Busted Fences and Broken Hearts

By Tammy Davis


The storm came up fast. The bad ones usually do. A strong wind took out one of my trees and slammed it onto my fence. On its way down, it took out branches from nearby trees. Leaves and twigs filled the perimeter of the fall. A few pots got shattered. Some hydrangea got squished. I had a mess on my hands.

At first I was stunned and didn’t know what to do. I did a lot of talking about the fall but wasn’t doing much to fix the problem. I needed a plan.

Cleaning up the aftermath of the storm seemed a lot like my life.

The storm came out of nowhere. I went from listening to wind chimes on my back porch to hearing a loud crashing boom within the span of an hour. After the storm passed, I didn’t want to look outside to see how bad things were. Denial is always stage one.

One step outside confirmed what I already knew. I had a big mess on my hands. I started picking up the small branches and the twigs and the leaves a few at a time. A big crash does a lot of damage. At first, I tried to move the tree myself, but it was too heavy. I needed help. I sought out a professional. Trees off fences, burdens off our hearts – sometimes the job is too big to do alone.

The tree got hauled away pretty quickly, and it was time to repair the fence. Even though I had everything in place (materials and skilled labor), there were lots of delays – the weather, busy schedules, sick children. I didn’t think I would ever get that fence repaired. But one day I did. I came home, and the hole in my fence was gone. My fence was repaired. The fence looked different in that spot – new wood/old wood – but the fence was fixed. For a while I kept going outside to look at the repaired fence. Did the repairman do a good job? Was it good and strong? Eventually, I stopped checking. I closed that chapter. I moved on.

This particular storm and tree incident happened a good while back. You have to look closely now to tell the difference between the old and the new wood. Time has a way of smoothing things out.

Storms will come – usually out of nowhere. Big trees fall, taking down everything in their path. Dead wood has to be hauled away, and the area has to be cleaned up. Busted fences and broken hearts have to mend. Sometimes we can do it alone. Sometimes we need some help. It always seems to take longer than we think it should, but eventually fences and hearts are repaired, and life goes on. No need to keep going back to the scene of the crash. No need to ask, “Why this tree?” or “Why me?” It happened. It’s been fixed. Move on.

My fence is strong and sturdy and, now, finally, so am I.


Tammy Davis is a freelance writer based out of Columbia, SC.  Her first book, Chin Up, Buttercup, is available on Amazon and Kindle.