looking up

looking up


This is the house.

I wrote about it here.

The house was built in 1890 and traveled almost two miles to reach its destination.

The journey started at 4am and it reached our street around 2pm.

I wish that I had taken more shots of the crowds as they gathered and gathered.

For all the planning there were a few hiccups.

Entire telephone poles were cleared down to the ground.

Power lines were taken down and left many people without power and internet for


Then there was our tree.


The wheels were rolling and then there was the sound of foliage and cracking branches, people gasping and

men yelling,


My heart was yelling stop as well.

Our tree and our across the street neighbor Bill’s trees caught along the gutters.

The procession halted as workers barked orders to

“Jack the house up!”

and when this didn’t work,

“Let’s tilt the house.”


See the rays of sun streaming through our tree?

A glimpse of the sections of branches removed on Saturday.

People continued to congregate on foot, with dogs, on bikes and in strollers.

Cameras abounded and news crews as well.

The stoppage took long enough for Caleb and his school friends to scooter home from school and witness the sight of a house parked in front of our house.

At one point, a man turned and looked at me and asked if this was my tree.

I answered yes and he told me he was the owner of this moving house.

I was taken by his look of concern and we chatted briefly about the latest hangup.

He was quoted on the news that evening that he had hoped

this event would have been more of a party and less of an ordeal.

I think it was both.

Men climbed ladders and used chains and hooks, attempting to do damage control.

Can damage be controlled?

I wonder.


I think any great party assembles people from all “walks” of life.

We swap stories and marvel at life’s wonders.

We also are prone to grumble and complain about the pesky irritants which intrude

upon our lives.

We bemoan the structures which move into our landscape and exert greater force than

we feel we can withstand.

On  Tuesday, I realized I am never alone in struggle.

I paced up and down the street as the workers tried to free our tree.

Our neighbors knew us and our tree.

Friends that wandered over knew us and our tree.

They were invested in the outcome, just like we were.

They cracked jokes when necessary and they lamented with me when I needed


Two beacons of wood in different forms, both representing life and history.

Then I remembered how God had prepared me for Tuesday on Saturday.

If there had been no preparation (despite the miscalculations), the measures needed to free tree from house would have been immense.

Suddenly the untangled branches of freedom occurred…


The sun was shining.

We all breathed a sigh of relief and silently wished the house and workers well as they completed their trip.

I glanced the expanse of our street and it  looked like the aftermath of a storm.

Before I turned to go inside, I walked towards a neighbor.

He told me of the passing of a beloved family member in his homeland faraway.

Although a few neighbors mentioned the need to speak kind words to our tree after

the assault (we do live in Oregon after all), flesh and blood conversations along

our streets and communities are the ones which matter.

I left our friend and headed home.

I surveyed our tree one last time,

it looks different but it is still standing.

We will be hit by the blows of life.

We may look different.

We may walk and feel differently.

Remember God may even be whispering words to prepare.

Remember you have people in your life who will care and carry you.

Especially on those days when it is hard to stand.

Don’t forget to look up.

When I took my eyes off the broken tree,

I saw the first sign of a new season.


3 thoughts on “looking up

  1. Awesome writing Helen! ” Take the focus off the broken branch and look at the new season”. Hmmmm……… Word from the Lord.


  2. I agree with Marianna, you are amazing and turning everyday experiences into remarkable teachable moments. Thanks for sharing your life and wisdom. I loved the photos that you included in the writing. Beautiful post!


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