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Storm O’er the Boonies

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You know that big storm system that blew across the US recently? On Monday afternoon, it passed through our area.

The lightning strikes started popping like popcorn while I was on the phone with my friend, Anne. I had just mentioned to her that things were starting to get dicey, and I might need to get off the phone when a fearfully bright lightening flash and an on-its-heels house-shaking kind of ka-BOOM, followed by the power going off for a second made me decide it really wasn’t the best time to be on the phone.

I ran to the TV, and saw there was a tornado warning, heading straight for us, that looked like it would be over top of us in five minutes. Well, shoot! Told the kids to put their shoes on (think walking through broken stuff – that’s where a Mommy’s mind goes). Ran upstairs, told my husband, the Big Bison who, ever cool in a crisis,  tried to rope me into a discussion over an email he was writing. I pointed out to him that the TV behind him had a graphic on the screen mentioning our neighborhood, and the arrival time was in 2 minutes.

I called the dogs, (our Labrador, Deacon and our German Shepherd, Pilgrim) and the kids, and the 5 of us loaded ourselves into the teeny first floor bathroom, the only room in the house with no window. No, we don’t have a basement. The wind, by this point, had kicked up to a truly alarming roar. The BB, at the last second, slipped through the door, which was harder to do than you might think. since the area where the door was supposed to swing open was mostly filled up with Labrador and ManCub. I was seated on the toilet (Yes! My pants were up, and the lid was down). My daughter was in the bathtub, and  Pillie was wedged in between the toilet and the tub, occasionally partially climbing into the tub, and then squirming back out. Pillie was on edge, to put it mildly. It is a German Shepherd’s sworn duty in life to Protect the Flock, and this is hard for Pillie, because she’s a big fat weenie. She walks around in a perpetual existential crisis, because she knows she is not living up to her ancestral heritage. She worries about this a lot. She worries about a lot of things a lot. She is, in fact, one of the most neurotic animals God ever created.

But I digress…

Where were we?

Oh, yes! The whole family was cram-jammed into that teeny tiny bathroom, and the wind was roaring and moaning.

Then, the cracking, popping, and whamming began. It sounded to me like it was coming from the front porch area. Like things were hitting the house. The BB and I exchanged glances, and that’s when my out-loud praying began. I was calm, truly. But it seemed like a really good time to mention out loud to the Lord, that we could really use a little help. “Lord, we ask for your protection. We ask that you’d keep us safe, and this house safe, and our neighbors safe. We ask for you to watch over all who are in the path of this storm,” was, I think, how it went. And then the lights began to flicker, on and off. “And Lord, it would be really nice if we could keep our power.” Long about then, as if on cue, really, we were plunged into complete blackness. And the roar of the wind continued. And Pillie began climbing into the bathtub again. Our daughter had brought her ipod that lights up into the bathroom, so we had a bit of light from that, and the light we could see sneaking under the door frame.

And then, the volume of the wind, almost imperceptibly at first, began to decrease. And my husband stepped out to see what he could see. He came back with a “Whoa! We’ve lost some trees!”, and with that, we all tumbled out of the teeny-tiny bathroom to see what we could see.

I thought you’d enjoy having a look-see as well. Click on the pictures, and you’ll get more of a sense of the power of the storm.

First, three of the four heavy wooden rockers had been lifted up and moved from one end of our very long porch to the other. Here’s the artistic view that my daughter shot.

Chairs in a wad.
Here’s the overhead view, shot from my husband’s studio’s balcony.

Here’s what they did when they slammed into the rail at the end of the porch.

Both ceiling fans were maimed. This one did more damage.
This is the tree that fell by the corner of the porch.  It blocked half our driveway, and took out a smaller cedar on its way down.

Same tree, porch view.

 It also fell in the driveway, blocking one of our garages, and missed our car by INCHES.

Biggest tree to fall down go boom, on the other side of the house.
Root ball of the biggest tree. Pillie is the about hip level tall on me, to give you a sense of scale.

Tree Art. Note the twist of the trunk.

Yes, to our shame, those ARE Christmas lights beside the sidewalk. It’s the Boonies. We’re rednecks. What can I say?

The storm was quite literally all around us. I am so thankful that our house suffered no serious damage, that we HAVE a roof over our heads, that none of us us was hurt.

P.S. No, I don’t believe it was a tornado, but it was the biggest storm that I have ever had all around me.

Keetha Broyles

Thursday 7th of April 2011

Goodness, you can't AFFORD to have a storm like THAT very often!


Wednesday 6th of April 2011

Thankful that all are safe and that you didn't sustain much damage!

Missus Wookie

Wednesday 6th of April 2011

Scary stuff - glad you are all o.k.

Stephanie (Just Me)

Wednesday 6th of April 2011

Looking at your downed trees, it could've been so much worse, although it sounds scary enough as it was! I'm glad you were all kept safe.


Wednesday 6th of April 2011

Ack.. I'm glad you were all safe and that the damage was not worse than that. We endured a similar micro burst up at the cottage last summer. It took the tallest tree down and the tip of it just grazed the window of the cottage. We too, were very lucky. Nature.. she's a force with which to be reckoned.