Friday, July 10, 2009

After the Storm... (Jen)

Last night we had a really bad storm, solid lightening, straightline winds (65-70 mph) and rain for 2 hrs. Started around 3am. Electricity went off around 3:30. Me and the dogs (Fynn, Sophie and Nora) sat huddled in the living room waiting for the roof to fly off. The lightening was so intense and so constent that you couldn't look the window for more than a few seconds without being blinded. At one point I looked out the kitchen window (to see if the wicked witch of the west was flying by) and the young sweet gum was practically horizontal. I knew it was bad.

I was worried about the new pup, Izzie Bella, the sheep, the pyrs and the horses. It was hailing on and off but not steady and didn't sound like really large hail. Then I heard the loud thump to the west of the house. All the dogs jumped as did I. I'm always afraid that old half dead cedar is going to fall on the house, was today the day?? I looked out the window but I really couldn't see anything but a large object in the yard, couldn't make out what it was. The winds grew worse and we moved into the kitchen which is on the southeast side of the house, the storm was blowing in from the northwest. Seemed logical. And its the farthest away from the cedar tree.

I didn't think it was ever going to stop. I knew it was a large storm as I'd gotten on the internet just before the electricity went out and I could see it was still over St Joe and the second wave was due to hit an hour after the first. There really was no break, just a small easing and then it started back up again. I could hear lightening striking and branches cracking...just like my heart. I worry so much about the animals, there is no way to make them completely safe and not knowing this storm was coming, the barns were closed up tight so they had no way to get in (the boys actually did get into a barn, I think the gate blew open). I simply couldn't go out in that lightening so I had to pray they would be ok. My biggest concern was puppy Bella. She's only 10 weeks old and this was her first big storm.

As soon as there was a small break in the lightening, I grabbed my raincoat and ran out with my flashlight. I'm a real chicken when it comes to lightening and halfway across the yard I realize I'm holding a metal object and BOOM, there's a crash of lightening and thunder, darn near peed my pants. So I run faster, grab the metal gate, with the iron chain (good grief) and throw it open. I shine my light around the garden where the lambs and Bella should be and I can't find them. Don't panic I tell myself, they're here. I shined the light to the corner under the eves of the lambing shed and there they are. Three out of 4 lambs anyway, Gabe is over munching on an elm branch that fell (sheesh). Little Izzie Bella is standing underneath Nike and Zeus looking like a drowned rat. Poor baby!!! Don't worry, I kept that to myself (must be strong) and opened the door to the lambing shed assuming they'd run in after me. Bella did, she's no dumbie but the boys just stood out in the rain baaing at me. Well come ON I said and poked them in the butts to get them moving. Finally they followed, Gabe reluctanly left his elm branch, he didn't want to stay out there by himself! Ears flapped as they shook themself off and I returned my attention to Bella. I picked her up wanting to make sure she was ok and she was shaking like a leaf. Oh dear. Storm phobia now officially installed. Can't I have an LGD without storm phobia? Well, how can I blame them, I would too if I had to be out in that. Tucked her away in her pen (she was not pleased) and went out to investigate the object in the yard.

I'd caught a glimpse on my first race thru the yard and knew a tree was down, just wasn't sure which one yet. By the time I came out of the lambing pen, the sky was starting to lighten and I could see it was not the half dead cedar (oh no, couldn't be THAT one!), no it was the bigger nice one. Snapped clean in half and now laying in the yard. Branches from it were strewn all across the yard in a straight line to the south. I walked around the front of the house to see some damage to the roof. I started lightening again so I raced back in and it had one last burst before finally ending.

Later I drove into town and there were areas of bad damage. There is one field on the way to town that we've always admired. Very well manicured, pretty old oak trees, just the kind you see beautiful horses grazing in. I'd say half of those oaks were toppled and across the road near a baseball field, several more big old trees were snapped in half or split down the middle. Fields of corn lay nearly flat and I saw the big door peeled back off a machine shed. They say it was just straight line winds but some of that damage looked like a tornado, not just winds. I'm starting to think these kinds of storms are typical for this area, not a pleasant thought.

On a happier note, Bridget and I finally installed a proper gate on the north end of the red barn. No more sagging cattle panel! Granted its too big for the opening but it was either too big or too small, not too hard to make that decision. Eventually I'll probably build doors but this will suffice for now. We were pretty proud of it, there's just something very pleasing about hanging a gate. Love to swing it back and forth once its hung, just like a kid with a new toy!

Don't forget to visit our store (, we have lots of roving available and I'm spinning up yarn as fast as my fingers can handle it! I don't have all the yarn listed yet but if you're looking for some for a project, just shoot me an email and I can spin some up for you!

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