Storms and woodchucks, not necessarily related

Rummikub in the basement

Rummikub in the basement

July 3 – We heard a lot from our TV set earlier this week, and things seemed to be rather stormy most of the time. They kept talking about Lee’s Summit, Greenwood, Pleasant Hill, Lone Jack, and Strasburg and all the cloud rotations and tornado watches and warnings passing towards and through them. Since they are all neighbors of ours, we decided things might be getting a bit hazardous and retreated to the basement with a weather radio and two flashlights, and of course our Rummikub game. Our table down there is heavily laden with all sorts of stuff so we couldn’t use it for the game and instead stood beside our freezer and played on top of it. We played two or more games and were down there for an hour or so before coming back upstairs to listen to more weather reports.

After the tornadoes

After the tornadoes

A customer at the thrift store in Pleasant Hill some time ago gave us a phone number of an organization that calls in severe weather warnings to anybody who is on their calling list. They were very busy the last day or two, keeping us informed of the latest weather alerts and advising us to take shelter and proper precautions. Twice during the night phone calls told us that the national weather service had just informed them of severe weather in our area.

Tornadoes did touch down the night of July 1st at Lee’s Summit and Pleasant Hill, and did some damage, but fortunately they were just EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes. Pleasant Hill is just six or seven miles away from us so we considered ourselves fortunate that the storms didn’t come any closer than they actually did.

Impassable roads

Impassable roads

This morning we went to Pleasant Hill for a shopping trip and saw no damage from the storms but did see some flooding on several roads that kept any traffic from using them. At the fair grounds a car was right in the middle of the flooded road, stuck and going nowhere. At the thrift store a friend of ours who volunteers there arrived just as we were getting ready to leave. She was late because she had to find a new route from home to town, thanks to flooded roads!

Where's the fire hydrant?

Where’s the fire hydrant?

We did some shopping, ending up at a hardware store so I could buy some Sevin dust for our cabbage plants. The rains keep washing it off and requiring new applications. While we were in town we visited some friends of ours, Clyde and Nan, and Barney, before heading for home. Last evening we got an e-mail from our son-in-law Harvey, telling us that he had been at Walmart in Lee’s Summit doing some shopping when the lights went out and around 200 customers and employees crowded into a room for safety as a tornado threatened.

On Wednesday, grandson Kevin came over with an extended-shaft chain saw to cut some broken branches in some of our trees that were way above our reach. What a convenient tool for doing this chore! It cut through the branches easily and down they came crashing, narrowly missing Kevin at times but he nimbly sidestepped them. After he left to go cut branches in his yard, I dragged ours over to the latest burning pile where they will dry for a few weeks before we set them alight. It was hot and humid and I was pretty well drenched by the end of this project.

I was vaguely thinking about the possibility of getting one of these saws for us as no doubt there will be future needs for one here. This one was a borrowed one so Kevin probably didn’t know what it cost. Today while at a hardware store I inquired if they had one and what the cost would be. After hearing what it was I decided it would be more economical to just borrow one again when needed. Would you believe over $600? I had been thinking maybe something like $200.

Where's the fire hydrant?

Where’s the fire hydrant?

When we left for Pleasant Hill Thursday our cat went outside with us and spent the whole day outside, we know not where. She didn’t show up until around 7 o’clock. She very seldom is not at home when we get back, and spends all nights indoors, so it is a mystery about where she was and with whom. She is not popular around this house, at least outside, as the resident mocking birds dislike her greatly and tell her off all of the time.

Several days ago Chris noticed a cat-sized animal near our garage door and called me to come and see it. What do you know, a woodchuck! I didn’t know they lived around here and haven’t seen one since we moved out here. It looked like it was going to come into the garage but then changed its mind and went around the corner of the house. Back when we lived in Erie, we caught one by drowning it out of its burrow by pouring buckets of water in, and then grabbing it when it came rushing out. Son Dave helped me avoid a bite by keeping it turned face downwards as I held it. We had it in a wire cage on the front porch but overnight it chewed its way out and escaped. – DALE

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