Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We're Not in Kansas Anymore Toto

Each week I try to have a general idea of what I'm going to be talking about. I'll jot ideas down in a spiral notebook but it's all very loosely organized.

As I've said many times before, the weather here in the midwest dictates our lives at times. Monday night and Tuesday were a great example of this dynamic.

The wind is a constant here in northern Illinois. It blows incessantly and as I've said it's part of the landscape. On Monday night things started to ramp up and for a midwesterner to say the wind is crazy is really saying something. The wind was crazy strong and gusting at what we know now was category 3 hurricane levels.

One of the windows in my sewing room actually blew out of it's frame and I found it lying on the floor. Let's just say none of us got a good night's sleep on Monday night.

On Monday morning the blue skies were gone.


Replaced with these clouds.


The wind was gusting up to 90 miles per hour and there was a tornado watch in nearby Elburn. The electricity was out in that town for most of the day and we lost power sporadically. I'm very thankful that we installed one of those natural gas powered whole house generators last year. It's absolutely necessary with an 89 year old in the house because if the power goes out in the wintertime a power outage means the temperatures in the house will plummet within minutes. You cannot imagine how cold it can get when the temps outside are 30 below zero.

One of the gusts caught a notch in the Bradford Pear tree in the backyard.


Nature's power can be awesome and terrible. Half of this 22 foot tree was peeled away down to the ground.


There was much gnashing of teeth and tears involved when the Other Mother saw this sight. It was her tree, one of her favorites. We're not in a forest and the trees she has planted are standing alone and unbuffered by the distant treeline.

Someone has dubbed this event, "Chi-clone", as in cyclone. The "Chi" refers to nearby Chicago.

So how was the weather in your neck of the woods yesterday?


Susan said...

I kept hearing about the storms in your area and was hoping you'd post a report. Glad all is safe.

chocolatechic said...

We had to go to the basement for awhile.

Fortunately we didn't sustain any damage beyond having to chase down garbage cans.

The woman across the street now has a mangled and crumpled above ground pool...and it was full of water too.

chocolatechic said...

PS..I was really concerned about you yesterday, and I have been waiting for you to post.

Leslie T. said...

I saw the reports on the news, and wondered how you were doing. It looks like you got quite a beating with those winds. So sorry to see the ruined tree! Glad that nothing worse happened, though I have to say that I would have been freaked out about the blown-out window.
And yes, you're right -- I can't even imagine how it would be to lose power during temperatures of 30 below zero. The most I have endured is ten below, and I was a little popsicle for sure. These days, my old bones would take one look at 30 below and crumple into a sad heap and die with a whimper.
Glad you have the generator. I'm sure you've lived through many numbingly cold situations during your life! Oh my!

Jenni said...

We had crazy winds on Monday, too. I didn't listen to any weather reports to know what level or category they were, but it was pretty bad. Nothing much was affected at our place, but we're in an unusual spot and slightly sheltered.

Lisa D. said...

I don't like winds like that! I've spent some time living on the prairies and did not like the constant winds. I need my trees! So sorry about the tree, I would be in tears too.
Our weather is already below 0 (celsius). We have snow in our yard, but just 1/2 an hour away, in town, no snow. It was melting a little yesterday, but I don't think there's any hope of it disappearing. I do know what it's like to be without power at 30 and 40 below 0. The temperature can really drop fast in the house without a backup source. I am very thankful for our woodstove. We try to use it as our main heat source all winter. There's nothing like the heat from a woodstove! Unfortunately our water pump requires electricity, so we are without water when the power goes out, but we do have other sources for water, so we can make do when we have to.

Adele said...

Here in northeastern Minnesota we have had lots of wind since Saturday morning, gusting to 45 mph, 3+ inches of rain yesterday, which turned to snow early this morning. We have about an inch in the grass, thankfully none on pavement, but, much more has fallen in the areas further from the Lake. I was also concerned for you as I listened to weather reports. Glad to know damage was 'minor'.

Kat said...

Snow in the hills around town!

Tess said...

Seeing that tree makes me sad too. I need to chop down a couple Texas Persimmons and a Mimosa, something I'm not looking forward to.

Steph said...

Tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings all afternoon and night long!

QuiltNCards said...

Sorry to hear about your window and pear. Lucky the window fell on the floor and didn't break all over your sewing project. Is there no way to save the pear? Paint would keep the insides from drying out, and might make the tree viable still. It does look like too much of the trunk is gone. My little pear is grossly mangled by a bumper crop of giant fruit this year. It'd be hard to lose it.
Good to hear you are both Okay.
<3 Terri

Vee said...

Oh no...I have been thinking of everybody who has been affected by this weather system. I'm sorry that the tree was hit and that it was a favorite of your mil's. They can feel like children...trees. I know I'd weep for my one tree. (Oops, forgot the lilacs...three trees.)

I'm glad that you weren't in the room when the window blew in. Now for the clean-up...

Our weather has been nothing like yours, but the rain has been torrential and the winds strong. The street is flooded and the river is being watched closely.

Ang. said...

Windy! That's been our weather, too. Yesterday we lost a large branch off of one of our 40+ year old maple trees. It skimmed the electric pole taking off the security light but leaving the lines. When I called it in the electric company said they would come out today to fix it since we still had electricity. I can't imagine them trying to fix lines in that wind!

Debbie said...

We didn't get it as bad as you did. It was alarming for sure. Sorry about your beautiful tree. With the winds we've had here in the past few years, I didn't think there was anything left to break. I was wrong :(