9:50:00 PM EDT
Storm Stories - There's Got to be a Morning After
Remember that song from the Posiden Adventure? That is very appropriate to how we felt in the wee hours just before dawn. As we stepped out onto the porch, the first thing we noticed was a profusion of green. Now we had been long not having any rain, so this wasn't grass......it was branches and leaves from the trees! Several inches thick across the whole yard. Our eyes instinctively went up to the horizon, where we saw our whole view had changed overnight! Where there had been trees so thick in the edge of the woods you couldn't see between them, there were now spaces of light cascading in. One third to half of the leaves on every tree had been stripped from their limbs! Trees still green with no sign of autumn upon them. Trees that are evergreen. All the trees.
Many trees had blown down. Thankfully none on any structure! Although one very old shed did blow off it's flooring. Funny that all the things inside the shed were sitting on that bare floor, totally unhurt!? One did crash upon an old truck, a junker. It was easy to tell the ones that Rita got by the sheer force of her winds from the ones the tornadoes took. Those downed by Rita all lay in a straight line, roots to the North, tops toward the South. Odd isn't it how something blowing in from the South, spun those trees down from whence she came?! That circular motion just ain't nothin' like a Blue Norther blowing in. These trees were either broken off about a foot from the ground in a clean break or had went over pulling up their entire root system with them. Those that met their fate at the hand of the tornadoes were harshly twisted off midway up, some still hanging, and strewn around all askew.
The green, the view, then you notice the entense quiet! Like when you are somewhere remote in the cold. No road noise from anywhere. No animal sounds. I have never experienced an outside world so quiet. I wondered if that is how it was right after God made the Heavens and the Earth and before He started on all the creeping things upon the face of the earth.
Everything, every where looked brighter and cleaner. Especially the horses! Wow! They all shone in the dim morning light like new copper pennies. We joked about God's high pressure washer.
There was one dead chicken....otherwise the horses, the hogs, the dogs, the cats and the poultry were all alive and well. Even the monsterous little gator! We live in a very good place as far as standing water goes, so we had none on the ground anywhere. But our pond that had been almost a scummy mudhole the day before was full and overflowing into the marshy place behind it. And all of that stood with water.
We first got out the butane cooker and drip coffee pot and made us some coffee on the porch. We pulled my car up to try to get some reports on the radio, but it was hard and sketchy, as most all local stations had sustained damage, and the ones near enough to hear like Houston, were pretty much cut off from our area and had nothing to report on.
Later, Pete and Bubba walked through the pipeline to check on his brother's house. (They had been fortunate to be invited by friends to go to Oklahoma.) There was a tree down there on their master bedroom. The guys went on to check on Pete's sisters house, which sustained only minor damage. Our pastor lives across the street from her and they found him out surveying the damage to his property, and feeling very trapped by all the immensely large trees fell over the road. Just a tangle of trees!
Pete later tried going down our road in the truck, to check the damage in that direction. He could not get far, but was able to observe that our neighbors homes were standing.
We were hot and sticky and miserable. That Texas humid heat had not abated one bit! Way later in the evening, after one of our neighbors who had left came in and over to visit, we all loaded up in the truck to get a look down our rural road. Our neighbor had cut a pig trail through the debris just large enough for a truck to fit through. We were constantly driving over power lines, but as everything was as quiet as it was, we figured the nearest live wire had to be miles and miles away. When we saw we could make it all the way down our little road to the blacktop, Pete said we'd ride down and check on my sister Edna. She and her husband had also elected to ride out the storm. Maybe in part from stubbornness, part ignorance, and in large part not to desert their livestock......horses and cows.
Low and behold, as we snake our way through the cut out trees on the road, we see them headed toward us in their truck. My heart felt a burden I hadn't realized was there lift off! (See, she's all I have left of my original family unit. Just nephew, nieces, cousins and a scattered aunt or two besides her.) They had done and decided the same as we. So we just stopped there in the road and had a tailgate reunion. Plenty of hugs and damage reports. They had somehow had a good bit of water come in their home, that they mopped up in the middle of the night! lol Think most of it blew in under the window sill!!
Then the trip back to the house and a lot of hard work, figuring out how we're goin' to get water to the animals, get clean, stay cool, etc. etc.
I'll be continuing with different tales of how we coped. Just let me tell you all right now, if you are going to be affected by a natural disaster you need either a very wealthy man who can just whisk you away to a luxurious vacation while the peons fix your home OR a wonderfully ingenious redneck jack-of-all trades husband like my Pete! Doesn't hurt if he's a pack rat that never throws any tool, object, motor, etc. away either. ;)
Beautful flower passed to me by Jeannette.