Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mother Nature, We Need To Talk

No, I'm not going to go on a rant this morning about our lack of snow this winter. (Although if I let myself, I could get stirred up about that.)

What I want to comment on is the increasing frequency of horrendous winds our area has been experiencing in the last couple of years.

The howling started again last night after dark and went until . . . ? I don't know as we both finally passed out in bed around midnight (although I have a fuzzy remembrance of Papa Pea getting up once after that and saying he was going to sit up a while to make sure everything was okay), and there was no wind this morning when we got up.

Why were we up until midnight? The chimney of the wood stove in the garage/workshop area blew down. Well, fortunately not all of it toppled because we had a good fire going in the stove at the time. Enough section of pipe was left on the roof that we were in no fire danger but we did lose the top two sections.

We knew the tall chimney was vulnerable to winds so earlier this winter we bought and Papa Pea installed a special chimney brace/support kit. It didn't hold as Mother Nature unleashed her high winds last night.

More to come later today when we go out to take pictures and put things back together.

So much for our Sunday day off . . .

* * * * *

I was about to post the above early this morning when we got a call from our friend B saying she had a large cedar tree blow down on the back of her house last night. It managed to hit all three of the roof lines. Her main concern was getting it off the roof without it twisting and hitting her L.P. tank. Her partner is currently out of town (feeling very frustrated he isn't home to help) and she asked if we could come lend a little assistance. So we threw what tools we thought might come in handy in the truck and took off.

After trimming off all the branches, it looked more manageable. That's Papa Pea with chainsaw and B leaning against the stump that was left. The tree was leaning toward an open space and shouldn't (famous last words) have hit the house but it must have twisted in the wind as it came down.

We're just now back home and happy to say the mission was accomplished. Now a little lunch and we'll go tackle our fly-a-way chimney.


Rea said...

So sorry to hear about your stove pipe. That has to be a bit scary. I hear ya about the winds. We use to get "Edmond Fitzgerald" winds (as we call them) every 10 or so years. Now we get at least one big blow a year. I had my Amish neighbor come and really shore up my big barn. I'm always worried it will go down in the winds and there would go half my hay!

Erin said...

Wow, sorry about the chimney, that's terrible! I don't even want to hear about your winds increasing since I've been talking about how nice it will be to get away from the winds here and move back there! We have constant 20 mph winds here on the coast and every few days we have a half a day of 40mph gusts and it really wears on the nerves, not to mention always having to tie the gates together and all that stuff, grrrrr! I'm glad we don't have a chimney though :)

Sue said...

Blech-I hate winds. We've noticed something similar here. We used to tease my friend in Illinois about her CONSTANT winds all the time. Looks like it's time for Sue to shut up.
Your such good people rushing to help your friend. A gold star for you!
Hope all goes well with your own repairs.
No more wind for the Pea clan--do you hear me Mother Nature????

Stephanie said...

Oh no:/ Glad to hear you could help B. Hope your chimney situation is a pretty easy fix. It got super cold here over night,and windy, but nothing like that.
Stay safe:)

Sparkless said...

It's the year for weird weather I guess. I'm glad to hear that nothing was damaged too badly by your wind storm.
Our chimney is made of brick so it can't be blown down.....well it could but it would take a huge windstorm to do it and we don't get winds like that (knocks on wood).

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

Oh My! So sorry to hear this. Luckily no one was hurt. I agree the winds do seem to be getting much more violent these last years. I have a house built out of 3 layers of brick, and there are days I wonder if it is going to come down. You think Mother Nature is telling us something?

judy said...

Oh that wind can be wicked sometimes,hope papa pea is careful on that roof. get some good hearty hot soup in you and carry on. I GUESS,NO SOLUTION EXCEPT PULL FORWARD

Anonymous said...

We live in a very high wind area, Mama Pea. Batten down the hatches!! Good news, though-- the wind keeps the mosquitos away in the summertime! :)

Mama Pea said...

Rea - Methinks the weather is a'changin'. But not much we can do about it except try to prepare (as you shored up your barn) and get ready for more unusual weather!

Erin - Yep, I don't know where the heck these winds are coming from. And the strange this is right here on this property you'd think we would be more protected surrounded by so many trees as we are.

Sue - Thanks so much for talking to Mother Nature on our behalf! (Hope she heard you . . . )

B is one of the kindest, most generous people we know so we were more than glad to help. She's one who rarely asks for help so when she called this morning we knew she was uncomfortable tackling it herself. Of course, she wanted to come right over here this afternoon to help with our chimney but we assured her it wasn't necessary but practically had to tie her down to keep her from coming.

Stephanie - Thanks for the good thoughts. All is well.

Sprakless - This weird weather kinda makes me really wonder what will be next! Hope smooth sailing for this summer. Good gardens and no bad bugs!

Jane - Yup. She's saying we had better shape up or it's not going to be people who ruin our world . . . it may be some natural disaster!

judy - Well, that's it. There's always something that needs to be fixed or repaired. But this was a small thing compared to what damage wind CAN do. No complaints.

Mooberry Farmwife - THAT is a very good point to remember! :o}

Dirt Lover said...

Wow! Bummer about your stove pipe. Glad it wasn't in danger of a fire. Don't you just hate when you have plans, and mother nature has her own that interfere? What a big help you were to your friend and neighbor. I'm sure she was thankful for your eagerness to help out! Good luck with the rest of the winter!

Alla said...

So sorry about your chimney. The wind can be vicious!. I know we once had a super hard wind here and I came home from work to find my back door blown off and laying on the patio. Luckily it didn't break the glass. AND I have chosen you for the versatile blogger award. Stop by my blog and see the details.

Anonymous said...

I live on the southern Oregon coast and it's not uncommon to get wind gusts of 100 mph here every couple of years. Every winter though, we get 40-50 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 80. We have had the wind this winter, but not the rain. I am so nervous about either a soaking wet spring or a drought this summer. The weather is so strange this year.

Lisa said...

Hi Mama Pea ~ though I am sorry for your friend's wind damage... what I love about your story, is that of neighbors helping one another. We depend on each other, look out for each other and help one another in a way that is unique to country living - in my opinion. I hope ya'll are able to get your own repairs done safely today. We've had some incredible winds down here too this past weekend. But no damage ~ thankfully ~ this time.

MaineCelt said...

On St. Kilda, an isolated island community in the North Atlantic, they used to have round stone barns and houses. The Scottish government came in and informed the locals that they were going to "upgrade" their "substandard" housing. They put up nice, neat, little rectangular houses for everyone. When the wild winds came again, the nice neat little houses blew down. The locals smiled to themselves and moved back into their round "substandard" dwellings.

Every time we get high winds, I think of the St. Kilda people. As soon as we can figure out the logistics, we're going to build some curved cob walls outside the northwest corner of our house, to redirect the wind.

Susan said...

I can never sleep if it's windy. I am right there (virtually) with Papa Pea, listening for things to go wham-bang-bam in the night. It's just nerve wracking. We have all of an inch and a half of snow this morning and I was almost giddy about it! Sad...

Mama Pea said...

Lori - B is our friend and expert carpentry helper that I so often speak of. She lives 9 miles away but that's not far in this huge, sparsely populated county we live in so we were more than happy to go help her.

Today our temp is back up to 30 degrees with lots of sunshine. We just have to take what Mother Nature hands out!

Alla - We have a back door, too, that we have to keep hooked from the inside during high winds or it gets blown open whether it's latched or not!

I wrote you an e-mail regarding the award.

Ruth - I wouldn't like those high winds that you have regularly. (I don't like wind at all!) All of us are short on moisture this winter it seems. Hope it isn't a dry spring/summer.

Lisa - In our thinly populated county with a lot of folks living MILES from anyone else, if there is ever a problem you can call on just about anyone and they will come help. I think it is the way of "country living." And I love it!

MaineCelt - That's why I can't figure out how our round, smooth stove pipe in the roof blew down!!

Susan - Just stop and think for a moment about last winter, m'dear. When you 'bout did yourself in snow shoveling and snow shoveling and snow shoveling! (I miss the snow this year, too!)