We’re fine! Thanks for asking. The whole East side of North America went through the storm of the century, and all I got was this lousy, wet tee-shirt. One woman in Toronto was struck and killed by wind-blown debris. A guy in our northern twin city was slightly injured when a large tree crashed down on his house. A family in town had a large evergreen tree uprooted and neatly deposited lengthways down their in-ground pool.
In the last year, we have had a new roof installed; that was timely. And we had all new windows and doors put in. There was a lot of wind and rain out there, but, out there was where it stayed. While the dregs of the storm may linger for a day or two, it appears the worst is over and the water is starting to drain off, all except my rain-water collection barrels.
I had been using watering cans to take water from the barrels, and pour it around our Mulberry bush (where our weasel pops), the Magnolia bush, and four Rose of Sharon bushes. It’s been such a dry summer that the wife suggested deep watering, soaking the ground, for better growth next spring. I had emptied the two single barrels, but, even before this big storm hit, we had had rain about every second day.
The three ganged barrels beside the house just kept refilling. I finally gave up. The soil around the bushes is as soaked as it will ever get. I have a faucet installed on one barrel, so I just hooked up a garden hose, ran the end down near the front sidewalk, and turned the tap. They refill faster than the hose can drain them, but eventually I will get to disassemble them and invert them for the winter so that ice formation doesn’t damage them.
One that I had inverted blew around between the houses, but nowhere I couldn’t find it. The young father in the other half of our semi had assembled an eight-foot high wooden *castle tower* play set for his two young daughters. It had another two-foot high nylon parasol on top, for sun protection. It’s now lying in his yard. I may have to volunteer to help him right it.
The son was just thinking of getting ready to leave for his Monday, midnight shift, when his supervisor called to say it had been cancelled. Day shift worked. Afternoon shift might have been sent home early, but they worried about overnight. The winds and rain were picking up. If they had a power outage, there would be no buses or taxis for workers to get home in the middle of the night.
The gal next door can telecommute for some of her job, so she stayed home Tuesday. I met her outside, and she gave us a 12-pack of new pint canning jars that someone had given her. We’re the only people she knows who can anymore.
The area of Southern Ontario between my home town and my current address is one of the most stable, fortunate pieces of real estate to live in, in the whole world. We don’t get hurricanes, we don’t get tornadoes, we don’t get earthquakes, and we don’t get floods….usually.
Earthquakes occur five hundred miles away, near Montreal, or south of the Great Lake, in Ohio. We sometimes feel a little edge of a tremblor, but no shaking houses down, or even rattling dishes. If we hear of two tornadoes in a season, it’s unusual. They mostly occur a hundred miles south and west, and only knock down small trees, or the occasional cow.
We were driving north several years ago, to visit my parents for the weekend, when we ran into a fierce storm. Rain so hard I could barely see the road, then we got pounded with hail so big I worried about damage to the car finish. The wind was howling like a freight-train. The wife peered out her window and said, “I think I see a funnel cloud.” I told her, don’t be silly, it couldn’t be, we don’t get tornadoes up here!
When we reached the parents’ place, there was Dad, watching his TV on the weather channel. He informed us that Live Weather had just reported a small tornado where we had just driven through. Had we seen anything? Yikes! Yes! My ass getting blown into some farmer’s barn.
The last time I saw a perfect storm this bad, in this area, was back in 1954, when Hurricane Hazel came to visit. She brought lots of wind, and tons of water. One of my uncles lived out on the edge of town. You turned off the highway and crossed the railroad tracks that paralleled the road, to access his property. Back then, we still had train service. In fact, that far back, the engines were steam-driven.
A hundred yards past his house there was a large steel culvert under the highway, for rainwater to flow down to the lake. It just emptied into an earthen ditch. Years before, there had been a wooden trestle over the large ditch, but it had been replaced by a concrete version, solidly planted on both banks. With the amount of water flowing, the bridge was still solid, but the two banks had been badly undermined. When the afternoon train slowly rolled into town, the trestle looked good, but the weight of the engine crushed it, dumping it into the creek. The engineer and the stoker both died of steam burns, a horrible way to go.
Even as I write this, the clouds to the west, behind me, have broken, and sun is streaming in the window, making it difficult to see the computer screen. I’m going to go look out the back windows. If I see a rainbow, I’ll know the worst is over. The storm really didn’t bring us much trouble. We are very fortunate. I just hope that all my good blog-friends were as safe and lucky.