Quilt Recovery

A big storm with lots of wind and rain moved through the southeast on January 3. Our property in North Carolina sustained no damage, but my son’s home in South Carolina did. The wind sheared a tall pine tree six feet up from the ground, and it crashed into my son’s roof at 5 a.m. It is a miracle that he was not crushed by the heavy limbs!

Insulation from the attic filtered down through the broken rafters along with branches, shingles, and rain. The living room and front bedroom where he was sleeping were filled with pink fluff, boards, and HVAC duct work. He and his girlfriend had to exit from the back door. When they returned several times to gather clothing, computers, and other necessities, viewing the damage was emotionally overwhelming. How do you go about cleaning up such a catastrophic mess?

My son rented a construction dumpster and put out a call to friends and family, inviting us to a work day this past Saturday. My husband filled a small trailer with tools, large trashcans and buckets, wheelbarrow, shovels, and work gloves. I packed Gatorade and snacks to refuel the willing workers. Boards, drywall, and shingles were carefully stacked in the dumpster so as to conserve space for bulky damaged furniture. A cattle feed shovel came in handy for scooping insulation into contractor trash bags. We brushed insulation off of decorative items, books, and shoes, laying everything salvageable on tarps on the lawn. Within two and a half hours the two damaged rooms were cleared and salvageable items were packed into the trailer.

I volunteered to bring the salvaged textiles home for washing. Several quilts as well as the coat closet were in the blast zone. The items were damp but thankfully not mildewed. I shook off insulation and sawdust produced by the tree removal company and washed the quilts and jackets in warm water. Since none of the quilts were in fragile condition, I dried them in the dryer. They all held up well with this cleaning treatment. I have draped them on the pool table to further air out.

We recovered the quilts and coats, yes, but of greater importance was the emotional comfort given to our son and his girlfriend during the cleanup of the storm’s aftermath. Homeowner’s insurance can repair the house and replace their stuff, but “being there” to help, to hug, to pray, and to lend a sympathetic ear goes further in restoring equilibrium of the soul.

19 thoughts on “Quilt Recovery

  1. Oh, Aby, how awful, but what a good reminder for all of us about the importance of family and friends! Blessings to all! Mary Stough

    Sent from my iPad


  2. I’ve always told my grandchildren that “papa can do anything” and even have a wall hanging saying that in my sewing room. Sounds like your son needs one that says “Mom & Dad” for coming to the rescue! Prayers for your son as he goes through this catastrophe and thanks to you and hubby for showing all of us what good parents do.

  3. It is wonderful how people come together in times of crisis. It is amazing how such a mess was cleaned up and now ready for rebuilding. What a blessing to get the help and support from family and friends.

  4. So glad that no one was hurt! Your very blessed to have family and friends jump in to help. That’s what makes a tragedy not so bad. These are crazy times and having the support brings you hope.

    The quilts are beautiful and so glad there was no mildew. Thinking about your son and hoping the repairs go quickly. Wendy

  5. Wow, what a horrific scare that must have been! I know what you mean about the emotional trauma being way worse (and emotionally overwhelming) than the loss of “stuff.” So glad your family were all able to come together to mend these bruised hearts and souls. Looks like more than a day’s worth of work and you got it done in less than a day–and with another storm on the way, no less!! Are they okay after this weekend’s freezing rain and sleet storm?

  6. I cannot even imagine what you’ve all gone through!! Horrible!! Thank goodness for friends and family that would come help on short notice. Hopefully the homeowner’s insurance will take care of the rest without issues. Blessings to them and you!!!

  7. Wow! That was scary, I’m sure, How lucky that no one was hurt. Glad volunteers could help with the cleanup and you could salvage the quilts. Wishing them lots of luck with the insurance company and future re-build. Some friends of ours had a tree fall on a corner of their house just a day or two after moving in. What a mess a tree can make!

  8. I saw some of the pics he posted on FB. How terrible…and that it happened a second time…I’m glad though you were able to go down to support them physically and emotionally. I‘m sure that it was a big help in various ways for them.

  9. So glad your kids were ok 💜💙❤️❤️💛💚. Glad the family got it cleaned up. You have an amazing family 💜💙💚💚❤️💛
    Glad everyone was ok .

  10. Oh, Abi, how aweful, but the Lord was there to protect your loved ones. Those quilts are gorgeous, especially the yellow star one in the left. Prayers for them for sure.

  11. Aby, I am having chills just going through this information. Surely God was with them through this terrible damage. You are so right, nothing replaces the physical help and loving relationships when something like this happens. Insurance can replace the physical damage, but the spirit needs special loving friends and family to help them through the situation. Is there anything our guild can do to help your son? Ann J


  12. I’m sure everyone who helped with this cleanup effort received a huge blessing. So glad your son and his girlfriend were not injured.

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