So last night I'm reading the paper in the family room and I hear a strange noise outside. It's windy out there (a storm was on its way), but this is a different noise.
I look out our big window to see the top of big tree near our neighbor's house slowly cracking off the trunk. The wind is breaking it off! Cool, I think, then I wonder if I'm in danger?
The top of that tree splinters off with a big CRRRAAACCCK! and falls toward our house, right into the alley and our driveway.
Turns out I was not in danger. The tree missed our garage, our basketball hoop, and it fell just short of our pretty picket fence. It tore a few limbs off our beautiful old red maple, but that was it.
Actually, that was not it. It also ripped a transformer off an electrical pole, pulled down the electrical wires, and ripped the wires right out of our house!
I immediately went outside. The air was full of sawdust and wind. There were snapping and buzzing sounds from the live wires, and a smell of hot electricity. I think I said "wow" a few times.
The boys came running down. Robbie said he saw the transformer get hit--it exploded in sparks and fell to the ground. We watched as the live wires squirmed in the air like snakes--the ends white hot and sparking. Our neighbor ran by and went back in to call the power company.
Although there was no rain, the wind was blowing and we could hear distant thunder. All the neighbors came out to see, and we stood on the lawn as the weather sirens started up. "The weather sirens go on, and everyone comes outside," said Eli. "Typical Iowans." Bruce came home from his guitar lesson and was amazed, too.
Robbie took this picture of the broken tree from the roof of our garage. See how it neatly fell between the garage and our house?!
Eventually the live wires seemed to die, so we felt a bit safer. We chatted with our neighbors for a bit, then went inside when it started to rain. Eventually, we had hail--the biggest I've ever seen. Some pieces were about an inch in diameter. We watched and gaped at the downed tree, and eventually lit some candles.
Luckily the storm brought with it some cool weather because of course there was no air conditioning or fans!
This morning, things are about the same. The power company was out, and they said they were going to start work today.
Today, Robbie and I rode our bikes over to Coe, where I am now--can't get the cars out of the garage, can't phone anyone (I'm charging my dead cell phone now!), can't use the internet at home! Still, I feel pretty lucky about that tree--no damage to anything except the electrical wires.
Now that tree--a choke cherry, good riddance--is a playground for squirrels and chipmunks until they come and clear it out!