Monday, March 13, 2006

The Big Bang...

I worked 6 days last week, 4:30PM to 2AM Mon.-Fri., then on Saturday they let us go at 1AM (8 hours). My grandsons were spending the night, the older one's bicycle had come along with him and we were planning on spending Sunday morning after breakfast riding bikes in a park a few miles west of here.

I came home from work and made some photo back up discs (I've been lazy, and needed to clear memory cards), showered and got to bed a bit after 3. My clock was set for 8:30; I had promised pancakes and sausage or eggs and sausage for breakfast, of course, they wanted all 3.

I knew there was a chance of rain, so at 8:30 I kicked on the Weather Channel to check the radar on it's next cycle, and started getting up for the day. I was reading STB's "Photo Sunday" post when I saw the radar showing some pretty wicked stuff on it's way; we looked outside, and though it wasn't raining, the sky was a color you don't like seeing around here. I started trying to shut down the computer, my wife took the boys to the basement, and the first clap of thunder shook the house literally like it had been hit.

The wind howled for a few minutes, then let up; it never really did rain much. I came back up and started peeking out the windows, and saw my trash cans all over the back yard, the neighbors trash bags blown down the street, etc..

I went ahead and made breakfast and we ate, then since we weren't going to go to the park with so much severe weather around, I went outside to pick up the mess. The boys followed, of course!

My grandfather (Mom's Dad) gave Dad a "tulip tree" (George Washington Poplar) to plant "for me" the spring after I was born; that's the tree you see growing next to my driveway...



It's a "soft" wood, sprouts very beautiful flowers in the spring, and has huge leaves that shade the front (south) of the house wonderfully in the summer. I've always been a bit afraid of something happening to the tree for fear my fate may be linked to it's. (Yes, I know that's silly. Grandpa gave Dad a Mimosa tree to plant on the other side of the yard when my sister was born, but it started pushing the blocks in the basement wall in and Dad had no problem cutting it at all, and my sister is fine...)



When I went around front I found a branch from the tree lying on the ground next to the front of the house, it's end almost on the stoop. From the dent in the gutter I thought it had hit the front of the house, explaining the "big bang" when the "gust front" came through...



When I zoomed the Nikon in, and confirmed as I was fixing the gutter, the branch actually twisted off and came down on the roof, gouging the edging metal as it twisted and flipped, tearing away the shingles, then denting the gutter as it rolled and fell off the roof to the ground. Had it been a few inches further back, it would have landed on wood instead of metal over the wood, and probably have gone through like an arrow...



We cleaned up the mess, limbed the branch, then I got out the chainsaw and cut it up; by the time we were done the sun was actually showing a bit. We looked for the missing lid for one trash can unsuccesully, then came back inside to check for weather updates, finding out that a store had lost it's roof a few blocks away, and that they were expecting things to get really "bumpy" in a few hours.



The boys watched TV and played, I started running laundry and doing the breakfast dishes. The commode gurgled again, so before it rained anymore I went back up on the roof and used my Drain King again just to make sure we weren't going to have any problems with the plumbing again; by then it was lunchtime and starting to rain again.

The boys were supposed to leave at 2 with their Mom and Dad to go to a movie; right as the kids came to get them, the sirens went off and we were all heading to the basement again. I kept coming back up to peek outside; we were getting enough hail to whiten the ground, it started as dime then nickel sized, grew to quarter size, and then some golf ball sized stones started hitting. My son's new van was sitting in my driveway as was our 5 month old Malibu. I could see the Malibu from the window in the back door, watching a few of those hailstones hit it and explode...

The hail quit, the kids left and went home to check on their pets and their house instead of going to their movie; the weathercaster were saying that there was more coming in a few hours, even as it cleared a bit and the sun came back out briefly. We went out to survey damage again, and I ended up cleaning out some downspouts that had clogged with debris. We finished and came back in as it started to rain again; then the hail started again. This time it was quarters when it started and grew to a steady stream of golf balls, a few were silver dollar sized, the biggest I've seen in my 50 years...

When it was done and had quit again, I went out to look at our poor car; it has over a dozen strikes I can see plainly in the roof, hood and deck lid without cleaning it up to even really look...I don' t know how State Farm is going to feel about it, but I've never had a claim in over 25 years, so I guess I'm going to see!

This morning I get to get up and go back up and check my roof closely, and then try to fix the shingles over the front porch. More rain on Tuesday they say...I know we need it, but I'd love to get it without the rest of the violence!

Happy Monday, everyone!

:o)

alan

12 comments:

Jen said...

Wow, wild weather!! Your Grandson's are adorable!! Lucky to have a Granddad like you.
Jen

ConnieJane said...

So glad to hear you weathered this storm! I thought about you this weekend and will be sending email to all my KS and MO friends to see if they are ok.

I lived half my life in Missouri and I know exactly the color the sky turns when a tornado is imminent. VERY scary, tornadoes! They come and go so quickly. At least with a hurricane we have warning.

Love the picture of you and your grandsons too. Take care up there!!!

ConnieJane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cherish said...

I am so sorry Alan that is horrible!!!! I hate tornado warnings, my kids freak out completely. We live on an island so there are no basements. We go to the hall bathroom and put the kids in the tub. I am happy you did not get too much damage. That sucks about the car. That happened to my brothers brand new car years ago and the insurance would not cover it. This was a good 18 - 19 years ago. I think they said act of God. Gosh I really do not remember now but I remember him driving that car with all the dings. The grandkids are gorgeous! Its a shame the weather was bad sounded like it would have been a great day.

Godknows said...

Your post and pics are remind me about my trip to Melbourne Australia where there are kind of 4 season in a day. very nice blog .

Anne Arkham said...

Great post.

dragonflyfilly said...

alan, yep, i'm glad you like wild women, as long as you don't try to "domecticate" them, eh?

man alive! talk about a Wild Weekend well, i'm glad there was not major damage, but it sounds like MOTHER NATURE kept you on your toes.

take care, i'll check back later in the week. (time to change my picture again, i'm already bored with this old photo of me)

very impressed however with your most recent blog photos.

cheers for now,
the oww, pj

sttropezbutler said...

Jeez Alan.....I've been remiss in traveling around...you guys certainly had one hellava day!

Glad you are all okay...trust you've made it through today without further problems.

State Farm better come through or there are going to be a lot on unhappy bloggers telling what they can do with it!

Thanks for the snaps...and again...I'm happy to hear that you are all okay!

STB

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Alan-- That was quite a day you had. Sorry to hear about your car. Keep us posted about State Farm. I've seen their commercials, I think they say they're there to help (or some crap like that!).

Your grandsons are very cute, and is that you there in the photo with them?

Lori said...

I hate the tornado season. I'm not so bad during the day, but at night when I can't see.....yikes!!!

Glad everything is ok. Here's to a safe and storm-free Kansas spring!

www.kimmy.cc said...

but you are all good, and that is what is most important.

Sandy said...

whay scary weather! lucky you have a basement to hide in ( our houses aren't built with basements) Sorry your house and car were damaged!