers on the Magic Bus. 🙂

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                • I should have warned you with Hunter, I turned the typical format backwards. Instead of making them struggle through all sorts of obstacles for 2/3 of the book, before they could come together, I let them start off happy. And then I dumped every kind of trouble I could think of, right on top of them. 😯 So, don’t worry. the whole book is not one long love scene. 😀 In fact, you are getting closer and closer to all sorts of drama.

                  Okay, I won’t worry about reading your books out of order. As for Traveling Man, pay close attention to that one. He’s sneaky.

                  Mark is out front sawing up broken boards and filling trashcans full of soggy drywall. I took advantage of the car being home to go get a haircut and run errands. Tomorrow, I’ll do my best to help with the backyard clean up, though the heat gets to me pretty bad. I can usually only work 10 or 15 minutes at a time, when it’s this hot out. I can’t WAIT for cooler weather!

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                • Ditto “cooler weather.” I’ve been doing lots of chainsawing since Irma.

                  Yeah, I got the drama. I got up to 15 before I had to go to work outside. It got to me early, because I can actually identify w/Hunter (decided I would write a book when I was 7 or 8: read 3 or 4 books a week my whole life–while trying to be a tough guy). (And, my mother died of Alzheimer’s. Funny the first year. Not so much the second. A sort of blessing that it only lasted 2 yrs.)

                  Last note: btw I’m not obsessing over Magic Bus, or anything else. Had a friend w/ a VW bus–lots of crazy-good-bad memories. I tried to be a hippie, once. I wasn’t very good at it. But I sure knew how to get into trouble, of every kind I also suddenly found myself to be a IIIA-apprentice (Draft status) at 19y/o. Marine recruiter said “Don’t be stupid. Go home.” Still feel guilty, and I lost a best friend in ’68. (Five from my H.S.).
                  I’ll shut up now. Gotta lot of work today.
                  Out.

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                • It’s raining here today, which I keep thinking might cool things off, but hasn’t so far. Mark had to rig up a siphon from the “sinkhole” on the garage roof caused by a tarp full of water sagging into the big hole. This is a pain!

                  I’m glad the drama touched something in you. I try to create situations that many people can identify with on one level or another. Most of us have been impacted by some of these things, either personally, or via someone we know. Hopefully, most of us can struggle through it with love and support and come out the other side. I know what it’s like to face life as someone who is very emotional and has an enormous sense of empathy. My husband says I cry at K-Mart openings. 🙂

                  I did a very slight edit of your post, Gerald, because as I explain in my blog rules (link right under the header image), the only things I don’t allow discussion of on this blog are religion, politics, and erotica. I do have very strong beliefs on the first two, but there are lots of blogs set up where people can discuss those. This one is about writing and supporting writers. We have friendly chats all the time, but we steer clear of controversial issues here. (I’d like to sell books to everyone, and not just one half of the country or the other. So it’s a selfish thing on my part, perhaps, but it makes for a blog where there’s no real arguing going on. And it’s a good escape from the constant sturm und drang of real life. It’s peaceful here. However, you an always email me privately to talk about other subjects. (Look under Contact, also above). I do like to let off steam, myself, just not here.

                  And I’ll leave the Magic Bus to you and Mark. I’ve never seen the appeal, myself, but I do have fond memories of the 60’s anyway. Especially the music. In those days, I loved to dance! And hey, even today, I can still snap my fingers and nod my head with the best of them. 🙂

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  10. Since it took us nearly a year to recover from a violent hailstorm, I can’t imagine how long it will be take you and other homeowners to recover from Irma. Harvey, Irma, and Maria caused devastation beyond comprehension–not to mention the earthquake in Mexico.

    Prayers and hugs to you, Marcia, and everyone affected by these natural disasters. A heartbreaking past month, for sure…

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    • Thanks so much, Linda. I’m braced for the long haul. I’m just very anxious to get something STARTED. And the big issue is getting the cars out of the garage. State Farm has decided they are sending out someone to look, though of course, all she can see is the right rear quarter panel of the Honda. But I think they just don’t believe me when I tell them it is NOT possible at this point to get to it. Had this happened without a hurricane being involved, we would have had workers out here within a day or two, and the cars would be out.

      Yes, so many people have been horribly impacted by our month of storms that I have no right to complain. But it IS frustrating, since we now only have one functioning vehicle, and it’s one that won’t last long with this much driving being done. *sigh* But we’ll get through it somehow. We are still here, and so is MOST of our home. 😀

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  11. Wow Marsh. What a procedure. But so glad the tree is off! I’m sorry for the state of your home. But thankfully insurance will repair, you are safe, and you are not starving, sick and with no water like Puerto Rico. God bless. ❤

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    • Yep, we were very, very lucky. And once I know that things are actually starting to happen, I’ll probably be able to sleep again. I just need for someone to be in charge of moving forward. Right now, there’s NO ONE. Hopefully, that will change when the adjustor arrives. She’s due in 30 minutes. Yay!! 😀 And thanks! ❤

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        • The adjustor turned out to be merely a photographer who took pictures of everything, said she’d submit it to the company, and left. 😦 I was so disappointed, I cried. We have made an executive decision to start collecting bids from available General Contractors, and if necessary, we will proceed with the lowest bid to at least shore up the attic flooring and allow us to get the cars out of the garage. State Farm (who has been ON this from the day I reported it 3 weeks ago) wants to see the Honda, and we are going to have to proceed on that, with or without an actual adjustor showing up. It could be WEEKS before one does. It isn’t their fault. It’s the circumstances. But we have to get these vehicles OUT, even if nothing else happens for months after that.
          *sigh*

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          • Oh Marsh, I’m so sorry for all the delays, even though expected with so many having damage. You know, the insurance companies should get their shit together when it comes to natural disasters when they become inundated. They should allow people to get their own quotes and start procedures. If I were in charge, I’d make a rule that in the event of disasters, people should obtain 3 quotes and choose the lowest one and present it to insurance along with the bill. That would dave them a lot of time and manpower to investigate so many cases and just pay the damn bill! ❤

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            • I have heard a rumor that my company has waived the need for them to approve hiring a General Contractor to get things started, and Mark and I will be gathering some bids this week. Whether or not we will let them start on things, we haven’t decided yet. But to be fair, they DO tell you to take whatever steps you must to stay safe, and to prevent further property damage, which is why we went ahead and got the tree removed. The gal Friday said she thought there’d be no problem with us removing the garage door and getting Mark’s van out. Nothing heavy is resting on it. But before the Honda can come out, we have to have pros come in with jacks, etc, and shore up that ceiling. So we haven’t decided what we’re going to do about that.

              I do think we are going to have to become a bit more proactive, even if I can’t get confirmation from the company. If the rest of the ceiling comes down and destroys that van, it will be a serious issue. Even in its totally unrestored state, it is worth at least double what the brand new Honda is. So, we’d really like to get it out!

              Because the garage has structural damage, even a General Contractor can’t start on the actual repairs until an Engineer has evaluated the damage (deciding if walls have to be torn down, etc). So, while we might be able to get away with hiring one to help us contain future damage from total ceiling collapse, we still can’t start repairs. *sigh*

              Oh, well. I’m going to work today on my REAL job–telling stories! 😀 I need to update all the back material in my books to show my full list of novels, and I’m adding excerpts at the end of each one, hoping to inspire readers to go ahead and buy the next! 🙂 Maybe that will keep my mind off the mess outside. Mark loaded another ten or fifteen big trash containers yesterday, with both more yard waste (it’s still everywhere) and torn off shingles, broken boards, and other debris. Ack! It’s never-ending. 😯 ❤

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  12. Wow, these photographs are amazing, Marcia. You are so lucky that it was only the garage and not you house. We had a very large palm tree in our garden. It was quite a feature and had been there for years and years. I was anxious about it as it was so old and if it fell it could cause serious damage. I made my husband have it cut down [he didn’t want to as it was a neighbourhood feature] and we discovered that it was completely rotten at the base. It could easily have fallen over in a big storm. I am so glad we had it cut down. Imagine if it fell on someone!

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    • I still have a huge ancient laurel oak on the easement (city property) that they are supposed to take down. Every afternoon thunderstorm, I hold my breath. The good news is that it has lost so many branches over the summer that the canopy is thinned down, reducing weight, AND giving it less of a “sail” effect when winds blow. I’m hoping it lasts until they remove it. If it falls toward us, it will land on my living room. If it falls over the street, it will hit the front porch of the house across the street. So I know exactly how you felt.

      I’m not into cutting down trees, which I love and were my favorite things about this property, but when they reach a certain age, the chances of them coming down increase dramatically, and they are terribly dangerous. We were lucky, indeed, not to be squashed like bugs! As it is, it will be months and months before this is all taken care of, because there are thousands of other homeowners in even worse shape. Finding people to do the work is going to be very hard. Finding the patience to wait might be even harder. 🙂

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  13. OMG Marcia! This is the first time since September 10 that I’ve had a chance to really peruse anything ‘fun’ and I see that you took a really, really bad hit! (Literally!). We’ve been up to our “almost” knees in water – while you got it from the top! (We were just able to sleep in our house on Saturday for the first time since we woke up on the 11th of September. 😦 )

    Sure hope that things will begin to move forward for you. How well I understand the slow. Slow. Slow process. Just yesterday an adjuster came by to assess damages – most all of ours was flooding – of course, since we do not live in a ‘flood plain’, none of that is covered. UGH. Anyway, I sure hope you can relax a bit now, knowing that you can at least begin to get some bids.

    Irma was a very, very nasty Icky Irma.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to hear from you, Beth! I’m so sorry you guys got water in your home! While we were hit hard, it was all pretty much contained to the garage, so we never had to leave the house. I’ve kept a “blog journal” of damages and repairs, so there are plenty of pictures of inside the garage, where our cars were pinned under the fallen roof for over a month. Clean up, etc. So when you have time to browse, you can take a look at what we discovered AFTER the tree was taken off the house. (The mountain of logs just got picked up a couple of days ago.)

      Believe me, my heart goes out to you. Water is so destructive, and can ruin your belongings. And mold becomes an issue. We had that in the garage, on the things that fell out of our attic. But not to the extent we would have with water inside the house. I’m sending you loads of love and positive energy and prayers! Keep me posted on how you are doing!! 🙂 ❤

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