Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I can't make this stuff up

That is something my brother used to say.  All the time.  Although, he typically exchanged "stuff" for a more colorful word.  And he was usually talking about bad drivers or the ridiculous laws that govern that state of Texas.  But he was so right.  I, seriously, cannot make this stuff up.  The last few days of our life have been an insane roller coaster ride.  And I want to tell you about it.  But please remember, I can't make this stuff up.  It's so crazy, it HAS to be real!

Dance recital weekend is always crazy.  It's just busy.  Last year, we had a tree limb fall at our house on Friday night while Finn was home with a baby sitter and the rest of us were holed up at the high school hiding from a tornado.  The show was finally called off, and they decided to have 2 shows on Saturday.  When we got home that night, the City utility workers told us to vacate because of the downed limb and the way the lines were we were, it created a fire danger.  Emma and Jake stayed with Nana because they were leaving for Texas Saturday morning to go see Kayleigh's recital.  The rest of us packed up for a hotel.  They cleared the tree, fixed the electrical damage and restored the power by sundown on Saturday.  I remember all this specifically.  But also, TimeHop Abe from my TimeHop App reminded me.  Everyday this week as the anniversary of these events occurred.

Fast Forward to this year.  Thursday dress rehearsal, Friday night performance, Saturday afternoon performance.  Baseball practices and games in between.  Family in and out of town.  Our dishwasher went out about 10 days ago, so we've been washing dishes by hand.  For six people.  Every night.  Oh, and I have a summer cold.  Sunday was the worst.  It is now in my chest, so I cough up a lung when I lay down.  Sunday night was bad.  Last night was worse.  I coughed my husband right out of my bed. And I have no voice.  It's tiring to talk, and when I do I sound like a tired old man. No one can hear me, let alone understand me.*sigh*

OK, all of that is normal and manageable.  It's been a mild Oklahoma May - no tornadoes, few thunderstorms,.  Drought like, even.  So, we were so glad to hear the rumble of the thunder and hear the rain late Sunday night.  But it just kept raining.  And blowing.  I'd call it a torrential downpour.  And I have a basement.  In Oklahoma.  Now, back up - we rent our residence.  Have for about 6 years now, and this is the 3rd location we've been in.  So, house related problems fall into the "SEP" category.  That's something else my brother used to say.  As in, "Someone Else's Problem." But, it's still a problem when you get up Monday morning and the bedroom at the bottom of the stairs is completely drenched.  YUP.  We assumed it was the sump pump failing - something else that happened about a year ago.  We called it in to the landlord, and then we started cleaning up the mess...

About 9am, the repair man came with the part for the dishwasher.  YAY!  He fixed it.  I can do dishes again.  GLORY!  Then we were about to ask him if he knew about the flood when he got a call from the office, telling him about our basement issues.  He went down to assess everything and came back to tell us the pump was functioning normally.  So, where'd all that water come from??? Oh yeah, the NEW CRACK IN THE BASEMENT WALL!  Are you kidding me? Can you say earthquake damage?  So, the other handy man came by shortly to wet vac what he could, and put down the floor drying fans.  Turned on the ceiling fans, and we were thinking another 24 hours would make a huge difference in the wetness in the basement.

Our day continued.  Decided Emma and Lara would sleep at Nana and Grandpa's again since those fans are loud and annoying.  Jake ended up at a friend's house for a sleepover somewhat randomly.  We put Finn to bed.  And I coughed my husband out of our bed.  But, I finally fell asleep.  At 12:23, I was startled awake by a ground shaking thud, and the sound of the power going out room by room.  The small lights from the clocks, TV, and components went out.  The fan above my head slowed.  It got really quiet.  And instantly hot!  I was up and off to find my hubby.  We ventured outside to see if it was just us or the whole area.  Just us.  With our tiny iPhone flashlights, we headed to the back yard and could see the power lines had been pulled out of our roof again.  Time to pack up the baby and find a hotel.

We were settled in and back to sleep by 2:30am.  Up at 7 to get the day going and see what we were up against.  We took Finn to Nana's, grabbed the girls to take them to camp for the day, and told Jake's host he would be there for awhile yet...  Then, we got to our house just as the tree guys were there to get the limb off the lines.  This was the first we had seen it in the daylight.  THIS LIMB WAS HUGE!!! At least 40 feet long, and about 2.5-3 feet in diameter where it broke off the tree trunk.  There are pictures below to give you an idea.  But the blessing in this is that we were incredibly lucky that there was no damage.  None to the fence on the south of our house.  Nor the long fence on the east along the alley.  And not so much as a leaf touched the garage.  AMAZING. 

The tree guys are coming back to remove the limb, and cut down the entire tree as this will just keep happening.  The electrician has been there - twice - repairing what he can with the meter and attaching the lines to the house.  Then the city can reconnect us.  Mid-morning, they told us we should be restored by this evening.  Fingers crossed.  If they get it done, I think I can save all my food.  In my 2 refrigerators... I sure hope I don 't have to start replacing food.  I just bought milk (at $4 a gallon) yesterday! I can't make this stuff up!

People keep asking me what made it fall.  I tell them, GRAVITY.  We honestly don't know,.  The tree appears healthy, but apparently it is not.  It was not struck by lightning...  Click on the photos to make them larger...

The base of the tree is just off the left edge; the guy in the light shirt on the right is near the "end" of the limb

Getting permission to cut.  You can see the power lines on the ground.

Hard to see, but you can see the pole on the house where the lines were pulled out. (Hi Pete!)

Where the limb broke off the trunk

My 6'2" husband standing next to the tree trunk
Me sitting on the limb about 10 feet down from the trunk...

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