Thursday, November 18, 2010

Huff and Puff.

I slept on the basement sofa last night.

For the second night in a row. It's not what you think! The Husband hasn't gotten sick of my snoring, talking while asleep or the way I warm my feet up on the small of his back (Damn, I married well. That man puts up with A LOT.)

Rather I chose to sleep downstairs because we've been having crazy weather here.

It started Tuesday evening with -- what appeared at the time -- to be crazy wind gusts. As we were getting into bed, we could hear trees creaking. The house was groaning as the wind buffeted the walls. Every so often the wind would whistle through the cracks in the window frames and rattle the metal curtain rods.

I got out of bed at 4 AM. I'm sure I did get a few hours of sleep, but it felt like I'd been lying there awake listening to the violence outside for hours. Probably I did get some sleep, but I doubt I ever reached REM sleep. Next I tried sleeping on the chesterfield in the living room, but it was actually louder there. Next stop: futon sofa in the basement.

It was quieter downstairs. But the sounds of the storm still reached my ears and burrowed deep into my subconscious.  I dreamt that my husband and I had two sons (in addition to our two REAL ones) who we didn't like very much. We kept our lesser-sons in an underground dungeon and they were now trying to escape by howling and scratching at the floors. IT WAS CREEPY. I was more than happy to get up at 7 AM, less thrilled to realize the storm was getting worse.

The wind storm stuck around through out the day. We lost power a few times, which isn't surprising considering the gusts were reaching 90 kph. On the Beaufort Wind Force Scale the storm was a level 10. That's just two levels below hurricane.

At around 10 AM I looked out the kitchen window and saw this:

It's one of my neighbour's pine trees! Leaning precariously over our NEW deck, and our NEW shed.  It's a pine tree that's survived the Great Northern BC Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation. It's a survivor! How could wind be its undoing?

Fortunately it fell in slow motion, leaning on to the equally tall pine tree beside it, as the roots pulled out of the ground. The branches of the second tree were sheered off one by one as the first tree fell, fortunately missing the shed and the deck but knocking out my clothes line. 

With half of it's branches gone, the second tree eventually went too. This is the view from my kitchen window now.

(The basketball net was blown out from it's storage place about five meters up wind.)

This morning I went out to take some more photos, and all I could hear was the sound of chainsaws:

This is the root ball from the first tree.

Same root ball in the foreground, and in the background is the second tree's root ball. That second tree still hasn't come down all the way, and the root ball is still half buried. It's leaning against a smaller, healthy spruce tree that seems to be able to take the weight. I hope.

It was the best case scenario for these trees. They came down slowly, away from the two houses and power lines. They even landed on the segment of fence we'd planned to replace next summer. I'm still awaiting to see if my new compost heap survives.

We spent Wednesday afternoon in the dark. Almost all of the stores and businesses shut down for the day, and the police asked people to stay off the streets as there was debris on the roads and flying through the air (shingles, siding, trees, snow shovels, garbage cans, eavestroughing etc). The rec centre was cordoned off as the roof was peeling off. The town's cellphone tower was damaged and is out of commission. It was scary and lonely.

At 5 pm, the lights came on. Husband came home. I dug the vodka out of the freezer.

Last night the storm died down. But the gusts would kick up every once in a while. I tried to convince the boys to join me in my basement slumber party, but got no takers. So I slept in the basement. Alone. Without even my imaginary dungeon children to disturb my slumber.


  1. 90 MPH! Wow. We get all excited around here when gusts are 50. Sheesh.
    You and I could be best friends if not for geography. Digging the vodka out of the freezer, it's like you're my soul mate.

  2. HOLY CRAP!!! That is some storm. I would have been so into the booze too.

  3. Yikes! Glad everyone is ok. We had a windy day on Tuesday, but nothing like what you had.