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.

Across the street from us.

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?

Downed fences and just a tiny bit of the green metal laying in the field pictured in the lower right hand corner.

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.

You can just barely see Clint's truck (where the arrow is pointing) in proximity to where his carport now resides.

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.

Tom reading by book light.

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!!

19 Responses to “Our New Year’s Eve Adventure”

  1. arlene Says:

    Happy New Year Pam !!!!

  2. Kim Michels Says:

    WOW!! What an adventure for you and your neighbors! Glad to hear everyone is ok.

    p.s. I couldn’t go without electricity for long. I don’t like roughing it at all!

  3. Cydney Says:

    Happy, Healthy, Prosperous & SAFE New Year!!! glad you are OK!

  4. Marcia Says:

    The wind was horrible over here in Canon City, CO, too … terrifying for this old gal and her cat! Happy New Year!!

  5. Shelva J Wood Says:

    Where is it that you live??? WHAT A STORY TO TELL LATER WHEN THINGS ARE BACK TO SOMESORT OF NORMALLY. i’M LIKE YOU, electricity off two different times just this past summer. How we get so used to having things, really tough going w/o. So glad all is well now, thanks so much for sharing with us. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

  6. Maggie Frazier Says:

    Wow, were you ever lucky! Looks really scary. We havent had too much wind (knock on wood) but the weather has been so freaky – 2 bad floods in 5 years!!! We have lost power a couple times, but now have a generator when that happens. Seems to me that these power outages are happening more & more.
    Have family out in California & they have lots of wind.
    Glad you & Tom & all the animals are ok. The carport story is really strange!
    Happy New Year, Pam

  7. Jim Westin Says:

    WOW… better call my brother….glad you guys are okay.

  8. Linda Bain Says:

    Happy New Year, now while it’s still fresh in your mind gather together a “no electricity emergency kit”…lol. I had one,must important item..manual can opener!! You always have wonderful times…

  9. Jerry Says:

    What an experience! Happy New Year to you and Tom from us in Wyoming. Hope your new year goes very good for you. That kind of memory will probably stay with you and glad to hear that everything turned out Ok.

  10. Linda H Says:

    A New Year’s to remember for sure. Glad you, Tom, and the horses came through unscathed and with a great story to tell. Happy New Year’s Pam and Tom.

  11. gerrikier Says:

    Pam…Happy New Year to you and Tom. So glad no horses were injured in yesterdays adventure in your area of the metro…that was a crazy time for you all. Thanks for sharing your adventure.
    Blessings to you my Fabulous Friend!

  12. Unc Gerry Says:

    Great – and entertaining – glad all’s OK

  13. t6834bl Says:

    Love the candle and booklight photo. Stop and think how neat it would be if the power went out more often! Glad to hear all is calm…

  14. Margaret Says:

    I’m glad the carport didn’t hurt anyone on its flyby. Wow that sure wouldda gotten my attention. I’m glad no one was hurt. That’s the most important thing.

    Sure sounds like Mother Nature was tearing her hair out to end the year. And ringing in the New.

    A bit less excitement for you for the rest of the year. Our hearts can only take so much at one time!!!!

    Happy New Year Pam and family!

  15. Bob Smith Says:

    Pam, I’m really glad no one or any horses were hurt in the storm. Your notebook for the year sounds interesting. For your sake and the wild horses, I hope the BLM and their cronies wake up and smell the roses about the beauty and freedom of the public land horses.

  16. Dr. Bill and Pat Rice Says:

    O.K., Guys – this report belongs in the Family History, under the title of “What Are These Kids Going To Do Next??!!
    So much for a welcomed peaceful New Year’s Eve! Neat report and we’re thankful that you folks and your neighborhood are all O.K., especially the critters, big and small! Yes . . . count all your blessings for this New Year of 2012 – it’s Here!
    L & P, Bill and Pat

  17. Boy did it ever blow, Pam. By the way I saw the total eclipse of the moon by the EArth whilst out on the Black Rock desert playa a few weeks ago. This was really awesome. It is a shame to see so many wild horses again losing their freedom in Calico. Best for the New Year and let’s keep persisting to turn the lives and freedom around for the better for the wh/b’s

  18. Glad to hear everyone was okay. And glad you liked the book!

  19. pnickoles Says:

    Happy New Year Arlene! 🙂

    I don’t really mind “roughing it” Kim, but we were always better prepared when we lived in the mountains when things like this happened more frequently.

    Thanks Cydney – Happy New Year!

    Guess it was bad all over Colorado Marcia. Glad it’s over. Happy New Year!

    Hi Shelva – we live in the foothills near Denver, CO, but I heard it was bad all over that night. Happy New Year!

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