And I'm not talking about my husband.
Yesterday morning at work, the wind was so bad that the power flickered on and off for a couple of hours. I eventually told the people in the front office to just turn off their computers for a bit.
The wind whipped around the building, and you felt like a tree was about to come through the window. That's the thing - there aren't really any trees around the building.
The metal and brick building creaked and creaked.
I got an email from a fellow Board member in my neighborhood. It was sent from her Blackberry, so the grammar and spelling wasn't exactly perfect, but it amounted to: "The neighborhood looks like a freakin' war zone. Shingles and siding everywhere."
I live in a townhouse subdivision, and because I'm an end unit with no barrier of other homes around me, I knew I'd be one to suffer.
I cut work at 10:45am, after the wind had died down, to assess the damage.
After taking a few detours, I finally found that there was a bunch of shingles off my roof, and my beautiful terra cotta windchimes that had withstood hurricane winds before, were shattered and in pieces at my front door. A leland cyprus chillin' by my front door is now at a 30 degree angle.
I called my insurance company, and the secretary gave me the name and number of her husband's company. She suggested that if the damage was less than my deductible, I may not have to worry about submitting a claim. I liked the way she thought.
I called her husband, who said he could come out first thing the next morning. There was no plywood showing, so I figured I was safe.
I drove back to work, thinking, "how the in the world am I going to pay for this?!"
We were saving for a house, and it just seemed that things kept getting more expensive, even while our income stayed the same. Groceries, gas, day-to-day stuff.
I emailed the neighborhood as a courtesy, attaching files listing each unit's siding color and roof color, should they need to replace anything. The majority of people were appreciative for the head's up. One person asked why I didn't assess damage to all 125 units to tell her if her house was damaged. Let me tell you - I went OFF on the bitch. Stupid liberal.
I went back to work 'til about 4:30pm, then headed back to the 'hood.
Walking around with a couple other Board members, we answered people's questions and took pictures of trees that the HOA would be responsible for having removed.
All the while, I wondered: "How the heck am I gonna pay for this?"
Ironically enough, there were several roofing companies in the neighborhood. They were like vultures.
Funny, one of 'em was the insurance company's secretary's husband's company. The same guy I had talked to.
Thankfully, they were great. They were repairing some people's minor damage for no charge. People were very appreciative.
They got to my house, and made a face. They said, "Yeah... this may run you about $400.00."
I half-shrugged. It was less than my deductible and I wouldn't have to deal with my insurance company. Perhaps that wasn't bad.
Again, I thought, "Where am I going to dig up $400?"
Then I checked my mail.
There was my tax return.
I pretty much just handed the check over to the roofing company.