Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Good morning! It's been a long and largely difficult summer this year. Day after day of bruising heat; the garden has suffered. And so have we. Last evening, for the first time in over two months, we were treated to a spectacular sunset amidst a cool backdrop of light breezes from the north. This instead of hiding out in the house to deflect the intense heat.
Compared with close-to-one-hundred-degree temperatures and punishing winds, last night was paradise. For the first time I really felt like the oppressive and menacing weather was going to relent. At least for awhile, anyway. Mother Nature is unhappy with us. Our carbon footprint is way too large. Global warming is real. Climate change is real. The elements have combined in an evil fashion. Our yard is filled with downed trees; one of our chimneys blew off completely and punched holes in the roof on its way to the ground. Our neighbor's roof blew clean off. We were nine days without power.
Perhaps our biggest loss was that huge amount of pork sausage we put in the freezer. But nevermind. Despite the 100-mph "derecho"...we are doing just fine. Really, we are...but we're wary. All of us are. Waiting for the next "big one." It's a new term, this "derecho." Rare, in fact. Only happens when the forces line up in a particular order. I can vouch for the fact that it's awesome. They sent electrical crews from all over the country to our little neighborhood. Five HUNDRED utility poles were demolished. Snapped off about 25 feet above the ground. Same way with the myriad downed trees....all broken off at about 20-25 feet above the ground.
Nine days without electricity is challenging. But we made out just fine.
The one thing we learned here is that we are NOT prepared for disasters. We've always had such a benign climate. Sure, we experienced the odd hailstorm, or severe storm. But here in the quiet old soft-shouldered Appalachian mountains, we've always felt safe. So when disaster struck, we didn't have an infrastructure that was prepared to deal with massive damage and downed powerlines. But, we came together and helped one another. Our newly formed neighborhood association reached out to connect one another...and that was good.
This occurrence has opened the door to a new era of caring and cooperation right here in our corner of the world. So, overall....the big storm taught us lots of lessons we needed to learn. More on this in another post.
It's been so long since I posted anything to this blog that I almost forgot how! How are you all, anyway? Did you get caught in the derecho? (BTW, if you don't know what a derecho is, you can learn more about it by going here: