Saturday, June 25, 2011

Living in Texas can be exciting.

Monday Jerry left with Jered and the other Varsity Scouts to go on their High Adventure. I was excited that I could do what I'd like all week long. I spent the day cleaning up after the chaos of packing them and their camping gear for their trip. With dishes done, laundry done, house cleaned, I was feeling pretty good about the commensement of my week. I decided to go to bed early and get a bright and early start in the morning.

I  woke up about 2:30am with the sounds of a severe storm going on outside. I turned on the TV so I could get some information on what kind of storm it was, how big, how intense, and how long it may last. But my attention to the TV was immediately thwarted by what sounded like heavenly hosts pitching hard-balls at our house. I was alone since the boys were gone. This was NOT good. The hail got worse. It was hitting the windows so hard that I was afraid that at any moment the glass would break. I got dressed and put on some tennis shoes in case this should happen. I also called Jerry. I needed to hear his soothing voice as the flashes of lightning lit up the insides of the house, and the walls seemed to quake with the rumbling  of the thunder.The loud intensity of the hail pelted everything outside, and then got worse. By this time I was shaking. Usually the storms pass quickly and a few minutes of hail is the norm...but THIS storm seemed to be parked above us and the hail went on, and on...and ON.

This was taken by my friend Allison Niccum on her front porch.

Brother Niccum collecting culprits. 
Photo's taken by- Allison Niccum

At one point there was a bit of a lull in the storm so I went to the back door to look out and see if I could get a picture of the hail covering the yard so I could text it to Jerry. I bravely/stupidly snuck out to snap a picture and...KABOOM! A flash of lightning and a quick retaliatory body-shaking answer of thunder and I was back in the house as quick as you could say, "Why did I do that?" LOL. I thought I smelled wood burning. I hoped someone's house didn't get hit by lightning. Maybe someone's fence? Then the weather pulled a Haley Mills, twin, presto-chango thing and we had another round of the storm just like the first. The second wave had begun. It lasted until about 3:30am. It was 4am before I could quit shaking long enough to lay down on my bed and find sleep.

Yep, this is the great shot I took. So NOT worth it.

In a couple of short hours when the sun came up with a beautiful clear azure sky I went to investigate my home and the damages. The first place I looked was to my little garden, flowers, and tomatoes. I am going to show you a before and after picture of my flowers & tomatoes.

My flowers two weeks ago.

Tuesday Morning after the hail. Boohoo.

My tomatoes last week. You can see the
Texas heat beginning to make them sad.

My tomatoes Tues. See them in the mulch?  Sticks much? :(

Here are some more pics of the storm  damage:

I went to Sit-N-Sew the next day at 11am
in the 90+ degree heat and this was still left
under Lois's window 8 hours later.
This is at least 3" deep.

The black dots are pieces of shingles.

These are the holes the hail made in my friends
daughters bedroom window. How did it make
such big holes but NOT break the glass?
Tender Mercy.
This photo by- Heather Olsen.
A neighbors yard.

Our fence from being pelted.

A VERY broken flood light.

Our down-spouts & eaves are also damaged.

The west side of my beautiful tree.

I went to check FaceBook to see what my friends were saying about the storm, or if anyone else had damage. No internet. No TV. No Home Phone service. Hmmmmm....remember the smoke I smelled?  I called Verizon and got a tech on the phone who walked me through, seemingly, all 500 steps to get service up and running, but alas, to no avail. So, he finally scheduled an actual human tech person to come out. But wait...not until Thursday late afternoon. Drat. But understandable with the scope of the storm. So I went inside and looked around. I had planned on doing so many fun indexing for HOURS...on the computer. Out. Watching all my favorite Tivo'd shows while I sew. Out. There were many other things that were well. But this is what I learned:

I learned I am grateful for a LOT of things this week. I am grateful to have a husband that through all the storms of life is by my side, or at least several hundred miles away with a good phone connection. He is such a wonderful calming presence, I feel safe, and secure when he's near and I can hear his voice and snuggle at his side. (I know, I know my children are saying...ummmmm, ew.) I am grateful that the power outage was short and that soon the blessed air conditioning was back on and sucking out the attrocious humidity that was left in the wake of all that water. It made me think about the poor people in Joplin and other parts of the country who didn't fare so well and are still without homes, power, and any luxury. I am grateful that NONE of my windows shattered. A friend of mine had even the screens torn with large holes in them. She lives a few miles to our west which is where they got baseball size hail. I am thankful that the fence is still standing albeit is in tact, unlike many of our poor neighbors and friends. The trees though missing a bunch of their beautiful leaves are still standing, and I am thankful for that. I am thankful or a sturdy beautiful home that gave me shelter. I was driving along FM407 later that day and saw the cattle, horses, donkeys, and goats and felt bad for them. I wonder how they are feeling today, poor things. I am thankful for good insurance because we are probably getting a new roof (our home is but 6 years old), a new fence, new flood lights, and possibly new air conditioning units (2). But most of all...I was thankful when the men in my life pulled into the driveway from their fun adventure on the Gulf of Mexico. I hugged Jerry's neck for a while glad he's home.


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