“By the time anyone figured out the storm was coming it was too late to do anything but batten down the hatches and exercise damage control.”
— Karen Marie Moning, American author of paranormal and urban fantasy
A week and a half ago not long after dark, weather warnings were in the air. Day turned into night as the winds howled. The winds blew and the storm raged. Our safe place was prepared with blankets and pillows and two bicycle helmets. The cat made her bed on a pillow. A sudden “bam” sounded from the front of the house and then it was gone and all was quiet. Sam stepped to the front porch surveying the front yard for what little he could see in the darkness. All seemed well. It was then he glanced at his feet to find a large oak limb had wrapped itself around the post. Debris was spattered across windows and doors. The following day revealed fallen limbs, bent and broken trees, thousands of scattered sticks and more so of leaves. Yet the sun shone brightly as if nothing had ever happened.
A cursory look around the house showed no other damage to the house, garage, or greenhouse. It was then Sam noticed the boat shed had shifted about four inches off of its foundation. Otherwise with some slight bowing here and there the structure was okay. Sam spent the day contriving methods of moving the shed back to the foundation and securing it with a nail gun. It was evident straight-line winds had lifted the shed and set it down something like you’d imagine in the Wizard of Oz.
The next few days were spent with Sam and his chainsaw gathering broken and scattered limbs while I picked up much of the multitude of scattered sticks. The burn pile grew exponentially until it looked like a small mountain. Leaves were raked into piles and deposited in the woods. The leaves stuck to the front of the house were swept away.
The next project was to clean all the windows and there are many. The screens were removed for cleaning and by the time they were finished we marveled at the view. A conversation ensued about why we had screens anyway. The only purpose they were serving was to cloud our view. Off went all the screens. Sam was assured if the electricity were to go off and we needed to raise the windows we could reattach the screens. While I fantasized if the electricity were to go off to that extent we could go to a hotel and sit by the pool.
Having cleaned the storm litter, we moved to the house. While we were on a roll it was a good time for spring cleaning. Up came the rugs and out came the vacuum cleaners, mop and bucket, glass and surface cleaners along with rags. The furniture was all moved from one side to the other and back again. Every surface was cleared and scrubbed. Heavy blankets and winter wear washed and stored away.
By the time we finished we were pretty proud of ourselves. We turned to admire the clear, clean windows only to see five deer quietly moseying by.
Columns by Shannon Bardwell of Columbus appear in The Dispatch weekly. Email reaches her at [email protected]