The Disaster in My Back Yard


" ...everything to the right of the lemon tree and the grill, well... is gone. Your greenhouse is gone, the garden is gone, the fence is gone."

You may have noticed a lapse in articles on SearchAmelia recently. I have had the most bizarre series of events occur in my life for the past year and a half or so, and it appears this trend is continuing.

It feels like my bags have been perpetually packed for one trip or another since the Shrimp Festival; mostly to help my mom through some medical issues, or for work, or to move our daughter out of – and then into – apartments for her senior year of college. I had been out of town for a few days, every week, for 13 of the past 14 weeks.

Recently, on our way back to Fernandina Beach from Tallahassee, Florida, I was in the driver’s seat while my husband settled in the passenger seat and set up his Nook to read a book. I had just pulled on to interstate 10 and was barely up to the speed limit when my husband’s cell phone rang.

“What?” He shouted! “No! Everything was fine when we left. What are you talking about? No! We are three hours away!”

It was beginning to rain harder when he held the phone aside and told me, “Melissa just drove by and said our fence is down and the back yard is demolished!”

Our friend, Melissa, had driven past the house and noticed the disaster in the back yard and called to ask what happened.

“What happened!?! Oh my God! How bad is it?” I asked.

“She is going to turn around and go back, then send me a picture.” He said.

I hate driving in the rain and it was really coming down. I slowed my speed and tried to concentrate on driving. It seemed like forever before that first photo arrived to my husband’s cell phone. “Melissa said, ‘The pool is fine,'” he told me after receiving the pictures. He thanked her and called my brother; he has a key to our house and was able to rush over and take a look around.

My husband used the speaker setting on his phone and I heard my brother chuckle, “It is trashed!” (Yep, bizarre crap happens to me and he knows it!) “The pool is fine,” he added, “but everything to the right of the lemon tree and the grill, well… is gone. Your greenhouse is gone, the garden is gone, the fence is gone…”

“Check the windows, and the bedroom windows.” I suggested, picturing in my mind where the damage had occurred.

“All windows are intact,” he reported.

“Thank God we weren’t home. Call Linda!” I changed gears wanting to check on our neighbor.

My husband said his thanks after receiving a few more pictures and dialed our neighbor.

Nothing quite says, “Welcome home” like returning from a road trip to a demolished back yard!

As it turns out, she wasn’t home either. A young man, who had been drinking, drove off the road at about 2:30 in the morning and plowed down both of our fences and everything leading up to the homes. It could have been so much worse had the driver been going any faster. Both home’s bedrooms were just feet from the debris; it was a miracle that no one, at either house, was at home that night. (Another bizarre incidence)

We amended the police report with our list of damages and had to leave this mess in the backyard to board a plane. This was now week 14, of 15 weeks, for me to be on the road.

But this time you can imagine how thrilled I was to board a plane bound for Sin City… the Gambling Capital of the World. This time I was actually going on vacation to Las Vegas, a family celebration for our daughter’s 21st birthday.

Though we are still working with the insurance company on reimbursement, and our pool is fine, I’m happy to say the new fence is good, and a good fence does indeed make for great neighbors!

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