It was a perfectly nice morning. I went into town to do some shopping for Kate's graduation party ( post to come). Ted was at work. The girls were at home. Sometime around 2:00 PM I heard a radio report that there could be severe weather. I went into Walmart just before it started to rain. The girls called their dad who told them to go up to grandma's house just in case (she has a basement). As I shopped around Walmart, it was obvious that the weather outside was severe. The lights flickered a few times and the noise from the wind and rain could easily be heard in the store. I waited it out and then headed home.
As I drove through Dover, I realized things were pretty bad. Thankfully, I already knew the girls were fine since Ted had talked to them and I had talked to him before I left Walmart. There were power lines down and a lot of tree debris. I turned onto Pine Hill and my heart started to sink......so many trees down so close to our place......I had to drive under a large tree that had fallen across the road and on a power line.....I wouldn't have done it except that another car had just gone and nothing happened, and I wanted to get home fast...so......
Standridge was blocked by a fallen tree and power lines and my neighbors were already there with chain saws. I was the third car waiting. I got out of the truck and walked up to get a closer look. A woman shouted to me, "Your trees are down, but I don't think they hit your house!" I simply could not understand what she was saying. MY trees? My huge oak trees? Certainly not. I expected damage, but THOSE trees? I did not believe her. It was then that I remembered.....LUCKY! She was tied to a cable staked in the middle of those oak trees! I started to cry and then run for home. I ran the rest of the way down Standridge, crying the whole way and screaming out Lucky's name. When I got to the house....and saw.....I stopped,...unable to go closer.... not wanting to find what I knew was there......and then......I noticed some movement.....some rustling leaves.....and I ran again, as fast as I could and there she was.....wiggling her little heart out and perfectly fine. I picked her up and hugged her and cried even harder - so happy for Claire...just so happy Lucky was fine...just perfectly, perfectly fine.
After I calmed down a bit, I put Lucky in the dog kennel with Miller and started looking around at the yard. It was then that Ted pulled up and we both just wandered around the yard in a state of shock.
BEFORE: This is the only before picture I could find real quick. If you look to the right of Jes's shoulder, you can see four giant oaks. Three in a cluster and one alone right behind our house ( with most of it's leaves fallen.)
AFTER: And here's what they look like today!
The cluster of three fell in unison.This will give you an idea of how big the root ball is. That's a 10 X 10 dog kennel and of course Ted standing behind it. And here's the single oak.Good-bye trampoline! But the satellite made it intact!
In addition to the damage in the yard, there are many, many giant trees on our farm that are either fallen completely or damaged. This was our favorite tree on the farm. It was a giant wild cherry tree standing alone in the middle of a clearing.
Here it is Sunday morning.....
Another fallen oak in the pasture beside our house. This picture doesn't tell the whole story by any means, but you can see a bit of the damage to the woods. This was a beautiful and favorite riding and hiking location along a creek. Right now, the creek is barely visible and mostly inaccessible. There are too many trees damaged or down to count and it will take us months, (years?) to clean it up. We were sad at the loss of our trees for about five minutes. Then we started counting the miracles and now all we feel is gratitude to God that he granted us so many!
Miracle #1: The trees that fell only scraped our house with outer branches and did little visible damage. But look how close! In addition, we had NO wind damage to ANY structure! Wierd! Miracle #2: The tree that didn't fall. If this one had toppled at the same angle as the other trees, our house would have been destroyed. We are having it removed.....or we won't be able to sleep soundly ever again!Miracle #3: This is where we found Lucky. She had run to the left of the direction the trees were falling and to the only spot she could reach that would be safe...how did she know? If she had run directly away from what she saw coming at her, she would have been crushed. ClaireAnna is holding the end of the cable she was tied to. I would say that her name fits her perfectly, but I know better then that!Miracle #4: On Thursday, Cutie Pie had calved. Ted and I had found her and a little red, newborn heifer that evening. On Saturday morning after the storm, we moved all the cattle to the other end of the farm and locked them out of the damaged area. There are several trees with broken limbs hanging precariously and also a fallen tree that is toxic to them and we had to move them for their own safety. Sunday evening, my mom and nephews arrived just before dark. They are here on a visit that was planned before the storm. I told Kate to take the boys out on the 4-wheeler and show them the woods and all the fallen trees. As they rode around, someone spotted a tiny black calf. Huh? The cattle had been gone from the area for a day and a half. It took us a while to figure out what happened, but we finally realized that Cutie Pie had had TWINS! And we just didn't know it. When we moved the cattle out, the little guy got left behind. Cutie Pie didn't bawl for him since she already had a calf with her. We tried to reunite mom and baby #2, but at that point, she would not accept him. So, we put him in the barn and gave him a bottle. Boy was he hungry but other then that, he is unharmed!