Monday, August 31, 2020

The Storm

 Last week, I had to drive Tim up to pick up the dump truck from the shop. He had some work done on it that he just didn't have the time to fit in. I dropped him off and headed back down the hill. I wanted to stop and get some corn from an Amish stand. They had the biggest bell peppers I have ever seen in my life and I picked up some of them as well. I wanted those seeds for my own garden next year. 

The weather looked very foreboding as I headed down the long driveway. I picked up 11 ears of corn. Her husband was picking corn and would be back shortly with a fresh batch so that I could get two more ears for my 'bakers dozen'. "That's fine", I told her and waited. We visited and talked about gardens and the like as the wind began to pick up. We listened to the thunder in the distance. 

"Looks like we're going to get some weather," she commented and I replied that I'd be glad for the rain. 

Her husband walked in with two 5 gallons buckets of sweet corn. I took two ears and thanked them, and headed off. It was getting very windy as I put my purchases in the back seat and got in my car. I waited for one of their sons. He was coming back with a horse drawn hay cutter and I didn't want to frighten the horses on that narrow driveway. 

As I got back on the road, the wind started in earnest and I was surprised to look out my driver side window. It was raining, a regular deluge, in the field beside me, as far down the road as I could see. Suddenly it was on me. The rain blew sideways. I drove carefully and mindfully, my wipers on high. Very suddenly, branches were raining down on my car and I saw a wire drop down in front of me. Most alarming, an oncoming car veered into my lane. And there was absolutely nothing to do, no where to go. 

He veered back over, his tires squealing. It took a long time before I remembered to breathe again.

Shaken, I continued driving and the roads were awful, big branches blocking traffic, trees crashed over. I was happy to get back into town. The storm seemed to end just as abruptly as it started. The tin from our woodpile was all over the driveway. Amazingly a tool box had been blown from one side of the driveway to the other. Two large branches from the large old trees out back were down, but blessedly, they had missed the vehicles setting there. 

Sirens were going off in all directions. 

A block and a half from us a man was killed by a falling tree. Our neighbor had two large trees split, and one side hung precipitously over a neighboring house. She had a large branch on her house. Every where we looked large old trees were down. 

The next day, we saw Bill walking his little dog. He had stopped to watch some tree removal. He said, "I just happened to be looking out the bathroom window upstairs, and I saw that wind. I SAW it! It came from the neighbor's yard to yours and it was headed our way, but then it stopped, changed direction, and went down your driveway." Tim told him that it had gone between two houses across the street, and knocked two more trees over and into the river. 

It was astounding to think that Bill had watched the wind, but later, checking on the tenants, our new tenant said, "I was sitting on the back deck waiting for the storm to come and I saw that wind come right up the river. It was amazing."

We were very lucky, 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

The 75th Anniversary

Roger and Agnes are an elderly couple we know. You won't meet anyone who knows anything more about apple trees than Roger. Agnes plays a mean game of scrabble. 

They are now in a nursing home and due to the Covid stuff, they have not been allowed visitors. Today was their 75th wedding anniversary. (Try buying a card for can't.) 

Their son arranged for them to be brought out on the porch. The facility made cupcakes to share. And their friends and family came with cards. We sat with them for a few minutes and visited and then left to let the next folks have their time. 

It wasn't perfect, but it was the best that could be done in these hard days. I was glad to see how quickly they recognized people, even after five months, even wearing our masks. I told them I felt like I was having an audience with royalty. It was pointed out that Queen Elizabeth and Agnes share the same birthday, although they'd never actually met. I said that I understood it was one of the Queen's great regrets, that she'd never met Agnes. They both found that riotous, and they laughed heartily in the same old way that I knew. 

We left a stack of books and then we made our way home. I had tomatoes to process, and as I plucked them out of boiling water to peel, I thought of all the years of gardening and canning that Roger and Aggie did, working side by side, delighting in their garden, arranging their jars on the pantry shelves of their log cabin. Now those happy times are done for those dear old souls.  Working in my own kitchen, I felt very blessed.


Tim has a DIY Christmas

 Houdi continues to do alright. He's not himself, but he eats and he drinks. He is a bit more reclusive than usual, but he's stopped...