Sunday night brought the winter weather that most of us in Michigan dread, but are not surprised by. And there are those for whom winter is a joyful time to ski and snowboard and enjoy. And I'm happy for you.
It also makes me glad because my brother owns and operates a tree company. Two of them actually, Sequoia Tree Service and Quinlan Tree Service.
Yesterday I spent the day with him. Our original plan was to hang out while my Saturn was outfitted with an remote starter. But the ice came instead.
We'll still hung out, but it was mostly in the cab of the F-350, while we drove from job to job to look at downed trees and fallen limbs. He had to look at the trees on houses, in front of garages first. The ones where people could get hurt.
Our first order of the day was a tree that had crashed through a lady's front porch, and smashed her front window. The good news is that nobody was hurt, and Shane was able to get there and reassure the women that he'd have his crew back in a hour of two. It was thenoff to the yard, to help de-ice and get the equipment ready, and gather the crew, and so on and on. Calls upon calls and constant movement.
I didn't mind. I had a good time just hanging out and talking to my brother and watching him work.
I often think of him as a Superhero, swooping in and saving the day. Taking charge but always with a gentle nudge. It is a gift that God has given him.
I'm proud of the work he does, and I can't imagine having the skill to jump out of the truck, stand in the middle of a tangle of downed branchs, and with a yank of a chain saw, tear through a tree limb like it was made of butter.
I work in what he refers to as, "Corporate America." Where we gather around the community coffee maker, outfitted with our ID badges making small talk about our weekend.
But Shane does the real work. The gritty, down and dirty that others hire him for. And he does it with grace, ease and confidence.
And he is so generous.
After our long day, he took me to pick up the car with the new remote starter that was a gift from him actually, and then he made me dinner, and gave me new speakers to hook up to my computer.
I couldn't ask for a better older brother than Shane.
As my friend Barrie once said, "It seems like Shane would lay down in traffic for you."
I don't doubt it for a second.