Sunday, September 19, 2004

a little rain, and the occasional tree, must fall

Sunday morning, sleeping in.

Sudden loud sound, that lasts for something like five long seconds: spheezzzht-craaacht (kind of like those ground fireworks that hiss, sizzle and spin like crazy, until finally ending their dervish dance with a sharp crack). I roll to the edge of the bed, and 7:58AM stares back at me from the LCD on the Sony.

...and jump as startled Wife, also awakening but with a sharp"What's that?" opens the blinds.

I dunno, and I can't see anything unusual through the dense screen of magnolia leaves outside our second story apartment window.

So I head for the office-bedroom, and peer blearily out the window over the apartment parking lot ...looking for ...well, what? Smoke maybe? Left-over wisps from the "fireworks" I'm more-then-half expecting? A straggler or two from the latest batch of new Sac State freshman perps, on an early Sunday morning romp?

But. No one in sight, now ...and as nothing appears to be out of the ordinary, I chalk it up to some kid thing, forever to remain a mystery.

Back to bed? Nah. No point; might as well get on with the day.

Fast forward, an hour later. Coffee (Cuisinart Grind-and-Brew fresh) and waffles (bananas in home-made batter) consumed in front of the two PCs while reading the Sunday morning online news & blogs. Kerry this-n-that stuff. Rathergate frenzy doesn't appear to be settling down yet. Steyn, Drudge, Dave Barry, and Dilbert. Opinion Journal, and NRO. The Middle East (JP), the Pacific (Mainichi), and the UK (the Economist). The usual Sunday morning wake up. I post a comment to a piece on Captain's Quarters, and sip a last cuppa.

Okay, time to gather up the plates and clatter down the hall to the too-small apartment kitchen for clean-up duty. Suddenly Wife shouts "Come here. LOOK AT THIS!"

I hurry back to her side, and peer out the office-bedroom window to where she's pointing.

Now. Just how-in-'ell could I have missed a HUGE, 30 foot long piece of side-trunk tree laying across three cars and an SUV? Sheesh. I guess I was more bleary-eyed then I thought? - Or maybe I was focusing too much on what I was looking for, blind to other possibilities. "Smell the roses" indeed. least the mystery of the early morning wake-up sound is solved.

Right. Down the stairs for a closer look.

It's a sucker "branch" that was just hanging on, for probably 25 years; it's huge. A side-trunk, really. More than a foot in diameter at the base of the break.

Uh-oh. From the dark-streak look of the main trunk, I'd guess another couple of side "branches" are going to go sooner then later.

Hmm. Not much real damage though.
  • The SUV has a fiberglass top that is merely flexed a bit, the roll bar inside seeming to be successfully supporting most of weight of the fall.

  • There's so many large thick branches going every which way ...but the little red import sporty job next to the SUV has some deep scratches and a slightly dented hood. The roof seems to have escaped major damage though, thanks to the tall SUV.

  • The next car over might have some minor damage to the paint on the roof, but otherwise it seems okay too.

  • The last car (my downstairs neighbor's) should be able to just drive away, through the thinning foliage. She'll be happy, considering ...I don't think it was even scratched.

The downed side-trunk becomes the morning sensation for the complex; I trot off to leave a note on the manager's door. (She's off Sun/Mon; her car's gone and the upstairs neighbor says she's at her daughter's. The handyman is still on vacation, and I have no idea of the alternate's number.)

I look over at the morning surprise one last time, as I head up the stairs to my weekend "project" (a custom wall rack system for the myriad bicycles - Wife and I are avid cyclists - that have come to completely dominate what could only euphemistically be called the "living room" at this point).

...and I offer up a silent prayer of thanks that the side-trunk fell north, instead of south. South ...where my aged-but-beloved Mazda B2200 pickup - The Camping Truck - is parked in its usual place, under the spreading branches on the good side, right next to the half-fallen tree.

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