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!