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Location: Austin, TX, United States

Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Freak Stormnado

 Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o' the world!
Crack nature's molds, all germens spill at once
That make ingrateful man!

Shakespeare, King Lear, III.ii.

I'm sure you guys have been wondering why I haven't blogged or commented on your delightful comments. Simple. We had a freak storm yesterday, Tuesday (I guess now technically day before yesterday), which blew out everything. No phone, no TV, no internet, and most of all... no warning!

It was a beautiful, obnoxiously hot day, around 100+°F (~36°C). I was sitting outside with the laptop, working on an etext of John Ford's play 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (how much do you love that title!) windEverything went quiet, and Wilbur was telling me to come inside, so I did. Right then, a gale wind blew out of nowhere, and the sky went very dark, green at the edges. Freaky. Then lightning and thunder started. Okay, UNIVERSE! I distinctly said "no lightning bolts!!"

tree in windI quickly turned off the laptop, and dogs and I ran into the basement armed with candles.  Now, keep in mind that the basement still stinks to high heaven, courtesy of the moldy carpet. I managed to get a hold of Andy, who told me that the winds outside were 60 mph. The sound was unbelievable. It went on for a good 45 minutes, and then it was over, as if it had never been. I was freaked out and exhausted. After ascertaining that the house was still in one piece (thank goodness, since, as I mentioned, no home insurance a.t.m), I just went to bed, leaving all other exploring for morning.

Morning CoffeeToday, I woke up to find no internet, no tv, no phone, but very luckily, I had power. Most of you know that without my morning coffee, I'm "a bear shot in the ass," as we so eloquently say in Finland. The house was in one piece, but huge trees had fallen everywhere. Both mine, and my neighbor Beverly's, back fence is demolished — huge elm and oak trees lie splintered all across our back yards, and there were branches and leaves everywhere. We were fortunate that neither of us suffered physical or material harm. The trees fell on our yards from the farm behind us, whose responsibility it will be to get the trees removed and the fences repaired. A good thing, because the labor alone will go into the thousands. Ridiculous, how much people charge, but such is the world. We had a guy from the farm (which also houses a swim club) come survey the damage, and he said they'd take care of it. I hope he means what he says and Beverly and I don't end up having to go to court. Hell, at my current state, I can't afford to have anyone come remove one tree limb, let alone huge-ass trees.

Internet access, tv, and phone were restored just now. I went over to Andy's house to watch "Project Runway", so at least I wasn't deprived of my guilty pleasure. And I suppose the silver lining in the loss of internet was that I got a lot of stuff Dresserdone, since I wasn't puttering around with Renaissance drama. I removed some more carpet in the Basement of Doom, and started refinishing a dresser I intend to sell on eBay. Fun, fun!

I've loved all your comments in the past few days, ladies, gentlemen, pirates, rogues, wenches, et al. Also thank you kindly for the offers of chocolate — virtual, melted, delayed or 'Godotful' — Oreo CookiesI did take the liberty of going out and buying some, as well as a bag of Double Stuf® Oreos®, which I have proceeded to demolish at an impressive rate, even for me.

I'm nackered, so I am off to Bedfordshire. Tah-tah for now. ~A



Blogger daartney said...

I'm glad you are all safe.

I also like Project Runway.

July 20, 2006 2:01 AM  
Blogger Anniina said...

Thanks Darcy :)

July 20, 2006 2:17 AM  
Blogger Martinho Neves said...

Oddly enough... or not, you have an expression that here where I live now (Mozambique/Southern East-Africa) the locals have too, which is Tah Tah.
Very nice bc I tough it was a mozambican expression, how wrong I was. See ya around!

July 20, 2006 5:47 AM  
Blogger daartney said...

Thanks back at ya.

July 20, 2006 12:03 PM  
Blogger Katja said...

I am glad that you and the doggies are ok!
I got my flight ticket today... I am actually coming !!!

July 20, 2006 2:34 PM  
Blogger Anniina said...

Oh, how fun!

July 20, 2006 3:03 PM  
Blogger Mark A. said...

I emphasize. Living in Tornado Alley I’ve had to deal with that kinda crap all my life. Doesn’t help that I’ve got Astraphobia, so I freak out during storms. We don’t have basements here so we always had to hide in closets. Anyway, glad everything’s okay.

July 20, 2006 4:43 PM  
Blogger Istanbultaye said...

boy, not having a basement in tornado alley seems CRAZY!!! do you guys get flooded or something to cause it to be impossible to have basements?

alay, which one of them there titles you throw out at the end are each of us? :D

July 20, 2006 5:31 PM  
Blogger Mark A. said...

Some people get storm cellars built, but the only people I know who had them let the cellars accumulate about two feet of snake-infested water. So when the storm came it was usually safer to just get in the closet.

Where we live the ground is a fine, fine sand. Imagine table salt the color of Anniina's background. If I had to guess I'd say that the unstable ground made constructing houses built atop basements problematic. That, coupled with the fact that traditionally the residents of central Texas were poor farmers, would make it financially difficult to build one. It was probably just easier to rebuild your house.

In 1953 a tornado ripped through Waco (about twelve miles north of my parents’ home) and destroyed virtually all of downtown. My great-grandmother, who turns 96 this year, can remember beginning a trip into town that day but turning around after seeing the storm clouds.

It was a monster storm. Hundreds of people died, some from the actual storm but many buried beneath rubble, and Waco never recovered financially from that terrible catastrophe. Up until that time Waco boasted the tallest building in Texas, and was ideally situated in between Dallas/Ft. Worth and Austin, making it a perfect stop for travelers and a shipping point for farmers. That was the worst tornado to hit the United States in the last 53 years and counting, and it decimated the city.

From what I've been told and read the storm practically shut down the city for months. The city had to rebuild, but by the time it had found its footing the world had passed it by.

Now it's just a pit stop on I-35.

Sorry for the tangent.

July 26, 2006 5:24 AM  
Blogger Anniina said...

Wow. I have to say, I am so so happyto have lived my childhood in Finland, without tornados and snake-infested storm cellars. Lucky your great grandma changed her mind about going to town that day. Must be amazing to have one's great-grandma around. I never knew any of my great-grandparents. My mom has a photo in which I'm a baby, with my mom, my grandma, and my great-grandpa, but he passed away before I was two, so I don't recall him at all. You're very lucky :)

July 26, 2006 6:34 PM  

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