Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy "Windsday!!"

I have new empathy for Piglet in that episode of "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day."  Because we've had quite the blustery day of our own today!

I didn't sleep well last night.  The constant moaning and whistling of the wind, tree branches scraping the windows, and the house shaking occasionally in the bigger gusts.  But in reality, as bad as the wind got here, being on the west side of town had it's advantages.  For one, we kept our power.  For two, other than my Christmas decor strewn about my front yard and my patio furniture rearranging itself in the back yard, we didn't really have any damage to house and home.  Amazingly, our fence stayed upright and our trampoline did not turn into a kite and fly into the field behind our house...unlike some of our neighbors. 

I knew that the town we used to live in, 15 miles south, was getting a might big walloping.  102 mph wind gusts?  Dang!  We got first hand reports from our old neighbors of the devastation there.  Bryan's brother Kevin and his family live in our old house and funny enough,  despite the fact that we couldn't get a hold of them through home phone, cell phone or internet messages, we still were able to hear of the damage to their home from their neighbors....fence down, garage door blown in and, saddest of all in my opinion, the big 30+ foot Austrian Pine that I planted when Brandon was just a baby 10 years ago, uprooted and tossed into the street by the wind gusts.  I loved that tree....sigh.

(Kevin, "flying" in the wind.  This tree was in his neighbor's backyard.  I remember when that tree was being sad.)

Our schools were not closed like some in neighboring towns so I bundled the kids and sent them off to their respective carpools and buses despite the crazy wind.  It wasn't too long, though, before I got a call from Rebekah telling me that the high school's power had gone out and administration was sending everyone home.  Could I come get her and a bunch of her friends?  I was shocked at what I saw the closer I got to the school.  The off and on ramps to the freeway had turned into make-shift semi-truck parking lots...with more semis parked on either side of the street all the way to the entrance of our neighborhood.  (The freeway was closed to high profile vehicles seeing as at least 10 semis had gone down in the early hours of the morning.)  Once I got past the overpass and freeway into the other side of town the wind was much more intense and I had to start dodging huge downed trees in the street and the scattered remains of broken business signs everywhere.  Numerous traffic lights out just added to the madness.
  (Downed trees lining Main Street on the east side of town)

Julianne and Brandon, their schools being on the west side of town, felt a little gypped when they arrived home to the discovery that Rebekah had been watching movies with her friends all day.  Brandon had a rip in his pants and bloody knees....from being picked up by the wind and slammed back down to the ground as he ran from the bus to the school.  I was surprised.  Because even as small as he is, the kid has some serious muscle and is no lightweight!  His gymnastics workout was canceled because of power outages.  Rebekah and Julianne's Centre Stage drama class was canceled for the same reason.  Bryan stayed home from work all day, having no power at his office either.  And then...much to the kid's delight...we started getting phone calls and email messages informing us that school is canceled tomorrow district wide as they assess damage and do clean-up at schools.  I have to admit, I am rather delighted myself, at the prospect of sleeping in tomorrow...

The wind has died down tonight and forecasts call for a calm but cold night.  Other than pulling out the ladder and re-hanging all my downed Christmas wreaths, we don't have to worry about doing any major clean-up tomorrow.  But it sure made for an interesting "Windsday" all the same!

Update:  Monday, 5 December 2011
Church meetings were cancelled county wide yesterday as we were instructed to go home, put on work clothes, grab chainsaws and other such tools and then meet over on the east side of town to help with wind devastation clean-up.  Another wind storm was predicted for that night and worries were high that loose debris + high winds = danger.  Temporary dump sites were arranged for truck and trailer loads of branches, shingles, siding and other such debris and Bryan said that lines of trucks were backed up several miles leading to that site here in our town.  It was amazing, he said, to see SO MANY people out helping their neighbors and serving each other.  A feel-good, organized chaos.
The predicted winds were unfounded and we spent a fairly calm night.  Regardless, the work that would've normally taken weeks ended up only taking hours.  And as my friend Bonnie said: "What better way to honor our covenants than Christlike service, whether it is bringing in a chain saw or a pot of soup it is the same."


MG said...

I remember that tree in your old front yard. Sad

Jewels said...

Our neighborhood was littered with roof shingles. Ours is damaged, but we didn't get the worst of it. The hardest thing for my kids was no power- meaning no technology- for hours. Horror!