Storm over the barn.

After a year of drought and little rain this year, I am skeptical about storms.  Often, it is much to do about nothing.  Last night was one of those nights where there was a 40% chance of rain, but I doubted it would actually materialize.  We have started putting the horses in their stalls mid-afternoon to give them some shade and get them out of the sun.  Then after they eat dinner, we have been putting them back out in the pasture for the night.

There are coyotes and storms could come up that we don’t anticipate but overall it should work.  I was debating if they should go out last night.  Forty percent chance of rain-means 60% that it doesn’t.  I went to check out the skies about 7:00 pm and saw the storm approaching fast.  I got some great pictures.  I left the horses in their stalls.

What a storm we had.  We had wind gusts to 60 miles per hour.  We have a huge tree in the back yard that partially died in last year’s drought.  It has some leaves and good branches but it has many that are obviously dead.

Once the rain started pounding the back door and winds shifted into high gear, I got scared.  I was scared that the tree would fall on my little house.  It is as long as my house.  I idly thought about photographing all my belongings so that it would make the insurance claim easier when the house was demolished.  I know that is a good idea but I have never gotten around to it.

The storm was focused over the house for at least thirty minutes.  I sat in the dark with the dogs who were huddled around me.  I got up to look out the windows toward the barn and thought a telephone pole was on the ground.  It looked like a telephone pole.  Except there was no telephone anywhere near this location.  I went out the back door in see if the tree was standing.  It was and not really moving much in the wind.  The branches weren’t so stable.  A branch maybe 20 feet long by a foot wide (at the widest point) had flown from the tree.  It had landed on the other side of the fence (which was good).  And until this morning, I thought we had been pretty lucky.  Lauren went out at first light (I was long gone) and found the branch (think giant tree limb)  laying on the power lines.  Not the power lines belonging to the utility company (of course) but the lines that run electrical to the lights in our arena. 

I thought we could just pull the branch off the line.  I asked my utility worker son-in-law first.  He said as long as the power was off to the line it was okay.  Then Lauren realized it was way too heavy for her to pull off by herself. 

Luke has a day off since he worked the last 24 hours in a row.  He headed to my house (no doubt there were things he would rather do on his day off then wrestle with my power lines-but he agreed anyway). When he got there Blake had already revved up the chain saw and was cutting up the tree. Luke says I need to get that tree cut down but it is so big in such a small space (surrounded by the house on one side and fence on the other three sides) I don’t know how they will drop it when they cut it. 

Later today as the rain returned the roof started leaking into the house.  In the middle of the storm, Lauren crawled on a ladder and up to the roof.  The limb had driven two large holes through the shingles.   Lauren hauled a hammer and nails up to roof (remember it is pouring rain) and nailed some plastic in place.  She definately has her daddy’s genes.  Then we got the great idea to put a tarp over it.  That took a few attempts for me to get the tarp up to her on the roof.  I remembered her dad used to put boards on the tarp to hold it in place.  We didn’t have any boards but we had freshly cut pieces of wood.  I started lobbing them up to Lauren on the roof (did I mention it is pouring rain, Jordyn is here, the dogs were out) and wood was erratically falling on the roof and then to ground as my throws failed to land near her. Then I hit her in the head with a piece of wood.  We decided to quit with that.

I was happy Life Flight was not involved in this adventure.  I have low expectations.  Lauren is still complaining about a headache.  Maybe she should have worn her riding helmet.  Just sayin…

Each day presents new changes and we accept and move on.  Jon Katz said in his blog yesterday “A farmer once told me that a farm is not a stable and quiet place interrupted by occasional dramas and challenges, but one continuous drama and challenge interrupted by occasional stability and quiet.”  So true.  So true.

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