Saturday, June 14, 2014

NOT a Good Day In My Neighborhood

Eric texted me on Thursday from San Francisco asking me if I thought the storms would clear by the time he would touch down at our airport.
My reply was, "What weather?"
Our weather is so very fickle, especially when it come to rain.
Heat and sun, not so much.
I took a look at the radar and noticed a tornado watch.
I smugly texted him again (and I quote)--7:37pm "Been ignoring the weather.  One day a tornado will swoop down and scoop me up because I don't believe we'll ever get any real weather."
I should know better than to challenge Mother Nature.
Exactly 2 hours later (to the minute), my phone sent me an alarm--9:37,
Tornado warning, take cover!
The weather radar and weatherguesser made it very clear.  We were directly in the path of a possible tornado.  We had 10 minutes tops to gather up our pets and take cover.

Jenna put her rats in crate, I put Hobbes in a crate, I hooked Mandy up on a leash, and then tried to drag Smokie out of the pantry (where she was hiding because of the storm) but decided she was in one of the safest rooms in the house.  I left her there and closed the door.

We took our pets, a bunch of pillows, purses, phones, iPads and a flashlight into our guest bathroom.
It is our "interior room, no outside walls, no windows" tornado room.
We do not have a basement.  
I rarely miss my hometown in Missouri, but I miss my basement during storms!

A half hour later we were peeking out of the bathroom and searching our phones for the all clear.
Cable and internet was down.
I called Preston and Katie.  He said it looked like we were good to come out of our tiny hiding place.
We never lost power.  We didn't get hail.  
Couldn't have been a tornado, but it was loud.
Torrential rains, blowing hard---sideways.

I figured we might have a couple dead branches down and a pool full of leaves.
It was never confirmed that we had a tornado, but many things point to at least straight line winds or.........well, I don't know.  Sure seems tornado-like.

200+ year old tree.
Blown completely over. 

My brand new gate.  Literally ripped off its base.  Pulled free from 18 screws that held it onto the frame.

New fence. Blown down.

Half of a large oak tree.

Half of another large oak tree.

I wish this picture captured the fact that the right half of one of my favorite trees is gone.
I can't remember what kind of oak this is, but it was beautifully shaped and is the only tree we have that changes color in the Fall.

Here lies the other half.

Same tree, different angle.
This tree makes me think we had at least a circular wind.
It is a very healthy tree, but three branches as big around as telephone poles were twisted off.  It is obvious that they didn't just break off.  One of the branches not only came off, but flipped completely over.

More large branches.

The Houdini Sisters

The great news about all this destruction--not one broken window, not one branch on a structure, roof in place and the chicken coop stayed put.  Which frankly, is amazing.  It was right in the obvious path of the big wind.  Not one branch down out of the tree that the coop is under.  The tree right next to it will have to be taken down, as it is leaning from the root ball.

We spent ALL DAY yesterday cleaning up the back yard and pool area.  Tiny tips of branches, thousands of them, all over.  

Today we will start on the downed trees and branches.
We can't get the chainsaw to start.
Maybe we should advertise "You Cut free wood" on Craigslist?
Heck, folks will pay money to "You Pick" peaches and blackberries and apples.
I'm offering my wood for free. 
Seems like a win-win.
What do you think?


  1. OOOOOOOHHH! NNNNNNOOOOOOO! Losing trees is almost like losing a family member. So sorry but so glad for the good news and that you, your family and your critters are okay.

    Did Eric make it through the weather too?

  2. Wow! I'm glad that no one was hurt and that the house and most of your property are intact. You're lucky that Eric texted you; it probably made you more aware that there could be dangerous stuff, for real, headed your way. With the twisting of the tree, you know it had to be a tornado. Thankfully, a small one. We used to live in San Antonio and my son, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in '93 was at a rehab facility in Dripping Springs for a month. I'm still interested in the area and looked up the Austin newspaper for news about the storm. There was an F2 tornado in Burnet County. Maybe it was still forming and passed over your place on its way north. I hope your insurance pays most of the cost of repairs and cleanup. We just got a new roof because of hail and wind damage. All we had to pay was our deductible. It's truly a shame about your trees.

  3. I'm sorry for all tha damage, but glad everyone is safe. Please don't taunt Mother Nature anymore:)

    I'd advertise the firewood, oak burns well and I bet someone will want it.

  4. Oh, Man! I'm so sorry! On the other hand I'm very glad the storm wasn't a tornado...this was horrible enough!!!


  5. WOW!!!! You sure were lucky. God was definitely watching over you and your family. Very happy to hear no one was hurt. Next time listen to Mother Nature when she speaks.

  6. I guess you get some firewood too...geez...

  7. Holy crap. Just saw this. Your new fence is stunning even if part of it has to be reinstalled. I'm trying to imagine two mini-donkeys in the guest bathroom with you.