July 2 – A beautiful day with a really calm breeze, bright sunshine, and puffy cumulus clouds dotting the sky with all sorts of pictures. Dale called me to look out the window and see the cloud eagle, perfectly replicated, and then I pointed out to him the chunky man with a big head and a nose about a yard long. I think folks think we are crazy or a bit on the silly side sometimes because we do take time to view these interesting clouds.
I had hoped to mow the lawn, but with the weatherman telling us to expect rain, and the dark clouds that were coming from the north, I thought it just wouldn’t be worth getting the mowers out to do the job if I couldn’t stick with it. So what happened? The rain never came! Oh, well, another day tomorrow, with no rain on the way. Our neighbor came by a bit ago and went up and down the front hill as he promised to do for us “older ones” so we wouldn’t have to do the job by hand. I didn’t watch much of the work today because when I see him in that mower come straight up the hill and back down, I am just a bit afraid that he might tip over and hurt himself. Today when Dale went out to thank him, he said, “Oh, it’s just what happens now. You don’t need to thank me every time!”
Dale mentioned in a recent post about the storm a couple of days ago, and he has now spent a several hours cutting the big water tank (1,600 gallons) up so that he could move it away from the barn. I still can hardly believe what kind of a wind ruined that tank! No damage to the barn just a foot or two behind it. No trees at all near the tank, so it had to be just a very strong wind. The news men said that it was about 70 miles per hour. Looks as if we are going to have to pay a lot to get a new one, because the insurance deductible is $1,000! About $800 for a new one.
The evening of the storm we were in the house visiting with some friends who were visiting from Beirut, Lebanon. They are missionaries there, home now for the meeting of our world-wide church in a few days in San Antonio. As Evelyn and I were looking out the front window, we could see so much rain with the wind behind it, sweeping the grass off to the north. As we watched, I saw two branches blow out of the big oak tree.
Just as I called to Dale to come to see what I was looking at, he yelled to me to see what the wind had just blown down in our backyard. As I ran out and looked out the back door, I could see that a very big limb had fallen from one of the maples. After the wind ripped it off, the limb fell, almost hitting the house! We could easily see where it had been broken off the tree, leaving a big open space and another limb that had broken off but hadn’t fallen to the ground. Across the lawn a large limb had broken off the mulberry tree, too, but it was still hanging to the tree and will have to be cut off.
As we walked the trails the next day, we were surprised that more limbs hadn’t fallen during the storm. Dale thinks it might be because the trees in the woods are more protected from the winds and storms than are those single ones in our yard. If you were to compare the damage we had with that of folks in other areas, you would think that we should just be quiet and not even mention what happened here. Just heard on the news that there were 110,000 power outages due to the storm; hundreds of workers from other areas have come to give a helping hand. Because of the heat and no electricity, folks are losing food as well as becoming frustrated as the days go by. But the rains continue. We have not had a dry weekend since March 21!
Our visiting friends from Beirut planned to leave our house to go to Texas to visit with Evelyn’s sister before going on to the church meetings. After supper the night of the storm, we enjoyed catching up on what they were doing in Beirut and in a number of other small countries in the area. We also played several games of Rummikub, one of our favorite games. Before we went to bed, our friends told us that they planned to leave at five in the morning. They assured us that we need not get up to say good by, as they would very quietly leave. We, in turn, assured them that we WOULD get up to say good by! However, as the poet Robert Burns wrote, “the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay” ,”or oft go awry,” and that’s what happened to us!
During the thunderstorm that evening, our bedside clocks were shut down, and when I looked at mine while it was still dark, the clock told me it was three o’clock, giving us a couple hours before the friends left. However, what I didn’t know was the clock was roughly three hours behind, and when I got up to check the real time, I found that it was past five o’clock! Peeping out the bedroom door, I found that the other bedroom door was open, the bed was empty, and all was dark. Quickly I scooted out to the back door to check on the rental car. Yes, it was GONE, and so were Mike and Evelyn! I was not happy with that! Dale reminded me that they would be back in September for their yearly time at home and would visit us then, but that’s three months away. Something good to look forward to, that’s for sure. – CHRIS