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2:31 PM

As I type, Bruce is helping our neighbors. Wanda's husband is in the hospital; as if that weren't bad enough she still has no power and her gigantic oak tree toppled over onto Herb and Corrine's roof, dragging the power line down with it. Matt and Angela are still without power as well. Lucky for us, ours came on last evening while we were still cleaning up outside.

Checking my phone in the aftermath, I see I called Bruce at 2:31 in the afternoon, telling him the market was closing down for a storm. The skies darkened quickly, as in almost dusk kind of dark with torrential rain following soon thereafter. He must have rushed to his car because he was there pretty darn quick, just in time to take over the securing of things. Earlier, while setting up we discussed the possibility of some rain which, as outdoor vendors, we've been through many times before. Deciding it would be wise to pare down our display, all of the big stuff went home with Bruce instead of staying with me. I pushed the table to the back of the tent, making room for people who had to get out of the rain. Mostly only small canvases went on the wall to make our take down easier. Here's a photo I took around 2:29,
People were out having a good time. My booth is pictured near the back of the photo, mostly empty of display because, despite the weather, I had a great sales day, selling 9 small canvases. Woo hoo--less to pack up!

Here's a photo taken about an hour later:
That is our tent with Bruce sneaking out, a basket under his blue poncho. Because it was still raining I had to take these quickly, not wanting to damage my camera. Dana asked if I could to document our horrible drainage problem to show to the city officials.
Yup, this is in front of our tent. So, what exactly happened? It was like no storm we've ever been through. Without me leaning against the tent side, along with Bruce holding onto the top of the tent somehow, we would have lost everything as 60 mph winds came through during the worst of it. Hail, the size of small peas began falling and of course the rain. It all happened so fast it was hard to understand what was happening. At one point, Kathy and Jim's tent flew into the side of ours and would have done so had Kathy not been hanging onto it for dear life. And then there was the huge cracks of lightening, so loud we knew they were quite close.

Poor Cole, Dana's son! Directing cars in and out of the mess, he obviously was soaked in spite of his poncho. Everyone was safe as far as their lives were concerned, four people not so lucky with their tents. Total losses.
Both Bruce and I were pretty much soaked to the skin as were my new KEDS! Eventually, we got everything into both cars and headed home, finding downed giant oak trees and black traffic signals along the way. This tree blocked one way home:
Turning around I tried to use Ferncreek, however, it too was blocked. In fact, there were so many downed trees it was pretty stunning. Eventually we made it. Do you think our nightmare was over yet?
NO, it was not!

It is a nice thing to have a corner lot, that is, until there is a big storm, at which time, your lovely yard becomes a depository for every flying thing out there and looking at ours, during the time we were holding down the tent, tree debris was flying everywhere at our home. My beautiful little garden looked like this:
Why yes, that is a gigantic tree limb from our neighbors on our side, blocking the gate. In his haste to get there as quickly as possible, Bruce mostly shut the back door, leaving it slightly ajar for Baxter. Water and debris found an opening to come on in!
If not for the step down into this room, the living room would have gotten it as well. The pool and back yard--what a mess!
Which is still what it mostly looks like, save for the gigantic branches out to the trash. I'll be tackling this as soon as I finish my blog. From the time we returned, till about 8 PM, we worked on cleaning it all up. Here is pile #1:
And pile #2:
Finally pile #3:
The morning after:
We had to borrow cans from Pete and Terry to house it all. Now, we're hoping and praying the garbage men will take it all! The beige house across the street belongs to Marion, another of our 80+year old neighbors. Her damage: blown off shingles, quite a large patch. Just what an ailing widow needs!

Bruce is setting up generators for those without power--he's a good neighbor! From what I've heard, there are others who fared much worse. Trees through roofs, downed walls, and uprooted sidewalks. 

My friend Sue just arrived with news of nearby neighborhoods--we're heading out for a look on our bikes although as tired as my legs were when we dropped into bed last night, makes me wonder how far I'll get!

Nothing like a little ride around the neighborhood to put our difficulties in perspective. After seeing the massive tree poking through a house in Southern Oaks, I'd say we got off pretty lucky. Now, to get that pool clean!
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