Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Whadda Wind!

Yesterday we had a wind storm like I have never seen before. No rain, just wind. And it winded (!) ALL DAY LONG. I don't mind admitting, it was quite the scary experience.

Supposedly the area experienced winds up to 75 mph and there was extensive damage throughout the county. Needless to say, lots of trees fell on power lines causing widespread outages. Some reports are that three-quarters of our very large county was out of power. Some was restored around one o'clock this afternoon after being out since yesterday. Other people are being told it may be a day or two before they are back on grid.

We have a solar power system that provides about half the energy we need. So anytime there is sunshine, we run on solar and store any extra in our battery bank. Yesterday was very gray with no sun at all but we were fortunate that we had enough battery power that we could keep going on solar. This morning dawned sunny so we were fine on solar again, and then in early afternoon grid power came back on for us.

We lost many trees but were fortunate none hit any buildings or vehicles.

This is what our main trail into our woods looks like today.

We had no frost with the cold front that blew in with the wind, but this window box of impatiens looks like it's been frozen solid, doesn't it? The box was lush and chock full of blossoms yesterday morning . . . before the wind. That's what caused the damage. Strictly wind damage.

We did suffer one loss. This is (was?) our high-sided farm trailer.

Roy's Uncle George was a farmer and right after we got married, he said he didn't need this piece of equipment anymore and offered it to us. We quickly snapped it up and have had and used it continually for forty-six years. We've rebuilt it twice. We've hauled horses, pigs, sheep, chickens and goats (lots of goats!) in it. Roy's shoveled more loads of manure into it and then out of it than he ever wants to see again. The summer we moved up here from Illinois it made nine (yes, NINE) trips full to the brim. We've hauled countless loads of hay, feed, building supplies, and firewood in it. It's transported boats, canoes, kayaks, and motorcycles. And lots of happy kids on top tromping down loose hay the years we had nineteen acres of hay land.

Our good neighbor came over this afternoon after hearing of the tree falling on the trailer. He said he wondered if he and Roy would have a winter project in his fully equipped workshop rebuilding the trailer. But as soon as he got a look at it, he realized (as we already had) that the basic frame is way too smooshed out of shape to salvage.

Oh, well. It's not like it's something that can't be replaced. But it hit me as soon as I saw what had happened to it was that even though it was just a rusty-old-seen-better-days trailer, there are one heck of a lot of memories of our life tied up in it.

Kinda silly, isn't it? But doggone, I'm gonna miss that trailer.


  1. I'm sorry about the trailer. It's replaceable, yes, but it's still a loss.

    You are so smart to have solar. Is it nice when your plans pay off?

  2. ouch! Sorry about your trailer, we have one with some history ourselves! Glad no trees came down on your house this time of year! It's good to know that your solar panels are good that far north. We have been kicking around the idea of settling somewhere near Duluth when hubby retires from the military, and I always wondered how solar did up there!

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  4. Mama JJ - About 200 families in the county are still without power . . . and that's been since Monday. Ugh.

    We've been very grateful for our solar system more than once!

    Erin - How long before you and your family can think about retirement? I don't think you'd have any trouble with a solar enegy system in NE Minnesota. 'Course, having said that I must admit that last year we had an unusually sunless winter and many solar systems were limping along. Nuthin's perfect as they say!

    Claire - Yes, I know you and Chicken Mama both went for a few bumpy rides in the high-sided trailer and were also involved in more than one "work" project loading and unloading it. I can't remember you ever having to help with a manure loading or unloading though . . . I hope you don't. If so, I'm sorry :o) !

  5. It looks as though you couldn't have parked that trailer any better to have it hit so squarely! So sorry about the loss.

  6. Hi, Jody - I know! It was almost (almost, I say) comical how right-on, dead-center the trailer was hit! We're pretty conscientious about taking down any trees that look like they could be a problem. But this one that smooshed the trailer was hale, hardy, and healthy looking. BUT as we could see after the storm and after it fell, the bottom of its huge trunk was HOLLOW. No way we could have known. We're just thankful it didn't hit the house, or another building, or a vehicle.

  7. Hmmm. Maybe you could make a "tree-thumper" like those tire-thumping sticks that truckers use. Wouldn't it be fun to wander around your property with a stick, whacking trees to see (hear) if they have a hollow-sounding thump?

    I, too, am in sympathy with your trailor loss. We have an old GardenWay cart that finally went beyond (affordable) repair a couple years ago. We turned it upside down and the chickens were delighted with their new snack-shack and rain shelter!

  8. Hi, MaineCelt - You've heard of tree huggers? I could be a tree thumper. (Hey, maybe I could hire out.)

  9. I'm sorry about your little trailer--sounds like it served you well for many years and I'm sure you'll miss it. We had wind too, but only gusts up to 50 mph. The neighbor lost a maple tree, but it didn't fall on anything.

  10. Hi, Ruthie - Criminy, we had high winds AGAIN all last night and it's still howling out there this morning. (The electrical maintenance guys must be ready to go run and hide somewhere.) Roy had to quit hauling brush yesterday afternoon because the winds were hampering his efforts. What's with this crazy weather?

  11. That trailer seemed like part of the family. I'm sad to see it go.

  12. Hi, Mart - When she heard the news about the trailer, your niece did make the comment, "I heard there was a death in the family."