Howling Wind and Picking Up the Pieces it Left Behind...

Farmgal as an 11-year-old girl in Taipei.  On top of the apartment roof.  It was the 80's...I look so stylin'!!!
If you are unaware, the last few days in Utah have been quite difficult.  Thursday morning, we woke to the worst East wind that we have had since I have been married (that's almost 12 years).  Wind speeds at over 100 miles per hour and pieces of our neighbors houses and trees flying all around us.  If you have never experienced wind that strong, it is a very powerful force.  It swept me off my feet on the way out to our chickens here at the house, and you can hardly breathe while you are standing in it.  The force of it is astounding.  I have experienced worse winds as a child living in Taiwan during typhoon season.  The wind and rain would pound our windows, and our apartment building would actually sway under the force of the wind.  The streets would flood, and since there were open sewers in the 1980's, flooding was not just flooding, if you know what I mean...eeew!  I feel very grateful that there was no flooding and even more grateful that we have a closed sewer system here!!!

Hubby...he held up the world!!!
The damage from the wind is completely incomprehensible.  Neighbors have lost dozens of huge pine trees, toppled over onto houses, barns, garages.  One neighbor is missing an entire front porch, who knows where it ended up?  Other neighbors are missing shingles and siding, some are without windows, and others have giant holes in their houses.  Our neighbor directly South of us is now without power for the third night; they have a 12-week-old baby.  The last reading on their thermostat was 40-degrees in the house and they lost every tree in their yard except one.  Thank heavens they have a warm place to stay.  With all of the damage, it is really amazing that not many people were injured.  We have so much to be thankful for!

40-foot pine across the driveway.  You can see the top poking out of the sequoias.
The damage at the farm was minimal.  I have to say that I feel like our prayers were truly answered.  We had a neighbors' 40-foot pine crash through the driveway, and another pine on the farm fell.  The horse and goat lost their stable temporarily, and were moved into the chicken coop for a night while we got things put back together; communal living...not sure any of the involved animals were truly happy with the arrangement!!!  We lost the fence that surrounds the farm and property, which is going to be terribly expensive to replace.  The most devastating thing for us was that our bees did not survive the storm.  We piled hay bales around the hive and tied everything down.  The massive gusts of wind blew the top off the hive, despite all of our efforts, and froze the bees instantly.  I cried when I lifted the lid.  The bees were huddled around the brood trying to protect it.  I am crying right now...I feel so bad.  We had worked with these for almost a year and had great hopes for the spring.  Funny how you can get attached to insects!!!

Smaller tree, but still a big job to remove...
When the world gets turned upside down, it helps to count your blessings, and this is what I have been doing for the last few days.  We are all safe, and warm, and we now have electricity (thank you to all the overworked men who got our electricity going this morning...I LOVE YOU)!  The farm is relatively untouched...minus the missing top soil and bees.  I have a very strong and capable husband who put everything aside to help my mother and to fix the farm and our house.  My husband has carried the world on his shoulders the past few days, and despite being exhausted, he has managed to press on and continue to hold the world up!!!  I gotta say that I LOVE HIM!!!  We had tremendous help from my husband's brother, Brian, yesterday, without him, I would have one less blessing to count!  Our home was almost untouched, we lost branches from our 60-year-old maple, and the south fence is gone.  Not one shingle is missing from our roof!  Our chicken, Captain Jackie, has not done well in the storm, but she is still alive, limping, but trying to walk!  The hospital where I work was understanding enough to give me a few days off to get my family back to normal, they have no idea what a difference this has made.

I had PLENTY of these...people are now glad that I love candles!!!
We now know what else we need to do to be prepared for a disaster...I NEED A GENERATOR!!!  It is a horrible thing to have to throw away an entire refrigerator and freezer full of food.  Luckily our deep freeze held.   I was like a crazed dog protecting it, "don't open it!!!", I would snarl if anyone even looked like they wanted to peek inside!  I have a farm stuffed in that freezer, the hard work of it all is worth more than any insurance company could give!  We have oodles of food storage, but not quite enough water.  We also need to work on a better way of staying warm.  We are lucky enough to have a fireplace, it helped, but wasn't quite enough.  Our thermostat never dropped below 60-degrees, but at night it was a little chilly for my little farmhands, so last night was spent at my mom's.

Even Lu La Belle felt better with the candles lit!!
The thing that I think is the hardest to be prepared for is the emotion of a disaster.  I cried like a baby yesterday morning, I couldn't take it anymore!  I was tired, and stressed, and felt like I needed to be super woman when I couldn't find my cape...if you know what I mean.  The other challenging thing is keeping the kids feeling normal and safe.  Despite all of my efforts to make them feel normal, they still had a major "melt down" at least once.  I think that they feel the stress of it all and feel unbalanced.  The more prepared we are, the more positive we are, the less I think that they feel the loss of control.

An illuminated farmhand is a happier farmhand!!!
We all have so much to be thankful for, and this time of year makes it even more meaningful if we give thanks with a heart full of gratitude.  Thank you to everyone who helped us, has worried about us, lent a hand, said a prayer, send their love and energy to us.  The marvelous thing is that we were all given a chance to rise to the occasion.  I learned a lot this week!  I can say without a doubt, that I am surrounded by some pretty amazing people with some great big hearts, and I am grateful for each one of you!!!  

I lit up the nativity, somehow it made me feel so much better!!!


  1. Glad you guys are ok

    On a scarier note, If your neighbors lost 12+ trees, doesn't that deplete the entire state of Utah's tree population by at least 50%? That is horrible! :)

    Seriously, I'm glad nobody is hurt and the house is good. Please let me know if you need anything.


  2. Glad you and your cute family are safe and sound. Sorry that you lost the bees...I would have cried, too. More wind is predicted for Sunday night...hopefully nothing as bad as Thursday. Get some rest:-)


  3. Way too much excitement. Stop it. Oh, and no capes!

    Bob Parr: Yeah. Something classic, like, like Dynaguy. Oh, he had a great look! Oh, the cape and the boots...
    Edna Moda: [throws a wadded ball of paper at Bob's head] No capes!
    Bob Parr: Isn't that my decision?
    Edna Mode: Do you remember Thunderhead? Tall, storm powers? Nice man, good with kids.
    Bob Parr: Listen, E--
    Edna Mode: November 15th of '58! All was well, another day saved, when his cape snagged on a missile fin.
    Bob Parr: [chuckles] Thunderhead was not the brightest bulb —
    Edna Mode: Stratogale! April 23rd, '57! Cape caught in a jet turbine!

  4. what a bummer Sheriden, sorry to hear about the Bees. Do you guys have a wood burning stove? Might be a good investment. During the winter down here in Escalante, we rely heavily on the wood burning stove. We actually don't even run the furnace. Just oil/ electric heaters in the bedrooms and the stove.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Raspberry Cream Crumble Pie...

Keeping Bees Through the Winter...

Chicken Tractor...