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Being thankful

Posted by Rona Fischman November 22, 2011 02:06 PM

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On Saturday, I was house-hunting with some clients in a suburb of Boston. It was an area that experienced power outages and major tree damage in both Hurricane Irene and the Halloween snowstorm.

In a small development, we rounded a corner to see a large tree. Its trunk was about 30” in diameter and would have stood about 40 feet, if it was standing. It was roughly horizontal. It spanned across the front yard, with branches about a foot from the front door. Out of my mouth came, “Wow! They were lucky.”

I was humbled by the power that could take down a tree of that age and size. It made the house behind it look small and vulnerable. My clients and I talked about it, briefly, as we left the house we viewed on that block.

The people who live in that house were lucky that the tree missed their house. Had the tree fallen on the house, people could have been hurt. The house could have sustained major damage. But, were they really lucky?

Why is the tree still there, blocking the front door, three weeks after the storm?
We had some ideas:

The tree removal crews are so backed up that they are practicing triage – removing tree limbs that are most in the way first. This tree is only in the way of the people in this house, so it doesn’t make the priority list.

Maybe the people in this house don’t have the money to pay a tree removal company? They are going to have to save up to hire the crew.

During the big storms this year, did you have problems like fallen trees, flooded basements, damaged septic systems, leaking roofs, or loss of electricity (and heat)?

Did you feel lucky or unlucky about what happened to your house and family? Do you have the attitude of “it could have been worse” or did you experience as bad as you can tolerate?

This is my last entry before Thanksgiving, since Attorney Vetstein is up on Wednesday. My house sustained about $1000 worth of chimney damage from Irene. The area where I grew up and the areas where several of my family members live were evacuated because of flooding in August. My nephew moved in during pouring rain. In October, my elderly aunt was without power and she is still without phone.

It could have been much worse. I am in awe of the power of Nature. I am thankful and feel lucky that no one in my family was hurt in either storm.

Happy Thanksgiving. What happened to you this year in the storms? What are you thankful for?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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