If a tree falls on your car and you’re out of the country…

Did it really happen?

Unfortunately, yes, it actually does/did happen. Above is a photo of the back of our house from back when we were in Australia. Something is a wee bit out of place – that would be a third of our tree covering a good bit of our backyard AND the rear end of our Explorer. Doh. [I briefly mentioned this occurrence here, but just for fun, let’s tell the whole story because it has a happy ending.]

That was our back fence under there.The fence has since been replaced. And [spoiler alert] the car has since been totaled.

I woke up at 2 a.m. Australia time to hearing Simon on the phone with our neighbor – middle-of-the-night calls are never good. I can hear him saying something about glass and a vehicle. I’m immediately WIDE awake. This is not good indeed. It apparently rained the day before, then the temps dropped, freezing everything and then snowed. Our tree could not hold up and decided to just lay down and take a rest – nature is stressful. Sadly, our car and fence were in the way when it came down (thankfully it wasn’t our newer minivan or our very new roof). Ron said he’d send us some photos and we told him we’d get one of our friends over to check it out. I called Tracey, who was checking in on our house and had the spare key and asked if she could go to the house and see about getting an auto glass place to come out and replace the back window [if only]. At this time we had no idea of the damage that had happened. We also called our insurance agent and let him know what had happened and gave him Tracey’s number. In the meantime our other neighbor had called my dad (who lives in a different city, with a different last name – strange, but whatever) and let him know a branch had fallen off our tree so my dad called our friends Kara and Andy to have them check it out. Then we had to just let it go because there was not much else we could do from Australia. We did not, however, end up falling back asleep.

Andy made it to the house before everyone else and immediately let everyone know things were not as simple as imagined. The tree was halfway into the street and our car was possibly not driveable (turns out it was – thanks, Kevin, for taking it to the dealership). Andy got to work with his new chainsaw (which he was so happy to use, though I don’t imagine he thought it would be so soon after getting it).

This picture makes me laugh because when our neighbor initially called us, we asked if he would just throw a tarp over the broken window until someone could sort it out. This was when we thought the back window would just need repairing. That blue tarp there seems a bit ineffective, don’t you think? Also I believe Kara (behind what our other neighbor described as a “branch” when she called my dad to alert him) is on the phone with our other friend Tracey, explaining to her that things are a little worse than imagined. Double doh.

Andy made quick work of chopping up the “branch” and Kara said she wishes she had video taped it when the tree rolled off the back of the car because the whole back-end just bound back up unlike anything she had ever seen. I’m sure it was awesome. I’m also quite certain I would have thrown up.

All-in-all, I’d say if something like this is going to happen, it’s probably best to be out of the country and to have awesome friends who take care of everything for you (1,000 points each to Kara, Andy, Tracey and Kevin). Had we been home when it happened I’m sure I’d still be heartsick each time I remembered first seeing the scene. I would have come downstairs first thing in the morning and looked out the back window in disbelief (in actuality, I’m sure Simon would have been up first and shouted at me to come downstairs, but it’s my story). And then we still would have had to call Andy because a) we would have been stuck in our house with the driveway blocked and b) we don’t own a chainsaw.

Since January we’ve been driving my parents’ extra car while they are in Texas but yesterday we ended up buying a new car (see below) because my parents will be back in a couple of weeks and sort of want their car back. We are the owners of a 2008 Taurus (though we quickly say it’s really a Ford Five Hundred, because that’s a much nicer looking car/body than the older Taurus and Taurus’ seem like college girl cars whereas the 500 is a grown up car).


Also pretty fabulous: insurance, in the end with getting the fence and vehicle replaced, we’re only a couple thousand dollars out-of-pocket. Sure, they were unexpected expenses but it could have been so much worse. So be sure and pay your insurance premiums, you’ll be so glad you did when a tree falls on your car.


4 responses to “If a tree falls on your car and you’re out of the country…

  1. Oh wow, you have got to love those middle of the night phone calls!!! I had to chuckle, we had a Taurus while were in Seminary and drove that thing into the ground… quite literally. They last a while… aside from large objects falling on them.

  2. Not going to lie. This post made me laugh out loud more than once. (Not at a tree actually falling on your car, but in your wonderful recounting of the tale.)

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