Monday, December 29, 2008

And Here I Thought That When the Snow Melted We'd Be Golden

All that's left of our snowman is a little handful of white on our green lawn.  The temperatures have been in the 40s and I can get the car out of our driveway. It may seem like not much, but to me? It's heaven.

I had big plans today.  I had big plans to get out and maybe go to the yarn store and touch all the yummy fibers.  I was going to go to the market and get some crackers so that I'd have some snacks to offer my aunt and uncle and cousin when they stop by after some post-Christmas shopping downtown Seattle.

During the morning nap, I exercised and showered.  I know.  That's already a full day.  But I'm telling you, I had big plans.  No time to waste!

And then on this Wicked Blustery Day, my plans came crashing down on my head.  Almost literally.  Except it wasn't my plans.  And not exactly on my head.  But close.

After I put Lucy down for her "afternoon" nap (if it can be called that at 11:15am) and was starting to straighten up the house (for guests, people.  I don't straighten.  You should know that by now.) I heard a sickening crack and WHUMP and BOOM AND CRASH.

A dead tree from outside of our fence blew over and broke in the big gusts of wind and blew right into our busy arterial and hit a van driving by and crashed it.

I called 911 not knowing if the person in the van was hurt or anything, and that was almost 2 hours ago.  I still haven't had a cop show up.  The Seattle PI was here, though, taking photos within minutes.

Some of the neighbors and some passing drivers and I pulled some of the bigger branches over to the side of the road so that one lane of the arterial was passable.  

Ok, now.  Imagine you are me.  Meek, mild mannered Lizzie worried to death that someone was hurt by a tree falling down basically in my yard and not knowing if we're responsible because that falls under basic upkeep principles by the city or if it's the city's business.  My first words were "Oh my goodness."  In a sad sort of voice.  

And then imagine the guy driving the van that got crashed being mad and worked up and full of adrenaline and not sure who's responsible and who's going to pay for his damage.  And his first words were "Do you live here?" In a very angry menacing sort of voice.  

My first reaction, I wanted to tell him that I didn't and that I was just walking by.  But instead, I asked him if he was alright and told him that I had called 911.  He felt he had to make it very clear in no uncertain terms that he was not happy with the situation.  So, my heart pounding, I went and hid inside and called my husband.  

I waited a while, and went back out when I thought the cops had come, but it was just parking police coming to direct traffic around the tree.  But the guy with the van was nicer, and I gave him my number in case he needed a witness for the insurance claim.

But I'm still waiting for the police to see if it's our (or our landord's) responsibility to get someone to remove the tree and whatnot.  I guess I'll just forget about it until someone tells me differently.

But OH!  the stress and anxiety of it all!  I'm exhausted.  


Carrie said...

Oh my goodness! I'm glad that van-man is okay- how completely scary!

KAO kid said...

This is not your problem, barring any quirky local laws/statutes/ordinances that would say otherwise.
The property line will determine who is responsible for the tree. Generally speaking, this would be something the city should take care of, unless the tree was within the property line or has been a known nuisance in the past (and within the property line). The city actually owns the sidewalks and trees that line them in most jurisdictions, and is responsible for their maintenance; I will check for your area if I have time, but basically, its a freak thing that the city will likely deal with and you can wash your hands of immediately.
Love you!!!!

Kate P said...

Man, you went from staring contests to big scary tree things happening. Hope the rest of the week is. . . uneventful?

Lindsay said...

Would this be one of those things that many years from now you will look back at and laugh at?

Glad everyone is ok. I just saw the stocking you made Mighty Maggie's baby and it is AWESOME! You rock.

Anonymous said...

Remember when you were bored silly that first winter in Seattle????
You sure have a full life now!!!!

Grandpa mike