Think “Isn’t It Weird…?”

my new tree;-)

Wide awake in the middle of the night, we snacked on handfuls of Chex cereal and indulged in my favorite kind of conversation: “Isn’t it weird that…?” Little did we understand that our late-night conversation would set the theme for the week.

The next night high winds toppled our neighbor’s ENORMOUS aging maple tree into our backyard. The insurance company called it “an act of God.” It is a phrase implying no fault, no responsibility. It just happened. I laughed aloud when, immediately following the “act of God” designation, the insurance adjuster heaped on us a load of legal cautions, new responsibilities (the tree now ‘belonged’ to us), property line designations, and small print reminders meant to minimize financial risk and responsibility to the insurance company. The layers of irony are too many to count though I suppose if wacky preachers can assign responsibility for hurricanes and other natural disasters to the wrath of God, then it is no less ridiculous for insurance companies to invoke the fickleness of God to absolve themselves of liability.

Isn’t it weird that…?

P-Tom reminded us that the “act of God” was that no one was hurt in the tree fall. For P-Tom the act of God was a kind of intervention. A few degrees to the right, a slightly different wind direction, and the tree would have landed on our bedroom. Life does seem fragile by the slightest of degrees. We told people that we were lucky. Intervention? Fortunate? Fate? Design?

Isn’t it weird that…?

We cut a branch from the fallen tree and brought it in the house. It is now our Christmas tree.

Had you asked that branch a week ago if it would ever become a Christmas tree it might have laughed at you.

As a maple branch it had no aspirations or intentions of being wrapped in lights or decorated with silver baubles. In truth, it probably cares little if it makes us laugh or invokes a smile each time we enter the room. But it does. Or, better, we make sense of it that way. Sense making? Story telling? Either way.

Isn’t life weird?

Our work-in-progress






Entertain Random Thoughts

photoI am awash in random thoughts.

Kerri told me that flies barf when they land on you. Swinging in the hammock on a lovely Wisconsin afternoon, plagued by a single persistent fly, she swatted and added, “They poop on you, too.”

I laughed. I doubted. To be honest, I mocked her ridiculous assertion. And then she Googled, “Do flies barf?” And, horror of horrors, they do. Not with every landing but often enough to alter my relationship with flies.

“Might this be a metaphor?” I asked to save face for my mocking-gone-bad.

“I think it is a metaphor for the small things you learn each day,” Kerri smirked in victory.

“I think it is a metaphor for insurance companies in America,” I said. “They poop on us every time they land on us and that seems to be more and more often.”

“My metaphor is positive and your metaphor is dark,” she said, swinging the hammock and looking to the sky.

“My metaphor is more appropriate,” I replied.


“I learned today, thanks to you, that flies taste things through their feet.”

“What?” Kerri asked. “So?”

“When they land on you they decide through their feet whether you are a good snack or not worth their time,” I replied.


“Have you ever heard a better description of an insurance company?” I smiled.

Kerri rolled her eyes. “Random,” she said.

See. I told you: awash in random thoughts. You learn something new everyday. Some things you want to know. Some things you don’t.

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