Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What a Week It Has Been

Pile of tree trunk usable for firewood
 After the east coast all shook from the strongest earthquake to hit the area in over 100 years, life felt a bit shaky.  In ways I was glad that I had lived in multiple places that had earthquakes so that I was not nearly as shaken as many people seemed to be.  It was still one of the stronger quakes I had experienced but we were lucky that we didn't have any damage, not even any photos knocked off the walls.  It is nice to say it would have been better to have Wayne home rather than off in Florida for work but he would have been at work anyway so it wouldn't have made much difference.

When I went out to check on the outside of the house the neighbors had a tree guy at their house giving them an estimate on how much it would cost to take down their 3 dead trees.  I went across and talked to the man and since they were going to be in the area they could take our dead Tulip popular the same day.  Seemed like a good idea especially with a hurricane predicted to come up the east coast.
Light colored chips from our Tulip Popular as well as the neighbors.
They came on Thursday and took down our tree and the neighbors' three.  It was really cool to watch since I had never seen anything like it.  We ended up with a bunch of logs that can be used for firewood and a large pile of chips that we will use for mulch since with all of the gardening we have done we need lots and lots of mulch.

One of the 5 trees our next door neighbors lost,  this is one way to get a pond in your back yard.
 As if an earthquake and getting a tree taken down wouldn't have made an interesting enough week we got 2 1/2 inches of rain on Thursday night and had hurricane Irene headed our way.  I spent time trying to get ready for the storm.  We started getting rain very early on Saturday and by early afternoon had 2 1/2 inches and the brunt of the storm had yet to hit.  At 6:30 pm I lost power so I spent the evening listening to the storm.  Candles came in handy but even better were the LED lamps that I had that were battery operated and worked good for reading by.  Watching the wind come down and the wind whipping the trees around was amazing.  I was so glad we were not getting the worse of it and even more glad that I was in my nice snug house.
Here you can see 2 of the big oaks our neighbors lost (photo from our back yard.)
 The rain ended by morning (the rain gauge was completely full with another 7 inches) and then it was time to see what damage had been done and then to help people get trees off of driveways and make sure everyone was OK.  Our next door neighbors lost 5 trees and have at least a couple more that are seriously listing.  Luckily they did not fall on anyones house but it did take a crew of us to get all of the branches etc that had fallen onto the driveways of the neighbors behind them.
One of our baby trees that need to be propped back up.
 I was really lucky that we did not loose any trees although several of the baby trees we planted in the spring will need to be propped back up and probably staked until they can get their footing back.  Some of them are damaged with some splitting and damaged bark but hopefully we won't lose any of them.
Just some of the wood our neighbor Scott is adding to his wood pile.  He is going to have plenty.
 With all of the damage, it is amazing we came out as well as we did.  Some of the immediate neighbors had damaged fences, decks and even roofs and water damage.  Even then we didn't get hit near as hard as other areas of Southern Maryland.
More of the fallen trees.
 I had to do without power until Monday afternoon but I could still text Wayne to keep him updated by how I was.  We had water the whole time which was good even though had to be careful not to overflow the septic catchment since the pump to get rid of it is electric.
Still have trunks that will eventually need to be cut up and moved.
 I still have friends both locally and in New England that don't have power yet.  The bead store I teach at just got it today.  I think Trish is open partially because she doesn't have power at home yet.
Now the driveways will be passable.
I can't believe Wayne has missed the most exciting week we have had here in Southern Maryland in a long time.  I think if we would have had lots of damage I would have been more unhappy about him being gone but as a Nay Wife I learned that if something is going to go wrong or happen it will probably be when he is gone.
After the tree was removed from the edge of the deck.
 Overall I feel amazingly blessed that we came out of all of this in such good shape.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who were not near so lucky.  My thanks go to all of those who checked in on me and offered their assistance if I needed it.
Another view of the cleared driveways and trunks of the fallen trees.
 What do you do when you have no electricity for almost 2 days.  When it was really dark I mostly read but during the day besides helping out lugging branches off of driveways and into the woods, I organized my studio some and worked on my backsplash mosaic.  So my time wasn't a total loss.
Fallen branches and trees took out and damaged sections of their new fence.
 The good news is that behind the storm came some glorious weather with highs in the low 80's and lows in the low 60's so the house didn't become a sweat box.  A couple of the neighbors had generators before the storm hit and by the time we got electricity back quite a few more got them as Lowes got a shipment in at some point.
Hard to see but the tree leaning against the right side of the roof damaged the roof and caused water damage inside.
I am hoping that September will be a much quieter month, Wayne will come home on Friday night (for Labor Day weekend and then be home for a week or so before he makes another trip and in the middle of the month I will have a trip to get together with several other wives that we were stationed with in Hawaii.  Still sounds much quieter than the last week.

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