Once you venture outside the Pacific NW, it really becomes apparent how green it is here. I travelled to Arizona last year and was amazed by the flat, brownness of it all.
Bellevue has an abundance of green, lots of which is in the form of towering pine trees. Providing cool shade in the summer and “Christmas tree smell” in the winter, the tall evergreens make a beautiful backdrop for life on the East side. But we sometimes pay a price for that beauty when storms roll in.
My house is surrounded by tall trees, most of which are not on my property. Our emergency plan includes packing the family up and staying at a nearby pet-friendly motel if wind speeds reach 40 mph or above. When the big storm blew in last month, we had the opportunity to act on our emergency plan. Even though I had just had sinus surgery that morning, we got ourselves and the pups together and left. While the winds howled and the rain fell, we cozied up in our little room, wondering what was happening at home.
The next morning, our friendly neighbor across the cul de sac called to break the news: two trees fell on our property. One tree landed next to the house, the other landed right on top of it. A branch came through in the kitchen, one exploded the glass out of a skylight in the hallway, and the roof was battered underneath the tree.
When we got home, we found a couple of our wonderful neighbors on our roof, tarping and fixing things so that water wouldn’t get in. The site of a gigantic pine tree resting on our house, branches poking in, gave me chills.
We weren’t the only ones dealing with fallen trees–it seemed that at least one quarter to one third of the homes in our neighborhood had also been affected. Horizontal trees were everywhere, resting on houses and blocking streets. It was scary but we were thankful that no one was hurt (and that we weren’t home when it happened!).
Whether it’s clearing out pine needles from the gutters or evacuating during potent storms, life amidst the trees definitely has its ups and downs.