Sunday, July 19, 2009

Injured Dignity

I'm just not even sure where to begin...there was this tree, a humongous tree in our back yard. The tree was actually the biggest part of our back yard with it's roots snaking out in every direction and its leaves providing shade for over three quarters of the yard and the house. Unfortunately, the roots were also sneaking into our sewer pipes and clogging them up and the leaves were falling prettily into our gutters and causing trouble there as well. After six years of debating the situation, we finally decided to have the tree cut down.

After receiving many estimates, we chose the tree service that gave us a great bid and that came very highly recommended by a friend in the lumber business. This job would prove to be a bit complicated we learned, when the "tree cutter guy" told us that the electric to our home AND our neighbor's home would have to be turned off for the better part of the BIG day.

On the BIG day, the man from the power company appeared at 7:30 am (Not a typo, really seven thirty in the morning--waaaayyy before my curling iron is awake). Kate met the electrician at the door and attached herself to him until Darrin could escort him to the backyard where the "unhooking" would begin. After a rather...well...colorful conversation (on the electric guy's half anyway) Darrin yelled into the house to see if we were ready to be without power.

"Sure," I lied sweetly. Really, who is ever ready to be without power? Without air conditioning, without Fox & Friends, without THE COFFEEMAKER? Power off, the man from the power company with the colorful vocabulary told us good bye and then adds over his shoulder while casting a glance at Kate, "She never shuts up does she?" I wasn't sure what to do with that one. I couldn't argue with him on the merits of his statement, I could have given him a verse of "if you can't say anything nice...", instead I decided to tamper with his ladder when he returned to turn the electric back on. (After he'd restored the power of course.)

As the electrician exited, the tree guys arrived and worked quickly and diligently until an ugly storm unloaded and halted work for the day. Approximately one-third of the tree had been felled (tree talk- for cut down) and a second BIG day was scheduled and rescheduled for the next month. The electric guy returned and restored power, and I was so grateful that I decided not to bother his ladder.

BIG day number two dawned without the threat of rain for which we were grateful to God and a different electric guy appeared this time, for which we were grateful to the power company.

Did I mention that BIG day number two happened to be on the same day as day number FIVE of vacation bible school? Oh, and speaking of five, did I also mention that I had five kiddos in my care on this electric-less day?

My niece Sophie is a regular at the Wright Place for VBS every year. It is a cherished tradition for us and, so I hear, for Sophie. I have yet to understand what the draw is for her as each year, some sort of catastrophe befalls us and I end up being the Wicked Witch of the Stressed Out North and the children suffer, even the borrowed ones! Last year had been just awful being 11 months pregnant, having electrical issues, plumbing issues, and air conditioning issues--you get the picture. This year was a welcomed change, what a smooth week it had been. Hakuna matata as it were. So really, what was a little lull in power to me--it was for a good cause and all. . .

"Gretch, you ready for the power to go off?" yelled my Man.
"Sure," I lied though less sweetly this time.
Off went the power on went the chain saws, and down the street went a minivan filled to capacity to drop Cole at the bus stop for day camp. After running a few more errands the remaining children and I decided to stop back by the house to gather library books and videos to return. Leaving the children parked out front, I ran into the house to retrieve the overdue DVD from the DVD player. As I reached the front door Darrin called to me,
"Don't go into our bedroom. They've broken the window and there's glass all over the place."

"Super," I thought, "that ancient window needs replacing anyway." I continued my trek into the house and was just about to press the "open" button on the DVD player when my Man called to me again.

"Gretchen! Grab the first aid kit. One of the tree guys fell and has messed his arm up a bit. It probably needs some peroxide and a bandage."

Peroxide and a bandage huh? Armed with our amazingly well supplied first aid kit and met the injured man on the back porch. His arm was pretty scratched and bloodied and I began to clean it up and was dabbing peroxide when he said,

"I'm getting a little dizz..." At the same time the poor guy was passing out, Meg and Kate were rounding the corner, having exited the car to come and see what had become of their AWOL chauffeur. When he came to the young man was pretty stiff and sore and reported that he'd been carried by a large limb from one level of our hilly back yard to the much lower level of the concrete patio, and en route hit the basketball goal with his head and back. We finished wrapping his arm and gave him some ice for his neck and back and some sweet tea for his trouble.

As work continued on the tree, I thought I'd make another run at the DVD player. I reached it without incident and hit the open button only to realize that I was powerless for the day, that the DVD was captive, and that library fines were inevitable. Forgetting the library trip for the day, I unloaded the kids from the van and checked on the injured tree guy who was struggling with the ice on his neck. I took him a bag of frozen corn, hoping he wouldn't think I was crazy.
"Just like my mom," he said, causing me to age no less than 15 years. After leaving the porch, I stopped by the bathroom, applied some make-up and did the math. I was not quite old enough to be his mom, but it was way close.

When I stepped outside to see what Darrin wanted me to do about lunch, I heard a limb hit the ground, however the sound was different than the thump that we were getting used to hearing. What I heard turned out to be the sound of a large limb taking out Cole's basketball goal in its entirety. Looking up the hill to my Man, I saw that he, like me was grinning. You just had to feel bad for the "tree boss" who was all of 23 years old but, as you would imagine, was aging quickly. Along with the basketball goal, the same branch also split a small bit of fence that separated our yard from our neighbor's.

On the lunch break the "tree boss" shared with us that this had indeed been one of "those days" which had begun with a lost debit card and would now include an injured worker, a broken window, a downed basketball goal, and a broken fence. "In my six years at this, the worst I've ever done was to bend a metal fence a little," he said in disbelief, "and all this."

Poor guy. Finally, tree conquered, they loaded their tired selves into their trucks, promising to return in two days to load all the wood and finish the clean up. We loaded up our crew as well and headed to the final episode of VBS. At the end of the evening many inquiries were made of us about our day because, during prayer request time in their classes, our four wide-eyed little witnesses had asked for prayer for the injured tree guy who had gotten hurt at our home today.

The young man who had the bad fall is reported to have recovered and is doing well. The aging tree boss will be doing better soon I'm sure. I read a phrase in a book the other day that made me think of the poor guy. A character in the book had fallen and said that she was all right except for her "injured dignity". Injured dignity--that's what the poor tree boss was experiencing, but fear not, he'll be better soon because Kate has prayed for him every night for the last six nights and doesn't seem to be preparing to stop any time soon.


aunt suz said...

what a good blog but lacked a little of the most exciting part...kate telling me the tree man had a surgery because of the tree. the picts are great esp the last one...You should keep this verse in mind for times like these and most of your life...2Corin. 4:17. love mom

Anonymous said...

LOL ... Another uneventful VBS at the Wright home! LOL Lori

Jana Vee said...

Absolutely love the last picture, maybe you should get into photography as well ... As for the electric man with the colorful language, you are a far better person than I ... he would have been told very quickly that we do not use that kind of language in my home around my children ... The Lord is still working with me on knowing when to keep quiet, so far He still has His job cut out for Him ... lol

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