Monday, August 29, 2011

Goodnight Irene

I survived the hurricane.  It wasn't fun.  They said it wouldn't be as bad as Isabelle, but it was worse, for me.  In the vernacular of hurricanes, "bad" is a relative term.  If you live near the water, the storm surge of a hurricane is bad.  This is because the wind and force of the water, especially at high tide, will come up and flood your house or yank your pier off its pilings or toss your boat up on the shore.  If you live in the woods, like I do, rain fall and wind are bad.  Irene had a lot of rain.  And a lot of wind.  Coupled with the crappy front we had come through on last Thursday (with tornadoes, thank you very much), the ground was saturated.  So, trees fell down.  And, sometimes your house is in the way of the tree's path of travel from upright, to the ground.

 And when a tree falls on your house, it doesn't mind sticking its branches into your roof.  

This lovely tree stuck three of its branches into our house.  This provided three large holes for water to run freely into our home.  So, you can imagine, for most of the night of Irene my husband and I bailed water out of our attic.  We put a bucket under each of the holes and proceeded to "bucket brigade" from the time of the tree falling, about 9:00 p.m., until the rain stopped at around 4:30 a.m.  I haven't pulled an "all nighter" in quite a few years.  And, there is a huge difference between studying all night and physically working all night.  My body hurts everywhere.

My son was the person most inconvenienced by Irene.  If you can see the window with the air conditioning unit sticking out (Yes, I have central air, but he feels his room doesn't get cool enough.  I'm not going to wear a sweater in July for his comfort.  Anyway, I digress), this is my son's room.  While my husband and I were bailing, I suggested he get everything out of his room and begin to pile it up in the guest room.  I told him the ceiling could collapse at any time.  Unfortunately, the excitement of the storm sort of paralyzed him.  I practically had to slap him to get him in motion.  In the end, he was able to empty most of his room and the ceiling hasn't collapsed as yet.  *sigh*

To make matters worse, a tree fell on my son's car.
This tree looks small in comparison, but, trust me, it's big.

 I, on the other hand, am trying to look at the positive in this situation.  What is positive, you may ask?  The biggest positive, for me, in this is the idea of getting my son to go through all his CRAP and cull and sort and basically clean up his stuff.  I'm just going to keep this thought running through my mind.  This is going to be my positive meditation each day until we have put this chapter of our lives behind us.

This is just my small story in the Hurricane Irene book of stories.  I am grateful it wasn't too bad.  I took a tour of my little neighborhood of 126 homes.  I stopped counting homes with trees on the roof at 40.  The neighborhood is unrecognizable.  Everyone was damaged in one way or another.  Thousands of trees are down.  Dozens of homes are flooded.  We can all commiserate in our tales of woe.  I'm so glad no one was hurt.  I'm grateful to have insurance.  I'm grateful to have a job.  I'm grateful to have my health and ability to clean up the mess.  I'm grateful to have a husband who knows his way around a chainsaw.  I'm grateful to have a son, who after an initial hiccup, stepped up and really helped get things working again.

We are going to be alright.  It's going to take time, but everything will be repaired, replaced and restored.  In the meantime, we have a big mess to clean up.

 This is a big pine tree.  Fast neighbors with chainsaws take half of it away quick.
 My son standing next to the root of the big oak

  I think there may be enough sun here to grow tomatoes next summer.  :)

 Trying to get the insurance company on the phone.

There are 20 more trees down around the property.  We will be working on this for a while.  Btw, if you need any firewood, you can email me.  Come over, you can take all you want, free.  :)


  1. wow. sorry for the damage but glad you all are ok...and hope you can get it fixed soon enough..and the insurance co is not too much of a hassle....glad it is over...

  2. So glad that you are okay!  Love your positive spin on Irene!  I would love for my son to clean his room...little chance of a hurricane striking here though.  Tornados, yes, but it looks like one already hit his room!

  3. Saw the comment you left on Farmgirl Paints.  Thought I'd come by and see how you faired.  So glad you are all okay and you are able to start your own clean up.

  4. Wow, that's a bit much! I'm glad you're all safe and well, and that the damage was to property only. Here in NOVA, there were also quite a few downed trees, but they mostly seemed to avoid houses. Many people without power, but fortunately not us. I guess I should just go on and count my blessings. I hope you get your details all sorted out promptly and quickly!

  5. Glad to have you stop by.  I love new people.  :)

  6. well, you certainly got your share of damage, didn't you??!!  i am so sorry you have to go through this, but as you say, there is some positive in everything.  just gotta think that way or down you go, just like that tree....
    your roots are strong...

  7. I like that turning lemons into lemonade thing, happygirl.   I'm sure that tree crashing down was a bit disconcerting though.  Glad y'all are OK.

  8. I'm glad we're ok, too.  The tree guy fell off the roof while removing the tree from the roof.  He's ok.  I think it's a miracle.

  9.  Counting blessings and gratitudes is my hobby.  :)

  10. Oh my. I am so sorry you had so much trouble. We live near Richmond and didn't suffer any damage. Oh, and we camped in Natural Bridge, where it rained very little.

  11. good to hear from you. I've been wondering and praying for you . 
    That was a huge tree root! 

  12. What a mess a hurricane makes. I am sorry about your roof.  We have gone through Hugo and Floyd.  Hugo was a big one and took a few lives. The trees were severely damaged. I suppose it is nature's way of culling and trimming. Take care and good luck with the clean up.

  13. Wow! And I was whining because we still don't have power. A lot of trees down near me, but our house was spared. I am in awe of your positive attitude! That giving of thanks really does make a difference, doesn't it?

  14. Oh, HappyGirl, I'm so glad you and your family were unharmed! What an experience! No hurricanes here in Portland, only threats of a very large earthquake. I love your positive attitude!

  15. Wow happygirl, that's some big tree.  I'm so glad you are safe.

  16. So glad that you are all OK and that your house is going to be able to get fixed - they are some big trees that came down!! Can see how you will have fire wood for sometime! Same we are from down under and cant be closer to take some of that firewood for you! All the best over the next week.


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