Lessons From the Trenches

*Been trying to get this done for days, but I couldn’t get the pictures to upload!!*

Sooooo, Friday night our area was hit by a major storm with heavy down pours. There was a tornado sighted, but it didn’t touch down by us anyway. We had 80-90mph winds plus straight line winds. Bear and I had met friends for dinner and our foster dog was home in a crate that she barely tolerates. I have to play YouTube videos that are for releasing fear, otherwise she panics, tears up the crate trying to get out and the anxiety causes her to have liquid diarrhea…. yay…. We knew a storm was coming and were keeping an eye on it, when one of the group came in after “burning a lung” and said it was sprinkling we headed home. * sign up for local weather warnings * Shortly after getting in the truck our cell phones started ringing, “Code Red” was calling to alert us that the we were under a Tornado Warning. Plus our cellphone provider sent text alerts saying the same thing. The storm had rotations, heavy rain, hail, 80mph winds and straight line winds. We were a half hour from home and Bear punched it. About 4 miles from home we hit the storm and went from driving almost 80mph down to 10mph. We were driving into the storm and the heavy rain driven by those high winds meant we couldn’t see except in between gusts. After getting off the highway we were turned so those winds were hitting the truck broadside and almost flipped a full-size Chevy pickup. The visibility meant we couldn’t see debris in the road til we were almost on it. The main road through our town was blocked by half a tree that had been blown down. The route we took around it was the road that runs in front of our house and it was blocked by a tree limb, too, but since we were only a block from home Bear just drove over the end of it (almost in the ditch). I saw the road ahead was blocked again, but realized that was right in front of our house! I thought our young Maple tree had come down, turns out I was right, a huge limb from our Maple tree had taken out a section of our fence. The power in town was out and we were even more concerned for our foster dog being alone with all the noise of the storm and the destruction going on. Coming into the yard stopped us in our tracks, though, it was full of huge limbs from trees and the biggest was on the fence. This is the first thing we saw:

Southwest corner of the yard.

The Maple Tree is from an old growth tree in our neighbor’s yard, it’s about 50ft. long.

Where the section broke off. Looking southwest over our fence.
Second picture right on the fence. You can see my little garden under there, behind the chicken wire.
Third photo to get in the whole tree!
What’s left after the tree was removed. There’s our foster dog, Bailey!!
Remains of half my garden. The beans on the right are OK and so are most of the strawberries. I know, I need to pull that grass growing there!!
South fence line. The branches right behind it are what they pulled off it. Yep, there’s Bailey photo-bombing again!

We have been prepping for a few years at this point, we have made sure we have back-ups for heating and electricity. We have a year’s worth of food; ways to obtain, store and purify water. We have medications and first aid supplies. Hygiene is covered, too. We were set Friday night and weren’t concerned at all that we had no electricity at the house. But. It had been a hot and humid day all day and it didn’t cool off that much even after the sun went down. The only fan we had was the little tent fan I use when I’m camping at festivals and it was not enough to keep two adult humans and stressed out German Shepherd cool. It was a clear reminder to keep ALL the seasons in mind and not just worry about winter and freezing. The heat can kill as easily as the cold can.

It’s been almost a week since the storm hit and the clean up has been slow, the stress of the last few weeks have taken its toll on Bear. The weeks of high stress working for a new boss he couldn’t please, then his great-aunt passing away, getting fired 2 days after her funeral with no warning and a couple weeks after that the storm hit. The muscles in his lower back locked up so tight he couldn’t get out of bed for 2 days. That’s also a problem to be dealt with going forward.

OK, this is getting long and has taken too long to write. Time to post it!




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