It Was A Dark and Stormy Night

I wandered into the kitchen to get a glass of water.  The large west facing windows revealed a sky full of black menacing clouds in the distance.  Dare I hope?  Rain?  I yelled up the stairs at Jason to come and see the clouds!  (Yes, we need rain that badly—it is an event!)  I ran outside and the clouds looked very ominous.  This was not going to be just some rain; this was going to be a severe storm.  I headed for the chicken yard to shut the chickens up in their coop for the duration, just in case.  As I watched, I saw the farm field of our nearest neighbor kicking up a tremendous amount of dust.  I walked faster; but not fast enough!  The dust began to kick up in the chicken yard, so I decided to turn around and head back to the house.  I only took a few steps and it hit, literally!  There was this sound that I can only describe as an explosion and everything not nailed down in the yard went flying all at the same time!  Including me, the gust of wind that hit, knocked me on my butt.  It took all of my strength to fight my way back to the house, while things were flying.  The commercial garbage can flew like it was made of paper.  It landed in the soybean field off to the east of us.  Xena’s wading pool somewhere off in the cornfield across the road, the hose reel and several boxes flying along with it!  The chimney cap somehow blew off its moorings and ended up at the street.  Maybe that was the sound that I heard.  Tree limbs split off and were flying all around.

 

The stand to our birdbath. It was anchored to the ground!

By this time, Jason had joined me and we were dodging limbs watching the sky for any funnels forming.  We cleared off the door to the root cellar, just in case.  (Later, Jason asked me what the explosion was!  He was sitting on the bed, putting his boots on when it hit.  He says that the sound was incredible and the force of it actually shook the house, almost knocking him off the bed.)

 

The greenhouse plastic, weakened by the high temps shredded.

And then, the rain came, softly at first so we stayed outside excited that there was rain, finally!  When the rains came harder we moved into the house to watch.  Then it got worse.  The lights and air conditioner went off with a loud popping sound.  OK, no biggie we lost power.  But after a few minutes, the lights cycled back on again.   Oh YAY!  We didn’t lose air conditioning in this heat!

 

Suddenly there was this really loud humming sound, bright almost blinding light and sparks shooting out in all directions from the pole in the front yard and the lights went out again with an explosive sound.  It was so loud, I was sure that light bulbs were exploding!  We looked out the window to see that a branch, a very large one had split off a tree in the front and been blown 30 feet UP into the air and it had landed on the transformer.  So, this cycle went on for what seemed like forever, but was probably 15 or 20 minutes.  Every few minutes the power would cycle back on and the rain would short out the transformer with that awful noise and showers of sparks.  We couldn’t get through to the power company; they were inundated with calls from all over.  We called 911, but they said that unless there was a fire, to just sit tight and they’d send someone over when they could. 

 

We couldn’t get out.  The house is so old that it has only one door to the outside—on the side where the transformer was and there was no predicting when the cycle would repeat.  And besides, the truck was parked directly underneath the transformer! 

 

So, we sat it out with candles, waiting.  Eventually, the power just stayed off and the rain dwindled to just a light mist.  After the power had been off continually for half an hour, with me standing at the front door, watching for the lights to come on—ready to scream for him to run, Jason made a run for the truck.  He was able to move it to a safe spot on the other side of the house.

 

After an hour and a half, the fire department showed up.  They stood out in the yard, surveying the damage and looking at the problem, chatting with Jason.  There was really nothing they could do; we and the house were safe for now.  They did call the power company and put us on the priority list.

So, we had a wildly exciting evening and, . . . the plants, the chickens and we got more of those wonderful negative ions than we bargained for!!  It’s almost 2pm and the garden is still damp from last night’s rain—a wonderful and most welcomed sight; and there is another thunderstorm in the forecast for tonight.  In spite of last night, I’m doing another rain dance; all of this weather will help to ensure that the summer vegetables survive!

(Oops, life got in the way and this post is a little late in coming!  This was from Friday.  Update:  the storm only dropped 1/2″ of rain 😦  We are right back into the high 90s and 100s with no rain and none in sight!)

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