Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there. ~ Philip Brooks
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ Anonymous
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
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IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE
We heard the roar from our office. We couldn’t figure out what it was. We could see dark clouds a little to the north of us, but from where I was sitting, the ground was dry and the wind was light. Little did we know that, less than a kilometer north of us, Mother Nature was having a temper tantrum.
As I turned the corner onto our street, I saw neighbours out surveying the damage. Broken tree branches littered the street, and people were trying their best to clear them so that cars driving by wouldn’t be damaged. I pulled into the ally and without even seeing my house yet, I knew I wouldn’t be happy.
The first thing I noticed was the busted windows on my garage. A section of the fence was definitely at the point of being beyond repair. The top of our willow tree was now missing and I mumbled to myself, “I was going to prune that dang thing anyway!” Every piece of lawn furniture, every lawn or garden ornament, every flower pot... all busted up.
As I surveyed the damage to my siding and roof, I was angry and frustrated. We had just had everything redone a few years ago. I remember the turmoil of taking time away from work to accommodate various trades people. I remember the constant mess over several weeks of pounding nails, repainting trims and clearing waste. I was not looking forward to repeating the process.
One of the first things you do when disaster hits, is call your insurance company. I tried for about an hour and a half to no avail. Not the insurance company’s fault, you understand, they were probably overwhelmed with calls, but that didn’t make me any less frustrated. I gave up and decided to start cleaning up.
We have a dog, so my first instinct was to tackle all of the broken glass. I must have spent well over an hour picking out every little shard I could find. Next, I started piling up broken lawn furniture and ornaments. I placed it all near the back gate, knowing that I would probably have to make a run to the dump on the weekend. That’s when I looked up and saw the second wave of hail coming. I remember thinking to myself, “Crap!! I haven’t even finished cleaning up after the first one and Mother Nature wants to go a second round.”
I hate to admit it, but at this point, I was feeling sorry for myself. I knew most of my neighbours were facing the same challenges, but that didn’t make my challenges any more palatable. I resided inside the house for the rest of the evening, telling myself that tomorrow is another day.
While watching the eleven o’clock news, the weatherman is telling us to brace for a third wave of hail. Within fifteen minutes, his prediction comes true and they show live footage from Airdrie. They show a few interviews from some local residents taken earlier in the evening. One gentleman told the news reporter, “It’s bad, but it could have been worse.” That’s what I needed to hear to bring me out of my angry funk.
Your car may have been banged up, windshield cracked, and interior soaking wet, but it could be worse. Some people don’t have a car.
Our houses may have broken windows, holes in the siding, and shingles missing from our roofs, but it could be worse. Some people don’t have a home.
Insurance will cover most losses, but we all know that we will be out-of-pocket via incidentals and deductibles. But it could be worse. Some people can’t afford insurance.
We need look no further than the carcasses on the ground of the odd dead crow or pigeon killed by the hail to think to ourselves, “It could have been worse. At least my family and pets were able to get inside where it was safe.”
Makes a guy wonder sometimes if our Maker is trying to remind us of what we should be thankful for. I have to admit, I take most things for granted on a day-to-day basis. Nothing will make a guy more thankful for what he has, than the threat of losing it. Sometimes we have to suffer small losses to truly appreciate what we have left. As we work together to clean everything up, just remember, folks… it could have been worse.