Monday, December 12, 2011

A Series of Unfortunate Events, Hurricane Included


storm 024

Despite the gloomy sounding title, I guess I’m lucky.  The tree did not crash through the bedroom window, the trampoline did not mow over a pedestrian on it’s way to the neighbor’s ditch, and the computer is merely in a coma, versus flat lined. However, a blizzard has just been announced by the National Weather Service, so there’s that.   

Our desktop (say that slowly with me now, children: “desktop”) computer has been with us many years.  The way this machine behaves, you’d think it was a thrift store find, but my husband assures me we bought it retail, at about the time the Russians sold Alaska to the United States of America.  I am now typing on newer technology: a laptop that was manufactured circa Alaska gaining statehood (we’re the 49th state, in case you were wondering).  

The old desktop was very slow, and occasionally provoked me by freezing up or flat out refusing to be switched off.  Writing blog posts was especially agonizing.  The race was on to get my nonsense typed out before the great beast froze up on me.  Something once eminently useful, now a piece of junk. 

When people think Alaska, “hurricane” is not the first word to spring to mind.  Maybe “earthquake” or “wild animals eating one’s garbage” or even “cold, miserable, dark wasteland on the tundra” though I’m just speculating, of course.  Mother Nature threw us a curve ball yet again last Saturday, blowing in an unseasonal, warm(ish) wind from the south.  Not a gentle wind, mind you.  I’m not opposed to a little gentle wind as long as it gives a little body to my limp mane.  This Chinook wind took things to extreme.

We prepared as best we could as the wind started up.  Then the rain/snow came. Sideways.  The front window sprung a leak.  Mister Fix It was blown off his ladder trying to seal it with silicone it in the dark.  Don’t worry, he is tall, so the landing was shorter. 

However, that naughty trampoline rolled or flew or got up and walked through a formerly impenetrable thicket of alders and landed in a heap at the neighbor’s.  What little form and function left was reduced to nil after the head ATV driver pulled it back through the alders with a winch attached to the four-wheeler.  It is now completely retired from all jumping activities (see above picture), and on a related note, we have acquired ample metal to practice welding modern garden art.  Something once useful, now a piece of junk.

We awoke (if you can call tossing and turning, and waking at every big gust sleeping) to a tree blocking our garages and driveway.  The tree was kind enough to break halfway up the trunk, so there was a mere thirty feet of it to fly through the air and land on our roof and bash our (new) gutter on it’s way down.   

As we walked through the ‘hood admiring the damage the next day: at least a dozen large white spruce, a couple of which were blocking driveways or roads, a few birches, and an entire roof of shingles on one home.  Poor sap, hope he had insurance.  A little further down the hill, I spied a chimney blown over, a first for me.  Those of you in windy areas, no laughing now!  I’ve never experienced winds over 100 mph (I’m not counting those breakneck amusement park rides at Universal Studios) in my life, so the wonder and destruction of it all amazes me.

*Update: as I tap this masterpiece whilst my house is literally shaking from the wind, we are enjoying the first blizzard of the season, with 1/4 mile visibility.  And along with another dose of 100mph winds.  Is the Apocalypse near?  I hope not, I haven’t tried growing artichokes yet….


Got hurricanes?  Blizzards?  Ill-tempered computers?


Lona said...

Good grief. Now that is a blow girl! Thank goodness there was not more damage. Sorry there is a blizzard in your future though. It takes batten down the hatches to a new level. Congrats on the new laptop. Stay safe up there. And Happy Holidays if I do not get back to your blog before then.

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

We have had strong winds - or what we call strong winds - but nothing like you have had to put up with. Must admit even newish computers have a stubborn streak and love to tease by freezing when you really could do without it - ours is especially in tune to knowing when we want to do something quickly at which point it reminds us who is the boss!


Land sakes gal, you really got a whopper of a storm didn't you? I'm so glad you and your loved ones are okay. It must be difficult to see all of those damaged trees. Interesting that all of the storms are headed in your direction. Here in Oregon we're under blue skies, finally. The last few weeks have been cold and foggy but finally today there is enough wind to push the fog away. The result being cold sunshine! I hope the Apocalypse holds off for a few more years so you can get your artichokes up and growing. I have a few things I'd like to get done myself so give us a break, Mother Nature. :)

Elephant's Eye said...

Mildly irritated computers, two. And a gentle warm afternoon breeze. Hope you'll post more often with a new laptop? Maybe another Alaskan artist. I remember a couple from you before.

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

Well, that sounds completetly unenjoyable. I'm glad everyone is ok. Maybe December 2012 is it. Ha. Hope your winter calms down.

Christine B. said...

@LonaThe power is back on, Lona, so I'm feeling much happier. We were without power for 24-hours, so I am feeling particularly happy about hot water and a warm home again!


Christine B. said...

@Sue@G.L. AllotmentsNo, say it isn't so! My dreams of a new computer sans glitches are crushed!!


Christine B. said...

@GRACE PETERSONThe trees I don't mind so much about, as long as they don't hit the house on the way down. No rare or coveted specimens among them. Though they do help with privacy....

Just curious, what temperature is "cold" in Oregon? We northen freaks wear shorts when it's snowing, so we may be a bit skewed towards the lower degrees.


Christine B. said...

@Elephant's EyeWatch for those mildly irritated computers, they can escalate on you with the push of a button. And tell your gentle warm breeze to fetch back it's angry, cold gale force cousin. We're sick of him!

I'll try to track down an Alaskan artist to share, and thanks for the feedback! I often wonder just what readers like and want more of.


Christine B. said...

@Birds, Bees, Berries, and BloomsUnenjoyable is the word. Though eating by candle light has it's pluses, the windows flexing and whistling in the wind, and blindly groping in the dark towards the nonfunctional bathroom outweigh anything. Hurray for electricity!


Marguerite said...

LOL, sadly we have all three here on the east coast (PEI, Canada). Hurricanes in summer, blizzards in winter and oh yes, a desktop only slightly newer than your model but with many of the same ailments. I never would have thought growing artichokes would make a bucket list, that's a new one for me.

Christine B. said...

@MargueriteIsn't PEI Anne of Green Gables country? Of course, my knowledge of eastern Canada would fit on the head of a pin, so feel free to correct me!

Once I tasted hot artichoke dip, I was a goner. Anything that fattening has to be good. Or so I tell myself....



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