‘Amazing and inspirational’

Patrick Decelles, with mask, and Philip Jones help clear a tree.

The craziest thing happened Saturday morning 11:10 a.m. – I think a small twister blew past. The wind suddenly picked up through an open window with such force I moved to close it. Just then my daughter came into my office and said a tree in our back yard had blown down. It was a large tree! A beautiful tree! 

No one was hurt, and there was no property damage. If the tree had fallen in the other direction, it would have destroyed my house. Before we knew it, maintenance staff and two neighbors were clearing the road.

What struck me (aside from the amazing kindness and quick action of our neighbors) was that one of the neighbors, Patrick Decelles, was diligent about observing physical distancing, keeping everyone safe, and obeying guidelines by wearing a face mask. I had never met him before. He never removed the mask while working so hard, even though it had to inhibit his breathing. 

And aside from the tree, no damage resulted. The wind lasted for a few moments, just long enough to destroy the tree, and it stopped immediately after. We are all so very lucky. It felt as if we were spared a tragic outcome. A tree expert could not have planned a more perfect removal.

Philip Jones, the other neighbor, is retired and he was the first man on the job. He used to work in the lumber industry, and he jumped right in. I thanked him for all his work on behalf of the townhouse complex, and he said, “That’s what I’m here for.” He has lived in the townhouse complex for 20 years – exactly to the date of this freak storm. I had never met him before, either.

As soon as the driveway was cleared the two humbly and quietly returned to their apartments. It looks like we have great people in our community. They come out when someone needs help.

It was quite amazing and inspirational.



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