Monday, September 15, 2008

Ooh ooh ooh, what a little windstorm can do

Yesterday, I was in my hometown in southwestern Ohio. My fiance and I were printing out menus for our upcoming wedding, and my dad was also preparing for the wedding, installing a new mirror in the bathroom, in front of which all our guests can now primp. I heard a bang. "Dad, are you all right?" He calmly answered, "I think a tree just fell on the house."

I went to the enclosed porch and looked out at the front yard. The menu printing had been taking hours, so I had no idea what was going on outside. The trees were bowing at the waist I imagine for them, and indeed, a big limb had fallen off a neighbor's silver maple and right on to the house, apparently rolling off so that it could hit my dad's car.

Over the next several hours, we played a board game, and it seemed that nearly all the limbs from our neighbor's tree were slamming on to the house. And probably a limb from our own, too. When the windstorm had mostly passed, we were blocked in to our house by all the debris in front. And, with the power having gone out, there was nothing to eat except Cheerios. At least we could sneak out a back door.

My fiance called business after business trying to find some place that was open that would sell us items for sandwiches or that would take our pizza order for pick up. But either the phone would keep ringing or we'd just get a busy signal. Finally, we found a place. Dewey's seemed to be the only restaurant left in town that had any power. All the drive there, every stoplight was broken.

In spite of all the limbs that fell on my parents' house, the damage was more limited than we probably could have expected it to be: dented siding, a few missing shingles, gutters that were now pulled away from the house. My fiance was also lucky: only an awning had been pulled off his house. And most lucky of all was the fact that none of us had been harmed.

Driving back to Indiana early this morning, I watched as the amount of debris and damage quickly lessened the farther I drove. Nearing the Bloomington exit, a couple construction signs were tipped over, and then just one stoplight was out. But my apartment has power (whereas over 200,000 of my southwestern Ohio natives may be without power for days), and I've seen just a few twigs, small branches, and leaves scattered about.

Nevertheless, there has also been some consequence here at the office. During the wind and rain, it seems that one of our outlets gave out, and oh what damage one little broken outlet can do! Our refrigerator has leaked a puddle across the floor, any messages left on our answering machine have been obliterated, and only now, after jamming all our plugs into a series of power strips, do we again have access to the Internet, and all of you. Please bear with us over the next couple days as we try to get back up to speed!

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