Saturday, September 11, 2004


A Tree Grew in Georgia
by Janice Price

Two years ago the large oak tree in front of my house dropped a load of large branches on a passing car. Just a short time before, after a thunderstorm, I was picking up branches in the same area. I wrote to the city manager, hopeful the city would cut down the tree. Within two days a city crew arrived to trim it.

Three weeks ago a city crew arrived unexpectedly to cut it down. I was so relieved to see the tree removed I didn’t mind the numerous trucks on the lawn or the tractor tire gouging a piece of turf. The stump revealed a gaping hole in the center. It looked like a barbecue pit with the rotting wood crumbling to the touch.

The other day hurricane Frances brought heavy rain and high winds to middle Georgia. Tree limbs falling on electric wires caused frequent booms, like small explosions. One was so close I toured the house in the dark, checking outside each door and window for signs of a fire. Soon the booms stopped as the electricity went out overnight.

After a sleepless night, the alarm radio played static. The local radio station was off the air. I cleaned up my yard and a neighbor’s. I piled the debris on the curb nearest the largest limb from their pecan tree.

Yesterday I grew concerned about Iris’ phone being busy for two straight days. I walked to the end of the block and was shocked to see a city crew cutting up a tree that had fallen on a corner house, directly over the bed where Jane lay. Jane was probably alive because the oak was partly supported by a smaller tree beside the house. Three other trees had fallen within three blocks and one had cut off power and phone service to Iris’ home. She was at the hospital being treated for injuries from a fall at a relative’s house, where she and her husband stayed, waiting for their electricity to be restored.

I walked the dog under huge oaks, dodging strewn branches. We passed a house partly crushed under a massive tree. Signs of storm damage were everywhere. This corner fared well.

I have been thanking God for the timely removal of my oak tree, or it could have blown over onto the house or a passing car.

The damage in this area was light compared to Florida and southern Georgia. Disaster funds of agencies assisting the victims and evacuees are being taxed. Emergency personnel are exhausted and another storm is heading for Florida.

Pray for all those whose lives, like the mighty oak trees, have been uprooted.

© 2005 Janice Price

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