Wednesday, March 7, 2007

And It All Came Tumbing Down

We were sure glad to see these guys on Saturday:

Four men, a sky bucket, a backhoe, and three days is what it took to get the oak tree off the house and into the yard. I will most likely drop dead of a heart attack when they present the bill.

While they were here, they got a bird's eye view of the tornado path. I really wanted to go for a ride on their big toy, but I'm not feeling lucky right now. This guy is 45 feet above the ground, checking out the trees inside the house:

Although it's kind of difficult to see, one massive limb was wedged in the porch roof and between the foundation and the front of the house. The head tree guy came over and told me they were fixing to try to cut part of that limb out. Our contractor (who will probably be a millionaire and retire after he puts THIS jigsaw puzzle back together) told him to wait a sec. Then he asked me if I understood what the tree guy was telling me.

It turns out that I didn't understand at all. He was warning me to move back (I was already on the sidewalk near the road) and warning me that things might collapse. I'm thinking yeah, the tree will collapse and bounce out into the yard. I was mainly concerned about these, the original stained glass windows around the front door.

THEY were concerned that the entire FRONT of the house--all 3 stories--was going to peel off and collapse because the foundation is shattered to smithereens and the TREE was holding the house up.

I decided to go sit on the back porch.

They cut it off the porch and yanked it out of there. Several windows broke on the first and second floor, including one piece of a stained glass window. I was starting to feel lucky, until I went upstairs. That's when I saw what had happened to the sewing room. The outside walls have begun to sort of fold up, and you can see the great outdoors between the base molding and the wood floors. There is also water damage to the ceiling, a hole punched into the ceiling of the bedroom next door (along with water damage) and water damage down one entire wall of yet another bedroom.

The upstairs landing runs the entire length of the house, and the front part is cantilevered out over the front porch. Well, the crown molding has now actually split in the front part of the landing, and the cantilevered wall is bowed toward the inside. So now we have major damage to four rooms, walls, and ceilings on the second floor. And we're talking about 8 inch wide crown molding. The kind they don't sell at Home Depot.The third floor playroom, or what's left of it, will have to be torn apart to repair the roof damage.

This is Wiley the Wildcat, who was supposed to be keeping an eye on the playroom. Instead, he's been climbing up and down the tree limb. He just LOOKS innocent.

This depressing story gets even worser, if you can believe it. In the downstairs study, the ceiling fan is now hanging out of the ceiling. The crown molding has detached itself and is just hanging on. All these problems are due to the fact that NOTHING is holding up the front end of the house at this point.

I'm happy no one was playing in this room:

But I am happy about this. Here's the Blue-Eyed Bombshell, wearing the bodice of Corn Field. It fits! This is how she looks when she's excited!

My husband, Mr. Locked and Loaded, went back to work on Monday, leaving me home to watch the house fall down. But I was well-armed against the looters. I spent two days weilding a vacuum cleaner. You would be amazed at the amount of soot and grime that was knocked out of the chimneys and into the first floor when that tree whomped the house upside the head. Absolutely everything is covered in it. After two days of nerve-wracking-watching-them-tear-the-REST-of-the-house-apart, I went back to school today.

It was a relief.

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