Our neighbors were flooding the phone lines at the restaurant.

“You need to come home,” one said. “It was so loud, we turned off the TV and looked outside to figure out what the noise was!”

By the third phone call, I was already out the door headed home.

Whitey was golfing, so I sent a quick text asking him to meet me at our house. It was 5:30 on a Friday night.

Somehow I erased the photos on my cell phone of what I witnessed when I drove up to the house. Our enormous tree in the front yard, for no apparent reason, had a huge limb snap off and land on our house. The limb was the size of most of the other trees on our property, and was completely blocking the steps to our porch and front door. It was as if our house was camouflaged.

I ducked under the branches of the monstrosity, and made a path through the limbs to get up onto the porch. It was a sight to see.

It seemed that the only damage done to the house was cosmetic, and the neighbors all came out to take photos and suggest which tree company to call to remove the debris.

And then I got the text from one of our kitchen guys: Don’t call a tree service. They’ll charge you a thousand bucks. We can do it.

Whitey was completely against it. But I thought about it for a while. These guys aren’t city folk. They actually own chainsaws, buck hay, work for a living. They’re not idiots.

The next morning, five healthy young men were at my house, geared up and ready for work.

They designed a pulley to tie off the remaining limb (which weighed a ton!) so that it wouldn’t crash down onto the roof, and possibly create more damage or worse, roll down and smash one of them.

The whole operation took about an hour, and the clean up was gnarly. Yet, they stayed to help load up the trucks with the debris, and made multiple trips to the dump to get the job done as I left for work.

These are not just employees. They’re my family.


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