Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Lighter Side of Catastrophe, cont -- Plan of Attack

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The morning after the storm, our son went to the store for supplies for us, then drove five hours to get here. He gave us a much-needed shot in the arm with his enthusiasm, youth and strength to help with the clean-up.

The following morning, the first thing he said to us was, “So? What's the plan of attack?” My husband responded, “Surrender?”

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Lighter Side of Catastrophe -- electrical breakers

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While we were without power, my husband turned off the breakers. With two tree through our house, we didn’t know what electrical damage had been done, nor what would happen when the power came back on.

When the power returned six days later, we had to check the breaker switches in the basement, one at a time to find out which rooms they went to. They were marked by a previous owner in “doctor’s handwriting,” i.e., difficult to impossible to read. With cell phones on, my husband and I communicated which lights came on in which part of the house. When he switched the one to the master bedroom and den-home-office, a light flickered, and the breaker immediately switched off by itself.

My husband ascended from the basement chuckling. The breaker switch for the master bedroom and den was labeled as “Bug and Yard.”

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Lighter Side of Catastrophe, cont -- kid's tornado observation

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A few days after the tornado, I needed to get a haircut. I wanted to do something to make me look pretty. My own hairstylist lives in a town a half an hour away. I didn’t want to spend that much time away from our storm-damaged house, so I went to a cheap local place. The young stylist gave me a cut which looks like she put a bowl over my head, but that’s a different story. Something else amusing happened at this new place.

A father and his six-year-old son were there, getting their haircuts. The kid started talking animatedly about the tornado, and with large gross motor action, showed everyone how “a branch flew right past my cheek.” That was a scary-enough retelling, especially from a child’s point of view. But then he added, “… and this is my favorite cheek.”

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Lighter Side of Catastrophe, cont.

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I’m not so sure if this is so much funny as it is curious or creepy. The day after our tornado, the birds were acting very strangely, especially the starlings. They stood on the squirrel shield of the feeder or on the grass beneath it. They tilted their heads to the side and opened their beaks, and froze, remaining like that for minutes at a time. The starlings eyes were also a brighter white than I’d ever seen, especially against their shiny blue-black heads. (Try as I might, I can't find the photos I took of them! You'll just have to believe my words.)

Probable explanation for their behavior/look: The weeks and days up to the storm, the temperature had been in the 30’s at night and 50’s during the day. The day after, it was 90 degrees. I’m thinking their peculiar action was merely because they were suddenly hot. Although, personifying them, perhaps they were in grief of their nests, chicks, and friends who didn’t make it through the storm. (Okay, NOW who’s being creepy?)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Lighter Side of Catastrophe – The Mailbox Story

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We came home this morning to find the city taking down our 100’ leaning hickory tree. After we got home and the guys took a mini break, my husband went out and took down our mailbox, which was beneath the tree. He brought it to the house and leaned it up against the railing on our front porch. We figured we’d get skipped for mail today, but with everything going on this past week+ with the tornado, that was not a big concern.

When the hickory guys left, my husband went to put the mailbox back on the post. He noticed the mailbox door ajar. When he looked in, mail was inside it!

So… if we would have put the box up on the roof, would it be delivered up there?

With so much to sigh over during this ordeal, it's the little things which crack us up. Now I just can’t get it out of my head to put a mailbox up on our roof to see what happens.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


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We had a tornado come through our neighborhood last week. We still have no Internet. Monday night, I went to my husband's office to use the business Internet while he was at a meeting. We returned home at 9:30 p.m. to find the front door closed, but unlocked.

Since the tornado, our mental states have been random and shaky at best. My husband was unsure if there was actually someone in the house, or if we'd left it unlocked. (He usually checks things like that before we leave.)

So I cried out, "Hi, we're home!" Stupid thing to do if there was truly a burglar in the house! Because there was no running or crashing escape, we advanced further in. "Is anything missing?" I yelled to my husband, who started checking the far end of the house. I heard a door open and shut in the hallway. He shouted back, "Oh, no! All our bedroom furniture is gone!"

(Because we're missing part of our bedroom walls, we'd moved all the furniture from there into the living room a few days earlier in preparation for reconstruction work.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tree Removal Humor

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A tornado went through our neighborhood a week ago. That wasn’t funny in the least. But there was no human loss, for which we were all very grateful. But the noise! Generators screeched all night long, and chain saws buzzed all day. Because there was no power, people worked from sunup to sunset.

At 8 p.m. a few days later, while trying to cut away at the base of our 60-year-old fallen oak suddenly the tree removal guys stopped their machines, even though there was another 90 minutes worth of daylight. It was eerily quiet.

My husband commented: “They stopped! I wonder if they got stumped?”