Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Bright Side

Sunrise on the Rappahannock

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it
the seed of an equal or greater benefit.
~Napoleon Hill
 Last night I learned that the tornado that went through Deltaville was classified as an F2 tornado.  If you factor in emotional devastation along with the physical devastation, it's more like an F150 (I know the Fujita Scale only goes to 5).
The following diagram shows the path of the tornado and the areas with damage.  The area with all the overlapping red dots surrounded by all the overlapping yellow dots is Jackson Acres.  That's where our house is.
Today we learn if our house will be salvageable or if it will be condemned.  According to another adjuster who was discussing a separate matter with my father (we currently have someone's boat in our field and the adjuster was there for that particular claim), modular homes typically end up being condemned when sustaining the damage our house sustained because they can't take certain stress like a stick built dwelling.

So why did I title this post the bright side?  Because despite everything we've lost (and seriously, there's a lot for me to cry about), there's a lot to gain.  A new house would mean less work for my dad.  There wouldn't be a need for the repairing and repainting and reflooring of the house that is currently there.  In fact, the weekend before the tornado, we were in Deltaville and we were all talking about the things needed to be done around the house.  My father commented he wished they had looked around more for a little better place.  Well, now perhaps we can.

And if the house stays, that's great too.  We already know the decks all have to be replaced.  Normally that would suck, but we've talked for years how we wished we had made the back deck bigger to wrap around to the side door.  Now we have that option. 

The shed is gone.  Dad wanted a new one.  Now the insurance will be buying us one (now if we can only keep it organized and spider free we'll be good).  Sweet!

We've lost pretty much all of our trees.  The ones that are still standing have the top half broken off so they have to come down too.  I am trying not to think about the trees as they were very large and very old and very much a part of our place (I'm a tree hugger- the loss of the trees upsets me).  Still, there is a bright side to that as well.  The last weekend we were there, my dad and I were discussing growing grass.  Not that kind of grass, the kind for a lush green lawn.  I told him that unless we remove trees we won't ever have a nice lawn because there's too much shade and also because the trees pull all available moisture from the ground during dry times thereby killing the grass.  Well, now we have full sun and can grow a nice green lawn.  And with the amount of firewood we now have, we will be able to have bonfires for life.  In fact, my great-great-great grandchildren will be using the wood for bonfires.  And I love a good bonfire.

So, despite all that we've lost, we have so much to gain. 


  1. I'm so sad and sorry for all you've been through, and what's left to deal with. I'm praying for that rainbow at the end..

  2. It's absolutely amazing to comprehend the whole thing, but as you say there is a bright side to it all. For one thing, the fact that you all were there just the weekend before..had your plans changed by a week you would have been right there when it all happened. Incredible.

    I feel your pain with the trees. We lost one in the last hurricane and it broke my heart. It was my favorite. And the old, nasty locust tree that I curse still stands.

  3. I want to hug you so tight. I love that you are seeing (whatever there is) to a bright side .. I am by nature a fatalist, I really dont believe in coincidence ... again and again I think how amazing it was you (and family) were not there, that despite all that happened you still have a place to put back together (if you want). And my heart aches for those trees and your neighbors who didnt fare as well ..

  4. Thanks guys :) I just spoke with my mom about a birdhouse made from a coffee pot that my grandparents made. I expected it to be gone but the birdhouse and the tree it's on are fine. Crazy but very good news. It's the little things I guess. And CBW I have a story about a tree I curse. I'm waiting for photos from my mom to blog about it...

  5. Glad you are holding up Jamie. Hang in there. There really is a bright side to everything. Keeping you all in my prayers.

  6. I'm so happy that you are so positive in the face of what could be such a negative thing. :)

  7. Still praying as your community comes together for it's renewal.