This is the back of the barn, or what's left of it after the thunderstorm of this morning. I woke up about 7 a.m. to the sound of thunder and the feel of my Spikey dog shaking in fear. The poor guy is terrified of thunder so I put my arms around him and spoke soothing words to help him get through the storm. But the storm didn't abate as was expected. It got a lot worse really fast and the wind intensified a great deal. A great deal.
On an intellectual level I knew I needed to get moving and get the dogs downstairs and unplug the computer and see to the windows and whatnot. But I have to confess something: for a very brief moment the wind was so strong that I thought there was no point in getting out of bed because I was going to die before I could make it down the stairs. That's how strong the winds were.
Here's a picture of a block ripped out of its concrete home.
Let me put this in perspective. I've lived in the Ozarks of southwest Missouri all of my nearly 32 years and I've had a lot of scares. We've had lightning strike 10 feet behind our house. We've had lightning run in on our phone line and blow up our computer. Granted, the computer just made a little pop and a puff of smoke but the simultaneous huge crash of thunder scared the holy hell out of all of us. We've had an ice storm that turned our homeland into a disaster area. There was a time when we had so much water running through our driveway that we couldn't get a car through it. And we've had tornadoes jump from street to street and just narrowly miss our house. But I have never seen or felt anything like this. The jury is out as to whether or not we had an actual tornado do this damage or if it was just strong winds. I honestly don't know if I care.
Tornado or not it did some pretty serious damage and it could have killed us. If this force had hit our house instead of the very back of the barn things could have been a lot worse. I've already said it several times today and I'll say it again: if I had been given a choice as to where the damage would be done that's the spot I would have chosen. The barn is the least important of our buildings and it sits the farthest away from the house. The back of the barn is a good 200 yards or so from the house and there's a big ass three car garage between it and the house. There's also a bunch of trees and a short fence between the house and the barn which somehow managed to keep a lot of the wreckage from reaching the house.
The winds were so strong for so long I was expecting the big front windows to get blown out at any second. I was waiting for windows all over the house to burst apart with load crashes. I was hoping the roof of the house would stay attached. After it was finally over I was expecting to find numerous dead critters when I stepped outside. As it was we did have one dead tree frog on the back porch. Amazingly enough it doesn't seem like any of the barn cats were hurt. I don't know exactly how many live back there as they rarely show themselves but I walked all over the area and found no bodies. You see that smashed up metal fence? That was a nearly 8 foot wide circle that surrounded our compost pile. You can just make out the roses this wreckage is smashing. But we can't move anything until the insurance adjuster shows up sometime in the next few days. It won't be quick as there have been so many claims called in to our local office. And while I'm not looking forward to the $1000 deductible I am very thankful that the damage wasn't any worse.
In the above image you can just make out part of the 80 feet of wiring that was pulled out.
I'm not entirely sure the depth of the situation has set in. I'm not ready for philosophical musings. The facts are too close to me right now. I am unable to clearly express myself about this. I haven't had time to gain perspective as I'm still kinda freaked out. I probably won't sleep for a while for fear of a similar rude awakening. Perhaps in the coming days, or months, I'll have something profound to say about the happenings of today. For now though, all I can come up with is "holy shit!" and "praise the gods!"