Monday, July 1, 2013

So I'm Just Checking In

Well, hey howdy ho everyone. Hope you're all doing okay. I decided it was about time I stuck my nose back into the blogosphere just to say hey. It feels like forever, but it's only been a month. Or maybe two. I don't know. I've lost all track of time now that we're out of school.

I wish I could say I've been slaving away, burning up the keyboard but I'd be lying. I've written exactly 3,946 words on a short story. And that was only last weekend. I haven't written anything other than that except the outlines for a couple of stories for next year. And let me tell you how badly I want to write.

But, I have pictures of what has been taking up all my time so you can see for yourself that I haven't been entirely slacking.

The first week of June was pretty hectic as it was the last week of school. You know how that goes...award ceremonies, picnics, one last field trip. And then Monster and I slept in the following week. We were making plans for the pool, or vacation, just lazing about. I did a couple of interviews for that school story I'm supposed to be working on, and then on June 14 (Thursday) at approximately 4:45pm, a severe thunderstorm warning was put out across all the local tv stations. At 5:10pm our power went out. At 6:30 my mother called and said that I had to go down to her house to look at the damage. The storm was a quick mover and already gone. The sun was shining when I went down the street. This is what I saw.

These three fell across the middle driveway

This one killed my trailer and my dad's little John Deere

This one is actually two 
 Like a bomb exploded.
This one blocked the garage and the driveway

This is three trees and an unholy mess

This one came this close > < to hitting the house

This upended root structure is 12 feet across

My poor little trailer. This blocked the lower driveway.

You can't see the other machine in the background because there's an oak tree laying across it.

That's my father in the blue T-shirt.

My mother's clothesline is gone now. No more trees to hang it from.

This one blocked the upper driveway.

My favorite tree. On the top side, pachysandra encircles the entire base. We're still trying to saw away enough of the base to push it back upright.

We are all okay, nothing happened to the house, but it was pretty scary. I've only shown a couple of the pictures, but we lost 7 trees in all. Seven, very tall (80 feet), very large trees. (The oaks all had about a four foot base around, the pines were at least three. Huge huge trees.) Our next door neighbors have been helping me clean up. My parents told them if they wanted it for firewood, they could have it if they wanted to do the labor. So they said yes.

This is part of the pile that I cut myself. Well, most of it.

This is the other part
This is my pile.
This is only one of the debris piles
This is the front side. My neighbor cut me all the big logs. I did all the small ones.

You can see my parents house down the hill. And part of the debris we're still cleaning up.

This side of the pile I did all by myself. I guess my father's Christmas present to me of a chain saw came in handy.

This debris pile is 30 feet long by 4 feet high by 4 feet wide and hopefully the last one this size. The DPW has already hauled away 3 of these piles. When all was said and done, they loaded 4 monstrous dump trucks with debris. And I'm still cleaning up two weeks later.

These flowers are finally on the rebound. They were completely flattened to the ground. I love them so I was thankful nothing happened to them. I used to have them at the beach.

I had just one piece of siding come loose on the second story of my house, so I had to climb on the roof to fix it, but thankfully that was the only damage.

We couldn't watch the news, so I never actually found out if it was a baby tornado, a down draft, a micro burst, or what. But it was nasty and I don't want to ever have to do hard manual labor like that ever again. I want to be a sissy girly-girl and sit at my desk like a good little writer. lol The worst part about the whole thing is that as soon as the storm passed, it brought the nasty humid weather. So we've been working in 90 degree temps with 70% humidity. I take two, sometimes three showers a day.

I've decided what I really need is a vacation. But we'll see how that goes. I gave myself the month of July to write the school project story and hopefully I can get' er done. And maybe if I do, the gods will smile down on me and let me rent a beach house somewhere for the first two weeks of August. (Oh please, oh please.)

So, kids, that's about it. That's all I've been doing since June 14. I hope nothing like this happens to any of you. Or if it does, you have big strong men to do the clean up. Although, I have lost about 10 pounds, but it's a little extreme. I feel like I've been run through The Biggest Loser. ha!

I hope you all have a very safe, and fun 4th of July. I don't know when I'll be back around again. Maybe the first of August. I've really got to get that story written. You know how time flies and I have to have it ready to publish by Sept. 1. So wish me luck. Not so much on the story but that I get to go to the beach. lololololol

Talk to you soon. Happy Summer!


Maria Zannini said...

I'm so glad it didn't hit the house and that no one was hurt. I know clean up can be a lot of work too.

That vacation sounds like a very good idea. :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Wow! We've had rain and the power went out Saturday (for about an hour), but other than that, we've been lucky. At least there aren't any large trees around our house!

Here's some good mojo coming your way to get your story finished on time.

Bish Denham said...

Seven trees! It's always hard to loose old trees... but... it makes way for new growth. I'm glad no one was hurt and your parent's house wasn't damaged.

I hate to tell you this, Anne, but once a tom-boy/self sufficient woman, you will never be a sissy girly-girl. However, you can pretend to be, from time to time. :)

Sarah Ahiers said...

Ugh, suuuuck. We also had major storms that weekend. People are still out of power here. Mostly it missed our neighborhood (limbs down, but not trees) but in the cities it was horrible. Trees down everywhere and no one with power. Sigh

R. Mac Wheeler said...

ditto, on no one getting hurt.

Melody said...

Yikes! That's some damage! I'm glad no one was hurt.

My summer feels similar {including writing in the 90 degree heat, ughhhhh}. Trying to write when all I want to do is chill and watch movies.

Happy 4th and happy summer! :)

Liza said...

Oh, golly gosh! We JUST closed the insurance claim from our tree disaster at the end of January. I SO, SO empathize. Just glad no one and nothing irreplaceable was damaged. Looks like all pine though...tell your neighbor to be careful...pine leaves lots of creosote in the chimney, so lots of chimney fire potential. We never burn pine.

Love your Rugosa! Glad it survived.

Anne R. Allen said...

What a an awful thing! All those lovely trees...I can't imagine what that would be like. Sometimes life just happens. And you deal. If you're a lady with a chainsaw, you deal pretty well. Congrats on your resilience and take care of yourself!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Seven trees down! That is scary. So glad the house was unharmed. But the work!! I've had to cut down trees (only a saw - no electric blades either!) It is brutal work. Pace yourself, Roland

Anne Gallagher said...

Maria -- Thanks. It's was a lot of work, but it's almost done.

Stacy -- Thanks for the mojo. Appreciate it.

Bish -- Yeah, pretending to be someone else from time to time is what I do. I'm not really a good girly girl anyway. I can't wear high heels.

Sarah -- Being without power sucks! Big time. I lost all the food in my fridge. Although we went to be early.

Mac -- Yeah. I'm amazed no one got hurt.

Melody -- There's nothing worse than trying to write when you sweat. Best of luck.

Liza -- No, the pine went to the neighbors. There were 2 pine and 5 oak. I got oak. After all was cut and split it ended up being around 7 cords. Crazy.

Anne -- Yeah, it was pretty nasty. But what are you going to do? Cancel the weather? As long as it doesn't happen again.

Roland -- I think that's why it's taken me so long -- I paced myself. Funny, I kept saying we were going to go easy, easy like Sunday morning. No one got my reference. Thanks Roland.

Linda G. said...

Oh, my gosh! I'm so glad you're all okay, and that a tree didn't fall on your house, but that is still awful! So much work. I can't see how you managed to get anything at all written with all that going on. You're amazing.

DL Hammons said...

YIKES!!! You really dodged a bullet there. Writing certainly needed to be at the bottom of your priority list that month!

Donna Hole said...

Sometimes, life trumps art :) Falling trees are nothing to argue with.


Anne Gallagher said...

Linda -- Not amazing. Just determined. I can't write until it's all cleaned up. Type A personality, don't you know.

Don -- Yeah, but now that's it's over, I've nearly finished that short story, so it's all good.

Donna -- lol Falling trees are nothing to argue with. No they are certainly not.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Aww, so sorry to read about this! And here you were, all ready to relax. I hope things just get better from here on out for you. I'm happy nobody was hurt. *hugs*

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks Michelle. Just so happens there's no rest (or writing ) for the wicked. The basement flooded from all the rain, and the toilet blew up from the bolts not being tight. It's just the way of the universe I guess.

Elliot Grace said... least the house still stands, the family suffered no injury, and there's firewood for days. Bring on the 'smores ;)

Hoping you had an enjoyable 4th!


~Sia McKye~ said...

Oh my gosh. What a mess and I hear you on not wanting another one to blow through. When we had a rare tornado find it's way into our little valley it took out over 14 big oaks in our grove near the pond and another 10 or so in other areas.

I'm glad you and yours are safe.

I didn't see this before because I'm on a sort of vacation myself. We've been doing clean up of the leftover brush piles and a bunch of other stuff. I'm not posting much this month.

Next month I'll be back, more or less, lol!

Writing? what is this writing stuff you speak of?


Donna Hole said...

Wow, lots of damage for one short lived storm. So glad the house was left undamaged though.

My daughter's wedding in Reno provided me with a great excuse for a vacation. We had such a great time; but you do not go to Reno to penny-pinch, lol. Still, I can't wait to pay off this vacation and go somewhere else. Having fun can be addicting :)


Carol Kilgore said...

Omigosh! Glad no one was hurt. And I hope you get to the beach!


Very proud of you for all the hard work you did.
I'm not very strong and not sure I could do that kind of manual labor.
Happy that everyone is safe. That's the biggest worry in a storm such as that. We've been in a few storms that
I don't ever want to repeat.
Take care of you. Here's to you going to the beach.
Glasses click! Thanks for stopping by my blog.
I have been very lax with the blog the last few months. Just too much to do.

Goku shrestha said...

Its been raining here in Ktm too.
The rain, the thunder and the lightening.
And the flowers look lovely.
Happy summer too! :)