April 7th we had a terrific wind storm here in Bend, Oregon. It was the worst ever according to the old timers. Unfortunately, we were at the center of one of the wind gusts that randomly dipped out of the sky, and a full-grown ponderosa fell on our house. It was deflected by a spruce tree which lost its life while protecting us. It was surprising how lucky we were because the trunk was still some eighteen inches in diameter where it first reached our roof and it lay out over the roof to the very tip of the tree. The top of the tree hit our solar panels and they had to be removed while the roof was being restored. We now have forty-year quality roofing. It feels strange to know the roofing has a much greater life expectancy than I do. Who will live under this roof that I chose to be installed in gray? Hmm. Who lived under it before I chose to live here? On our grand tour of Italy, we lived in Florence for a couple of nights under a roof that was said to be more than a thousand years old. Well, it brings me once again to realize I’m just some wet dirt soon to be dried out and blowing once more in the wind.
At the moment there are some guys out in the back yard replacing the fence. It had been down for the last month. It was downed by another tree, my ponderosa named Larry, that fell across my neighbor’s yard all the way across to two of his neighbors’ fences. Very luckily it didn’t hit any structures. A section of another of our fences was removed so the equipment could get through to yet another neighbor’s home that had been hit by two full-grown ponderosas, one of them chopping her house in two. This beautiful piece of truck-art was sitting in my back yard for several days, not ten steps from where I am presently sitting. They moved it yesterday to a public cul-de-sac about thirty steps further away, where if I turn slightly to my left, I can still see it.
I watched this nightmare monster do its thing, grabbing and dropping an amazing amount of stuff into a giant wood chipper which with a terrific howl spewed everything– tree, beast and almost a man into a large truck. I could put up a video I made that would scare you and this man’s insurance company, if he has one, into a panic. “Alas, poor YORK, I knew him well. … A man of infinite jest,” Hamlet’s famous quip to the gravedigger. He was a chipper fellow.
In the photo above four close-by full-grown ponderosa trees are missing. They blew down in the windstorm last month. To the right side, we see the remains of the stump of the one that fell through the roof of the house with the tarp on the left. A few feet beyond the white house between the truck and the stump the hundred-year-old ponderosa fell to the left upon our house. Part of our roof is the white ^ behind the truck. A third tree, our tree Larry, was over the fence just to the right of the ruined house; it fell across to the left but only damaged fences. A fourth tree was just behind the tarp over the ruined house. It fell to our left outside of this picture hitting only a fence. All of those giant trees were within striking distance of where I now sit writing this post. Another tree went down across the street just beyond the white house but did no damage.
It was like a tornado of wind gusts hit our house and left destruction all around. The thirty-gallon electrical transformer that exploded was replaced the first day. The hazmat team was there cleaning up the amazing amount of splattered oil within an hour. The new transformer is directly above the left side of the white house, and barely visible just below the horizontal Y in the tree.
We now have a forty-year quality roof, but the interior ceiling in three rooms won’t be done until next week. You can’t do the ceiling until you have a roof, and you can’t put up the removed solar panels either until you have a roof. You can’t paint the ceiling until the sheetrock is up, you can’t clean up until the painters have painted the textured sheetrock and departed. You can’t consider this mess cleaned up until everyone is gone and all the many bills have been paid.
Our disaster isn’t over yet and abnormal seems to have become normal.