I look at the pictures of the devastation done to Illinois towns, and I guess we should be thanking our lucky stars--unless something worse develops tonight. It's days like this that make me appreciate the basement with its ceiling of steel beams.
We went from nearly 70 degrees to 55 degrees in a heartbeat as a storm front--itself moving at 65 mph swept through. The wind gusts had to be at 80 mph plus. By some miracle the windows on the south side of the home held--even though pelted by hail and debris.
The rowboat, complete with very heavy outboard motor was lifted off the lift and flipped over the work pier and out to sea. The two "emergency" lines securing it were parted like bits of straw. The tank, oars, life jackets, and cushion all made their separate way toward the dam. We went from being a passive spectator to moving fast through the driving rain to secure what we could. Happily, the anchor flipped out along with everything else and the anchor line held the boat and motor close enough to the island to be reached with a boat hook--lots of lightning around--never fun when you are out in the rain with a ten foot aluminum boat hook!
The heavy Adirondack chairs were swept to the edge of Alice's deck, one going overboard and the other blown down the access ramp to the garden gate. The BBQ grill on the kitchen deck was picked up on one end and tossed to the lower deck level.
The saddest moment, though, was the loss of the pretty young pear tree that Cookie planted fifteen years ago. It was always the first to greet us in the spring with a sea of white blooms, and the last to say goodbye in the fall with its scarlet burst of leaves. The remaining leaves were its downfall, as they presented too much to the wind and it was snapped off at the ground like it was nothing.
We will recover, we always do, and we must remember those who fared so much worse this day than we did. All the above was accompanied by the wail of tornado sirens--at least none touched down near here.