Miracle Trees: The Storm

Somehow Mom had managed to sleep, but I slept very little. In the morning, we had to navigate the basement stairs by flashlight because the power was out. Before venturing outside, I glanced out the windows checking for hazards.

The yard was littered with small limbs and lots of leaves. The porch swing hung at an odd twisted angle; one of the chains had snapped. A few of the planters that I had convinced Mom to buy were on their sides.

Damp air and the sound of distant chainsaws greeted me as I stepped outside. As I sat the planters upright, I noticed they were unscathed, but the plants took a beating. If Mom sees the damage, we’ll be making another trip to Olsen’s Greenhouse.

Then I noticed the windows of my SUV, or the lack of the driver and front passenger ones. The front seats were soaked, covered in bits of glass and leaves. The body had hail damage on the hood and roof. Wonder how much insurance will cover?

Twigs and soggy leaves littered the street. Trash cans were tipped over and their contents strewn about. The neighbor’s large shade tree was now lying partially in the street, the rest on the owner’s car.

“Oh, my.” Mom exclaimed from the porch. She was looking at the swing. I watched as she scanned the area, pausing when she came to the SUV. “Oh, Mikey. Your car is ruined. You need me to call a truck?”

“It looks bad, but should be drivable. I’ll send some pictures off to the insurance company and then take it over to Jansen’s.” She nodded and disappeared into the house.

Hopefully, Jansen’s Repair Shop hadn’t already been overrun with damaged vehicles. They had always been good to Mom when she would bring the old Buick in for any odd little noise. Most times it was just something rattling in the glove compartment.

While I was taking pictures, Mom had retrieved an old plastic shower liner and held it out towards me. “So, you don’t get wet.” I started to ask why she even had the thing, but thought better of it.

As I tucked the shower curtain around the driver’s seat, my phone slipped from my shirt pocket. It disappeared into the crevice between the console and the passenger seat. Cursing the vehicle’s designer, I groped around until I could pinch a corner of the phone. As I pulled it out, a tiny, translucent container tumbled to the floor. It contained an SD card.

My head pounded and stomach sank. I had it all along and didn’t know it.

“Mikey, you didn’t drown in there did you?” Mom shouted from the porch.

I palmed the SD card and slid it into my jeans pocket as I stood up. “I’m fine. Just dropped my phone.” My mind raced with questions and pulse quickened. I could mull what to do during the drive to the repair shop.

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