Our New Year’s Eve Adventure
January 1, 2012
I can honestly say we had one of our more “interesting” New Year’s Eve’s in quite some time. Our only real plans for the day had been to have the boys over for a belated Christmas celebration around noon. So much for a plan coming together smoothly.
All morning, the wind blew furiously scaring the horses, the dogs and quite frankly, us. The news reported that winds in our area were clocked at 83 m.p.h. (I would have quessed stronger, but whatever). Branches were breaking, debris was flying around, horses were running around (that just makes me crazy with worry) and then finally, boom. The power went off. It was just after 10:00 AM. Well, what do we do about lunch now? We decided not to worry about it in hopes the power would be restored by the time the boys arrived.
Well, that was not to be. As the boys walked in the door, they reported how it looked like a tornado had gone through our area (which had actually occurred in the recent past). Trees and large branches were down and in the road. Justin said he worried that every time he drove under a tree, it was going to come crashing down on his truck. Luckily, they dodged any of that.
Well, I just had to go out and see what was going on. I couldn’t open the garage door, so the only vehicle available was my husband’s big Ford truck that I had trouble moving the seat up in. Oh well, I’d give it a go. With my little point ‘n shoot camera in hand, I started out the driveway. I didn’t go a foot when I heard a terrible noise. Shoot, I didn’t even go anywhere and already I broke the truck!!! I got out to take a look and that’s when I found the neighbor’s metal trash can lodged underneath the back wheels. Whew! Tom came out and took the now less than round trash can back over to the neighbor’s house (wasted effort I thought since I knew it was going to be making its way back to us in no time) and I was off. Sure enough, there were broken trees and branches everywhere.
Plastic bags were flying around and everyone else’s horses were as frenzied as ours were. A block away, I found the tree in the road. A large evergreen with power lines wrapped around its base. Surely the cause of our outage.
I drove a little further east and found fences down and something large and green lying in a field. Hmmm…wonder what that was?
I hurried back to the house. There I found Tom and the boys with a battery powered radio on low just talking away and having a good time. Well, this isn’t so bad. No distraction from the TV. This was some real quality time with the kids. Cool. But, still, what to do about lunch?
The wind died down for just a bit and Tom figured this was a window of opportunity – he’d light the grill and cook some steaks. There wouldn’t be any sides, but hey these are typical boys. Just meat is just fine.
The steaks were delicious and there were no issues with the grill and the wind (we were very careful and we have a covered deck that was protected from most of the wind). Before we even finished, the gusts started up again. Wow, that was some good timing!
After a few hours, the boys left and Tom and I headed to the store to gas up the truck. All along the way – destruction. What a mess! Earlier, Tom had gathered a number of large broken branches out of the paddock. Hazardous material when horses are that flighty!
I had Tom drive to where the tree was down in the road. At least this time, there was an Xcel crew there.
We drove further east and I showed him where the fences were down and where that mass of green metal lay. As soon as we started back home, it hit me. Was that green material the remains of our friend’s carport? It had to be, but it was about 1/2 a block from where it should be. We drove over to our friend Clint’s house. Sure enough, his carport was gone!
We called him right away to make sure all was okay (well, with the exception of his carport). He told us the story and because no one was hurt, we just had to laugh about it a bit (I mean, what else can you do?!). He said he was doing his dishes, looked out the window to see his horse bucking and running and decided to go out to remove a beach ball (really) that had blown into her paddock. As he was getting ready to go out, he looked out the window again and something looked different. Who’s truck was that in the driveway? That’s when he realized that it was his, but there was no carport covering it! And, it was no where in sight! Where could something that large (and anchored 3 feet in the ground) have gone?!
He said it must have gone up like Dorothy’s house in the Wizard of Oz. It went up and over his fence, smashed into the corner of the house behind him, continued careening all the way over the roof line to the opposite side of the house taking out a fence before landing in the other neighbor’s field! Miraculously, it had missed both his horse and his truck on its way to the neighbor’s.
The neighbor was really good-natured about the whole thing. He said it had scared the bejeebers out of his grandson when the carport hit the corner of the house where the kid was watching TV, but since no one was hurt, insurance would take care of any damage and the grandson would have a fantastic tale to tell his friends of the airborne carport that rocketed by on New Year’s Eve.
Clint also told us that before his carport had gone missing, the transformer across the street had blown up causing a live wire fire before the huge tree even came down. Sheesh, our buddy Clint had had quite a day!!
It was getting dark. Tom and I hunkered down in our family room where the gas fireplace was still operating to keep us warm. We had candles lit and one book light between us. Tom decided to read to pass the time. He’d been reading our friend Barry Frangipane’s book, “The Venice Experiment” (quite entertaining apparently) and laughing out loud. I wanted to know what was so funny, (since I hadn’t had my turn to read the book yet) so he started reading to me. Hey, this was great. We laughed together as Tom read about their adventures. It was quite peaceful and just like a kid would, I dozed off.
At 11:08 PM, the power was restored. Every light in the house was on, so it woke us up just in time to catch the New Year’s celebrations on TV. We watched the ball drop in Times Square, wished each other a Happy New Year, giggled as we recalled a bit of the day and finally called it a night.
The first thing I’m putting in my notebook that I’m grateful for (mentioned in my last post, that we begin today)….electricity!!!
Happy New Year everyone!!