Yesterday my husband was on his way to play at a wedding in Bristol, RI. Barbara, the flute player, was driving.
As they drove through Warren, the town you go through on the way to Bristol, Bill heard a loud crack and saw a tree – a whole tree – start to topple over from the other side of the street, just up ahead. He had time to yell "Tree!" and Barbara slammed on the brakes, and the entire tree (it cracked at the base of the trunk) fell straight across the road and crashed down on the hood of the car they were in.
The car was severely injured.
Amazingly, fortunately, thankgodfully, Bill and Barbara were not.
The police gave them a ride to the wedding, where they played the ceremony as scheduled.
I had been at the kids' swim class and just happened to check my cell phone – the phone was on vibrate, but I wouldn't have heard it ring in there anyway – it's so loud. I saw there was a message left a few minutes ago from Bill, and I listened to it and called him back and at that point they were still waiting for their ride to the wedding, so I said as soon as the kids were done I'd switch vehicles and come get them.
I mostly just wanted to yank the kids out of the water and go, but there was really no need, so I sat and watched them distractedly.
Then we zipped home, got into the truck (which has more room in between the two booster seats than my car does) and headed east.
If they'd sped up instead of slamming on the brakes, the tree might have landed on their heads.
I kept trying not to picture that scenario.
I finally reached the spot where Bill was waiting for me. Barbara's husband was coming to get her, so once Bill got in the car we headed home.
We drove by the spot where the tree had been. There was a pickup truck and a couple guys sawing up the last of the trunk, but you could see the jagged part where the tree just split and toppled over. And we could see the diseased and hollow inside of the trunk. It was inevitable that the tree would fall at some point.
Anyway, we got home and had pizza and chips and guacamole, and Joe came over and Bill put the last coat of polyurethane down and Joe saw how it was done, and then we packed up and headed to Joe's house for our last night of exile from the house.
Today we are home.
And we're all here.
And I am very, very grateful.
Today we bring all the pets home. And we're also going fishing. Running errands. Getting dropcloths and paint. Ziploc bags so I can freeze the chicken stock I made the other day.
Normal, everyday, unexciting stuff.
Which is good.