It was hot today. Hot and sticky. Then in the late afternoon, a storm blew in. One of those bizarrely intense storms that lasts maybe five minutes.

I was standing in the driveway when it started, unloading tiki torches from my car for the retirement party I’m hosting this weekend. With 100 guests. (That plays into the story, trust me.) And suddenly it started hailing. Literally, it was 90 degrees out and balls of ice were falling from the sky.

I made a mad dash for the house because the boys were inside alone growing increasingly anxious from the increasing noise. We stood on the back porch for a moment in awe of the wind and rain and then I ran upstairs to close windows.

And that’s when I heard it. “Did something fall?” I called down. “Yes, Austin, on the stairs,” Braedan called back, not quite the sound I thought I’d heard. But I scooped up my spooked boy and we continued shutting windows.

And that’s when I saw it. A tree. A hundred year-old zillion-foot tall Cleveland Heights tree, like the many that line our yard. Only this one was lying across the yard.  In the yard. On the ground.

It didn’t hit a damn thing. Nothing. Not the house, not my car, not the gorgeous dogwood that sits right in the middle of our yard(which it missed by mere feet), not even our picnic table. It did take down the phone and cable lines, but not power.

So we were lucky again. Although the kids were a little freaked out and when the wind picked up again, Braedan said, “I think we better get out of here!”

Now for the clean-up. And then the party. And then? Then a vacation.

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