Tuesday, February 28, 2017


On this last day of February - I have to recount our many blessings.

On the night of February 7th - a quiet Tuesday evening - we were sitting in our sun room watching TV and I noticed on the radar that a storm front was about to hit us.  It was long stretching from north to south but moving in from the west.

I mentioned to my DH that he better go and get the flashlight because if it even rains hard sometimes our lights go out.  BOOM !  we were in the dark before he could even think about moving from his chair.

Another second later - something hit us with the force of a freight train - then there was all this sound and crashing of trees hitting our roof.  I honestly thought our house was falling in and my husband was trying to grab me and I was trying to grab my phone in the dark.  I leave it in the same spot all the time, maybe for times like this.  The crashing and noise seemed to go on forever but it was actually probably just a minute or two.  We just stood in the kitchen area clutching each other not knowing where to run.  We have huge 60-70ft Laurel oak trees in our yard and some live oaks too but it's the Laurel oaks that scare us the most.  They are aging out and falling during violent storms.  You may recall we had a near miss of our house during Hurricane Matthew of the same type of oak.

It sounded like a train was rolling over our roof but we knew it was a tree - we just didn't know which tree and where it hit.  Once the sounds stopped - we got the flashlight and started moving thru our darkened house looking up at the many glass walls and panels we have in our bedrooms and it was then apparent that a forked tree on the front corner of our house must have fallen - we had no idea how bad things were because the lightning was furious.  We were certainly petrified that we'd have another tree come down so we just rejoiced in the fact that we didn't have any gapping holes in our roof and not one panel of glass was broken.  After a while - we could see a fire truck cruising our street, I put on my raincoat and went out.  Then I could see - OMG -  this huge 1/2 a tree cracked off and apparently hit our roof and rolled across it and landed in our side yard.

The fireman came inside our house and looked around and wanted to see the panel box - he pulled our main breaker for us.  Good thing because I had not thought of that.  What we couldn't see that night was the tree had just rolled over our masthead and sheared it off.  It caused an arc in the panel box and all the wiring shorted out and burned up.  The electrician said if we didn't have a brick exterior - our home would have probably caught on fire.  Blessings again.

 Here is the tree where the tornado snapped it off.  It skipped over our next door neighbors house and brought down a very similar tree onto the 3rd house on the block.  Our whole area looked like a warzone - nothing like poor Albany Ga. but still many many trees down on houses and some houses are a total loss.
 Here is where part of the tree landed and took out our neighbors fence and narrowly missed their house.  Blessed again!  All in all we are so blessed to be spared and we are able to live in our house while it is being fixed.  There is extensive structural damage to the front corner.  A crack running from floor to ceiling in that guest room.  The windows are bowed and the main support beam was cracked off with the eave system and what's remaining has a huge crack about 5 ft.  So that will have to be removed and replaced - a big job indeed.  We have a contractor that will handle all the work that has to be done.  Blessed again.    We are safe and no one was hurt or killed.  Biggest blessing of all !
It took about a week to come out of the fog.  We were out of power for 2.5 days - we lost all our food. The electricians worked for a day and a 1/2 as hard as they could go to rebuild our electrical service on that side of the house.  We were out 4 days with Matthew but I was never so glad to see the electrical company come driving up late in the day to reconnect our house to the pole.  The following week was filled with worry about the insurance adjuster and how we would handle things like a huge deductible and a $3000 tree bill.  God provides - blessed again.
I had an email about cheap tickets to see STYX lead singer Dennis De Young with the Jacksonville Rock Symphony at the historic Florida Theatre.  HUmmmm - sounds interesting and the price was right and I thought we needed a lift and something to look forward to. 
OMG - they were so amazing.  I couldn't believe Dennis De Young just turned 70 - he was always a showman and still is and his voice was amazing.  He did all the greatest and best STYX songs including the seldom heard Sweet Madam Blue, Castle Walls and of course Grand Illusion, Come Sail away and many more.  He played two long sets with an intermission and our "cheapy" seats were fantastic !

Here he is with his hired guns - a great guitar duo.  The young guy August was from Alaska and you could tell he spent his youth in a basement pounding out the STYX songs - he was amazing and did all Tommy Shaw's parts including amazing dueling lead guitars.  We've seen STYX several times in the last decade and the last time was at the St Augustine Amphitheatre  a favorite venue of ours.  They were horrible !  Their sound was messed up and no one did anything about it.  That was the last time I spend money to see STYX but if EVER you get a chance to see Dennis De Young - RUN to get those tickets.  What a highlight to an otherwise frightful month.
 Sorry there isn't much needlework to show.  I am close to having a finish on a cross stitch piece but it's been slow getting back in the groove after my 10 days of fog.  I bought this gorgeous yarn before the tree disaster.  It is Blue Sky Fibers Metallico from the local Yarn Cow.  This is for yet another Janina Kallio design called Winter Solace.  these are two different colors but very very close.  Had I realized it wasn't going to show up that well - I would have picked a slightly darker shade or two grays instead of the cream.  Oh well ! 

Hope all my friends in blog land have had a super February - many have had snow and typical winter weather - sadly we have had HEAT and storms which were not welcome in the least.  Hopefully March roared in February and we'll be having spring lamb weather to come. 


Rugs and Pugs said...

So happy that your damage from the storm was not worse. At times we must just count our blessings.
Hugs :)

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Oh, Mel! I am so glad you guys are ok. You did luck out. We have chopped down most of the trees close to our house for this reason (we live in a forest of mature oaks) but there are some out back that are on a 60 degree slope that we pray fall down toward the road, not our house. They are just too difficult to cut down. I know folks like having big large trees in their yard but they are dangerous and a fire hazard to boot.

geeky Heather said...

Good heavens, Mel!!! I am so happy you and your hubby are safe! How terrifying!!! I hope you are able to get everything squared away soon.

Margaret said...

OMG, Mel! Thank God you and your hubby are safe and well. It could have been so much worse! Hope all the repairs go quickly and you are back to normal soon. So so scary!

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

Am thankful you are safe and your home can be repaired. So scary!

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Thank goodness you two were spared and safe! I hope the repairs don't take too long. What a crazy thing to live through. Blessings, indeed! Love the yarn!

Jackie said...

Even though I knew about this, it was frightening reading about it. Certainly many silver linings and blessings!

Gwen said...

So happy to know that you and DH made through the storm. Hope the repairs are done quickly.

Rachel said...

oh my goodness, what an ordeal! Glad everyone is safe. Good luck with repairs!

Karoline said...

Good grief Mel, that sounds like it was a horrible experience. I'm so glad that things didn't turn out worse. I hope the repairs are getting done quickly.