January 2nd, 2009

Kevin and Lisa

Sword of Damocles Fails to Strike (Yet)

As is the usual pattern here, I went to bed before Lisa; she has all sorts of difficulty sleeping most of the time, with her tinnitus troubling her more and more. At about 2:45 AM, I woke to her yelling loudly at me, "I NEED YOU TO GET UP RIGHT NOW!" Struggling awake, I sat up and groggily tried to figure out what was wrong. The lights were on; I could hear the furnace running. So why was Lisa hanging halfway out the door of the trailer yelling for me to help, quickly? It finally penetrated my brain that the main power had failed -- we had lights and heat still because the trailer has its own batteries and propane supply -- as a huge wind-storm was blowing through, and that the reason Lisa was stuck in the doorway was that the wind was threatening to blow away the pipe-and-plastic structure that keeps the rain off the trailer and she was holding on it for dear life to keep it from taking flight.

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In the cold light of morning, the scale of the damage was easier to see.

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With a few hours of relatively clear weather this morning and afternoon, Lisa came over and asked me to help her clear away what we could in the time we had available. The Santiam River Valley was full of the sounds of chainsaws as other people cleared away fallen trees. Lisa hooked the large trailer to the John Deere mower (which also works as a tractor since she put a tow-ball attachment on it) and wielded the hand-saw while I hauled branches. We took one load of branches from near the trailer, and then undertook to clear the path.

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A few hours of tree-clearing left us both beat. Just as sleet started to fall, Lisa put the mower and utility trailer away and we went back to the trailer to have lunch. After lunch, Lisa gave me the photos she'd taken earlier and I came back over to her father's house to try and get a little bit more work done. This wasn't easy, especially when the power glitched again. Fortunately, by now I think I know how to reset his battery/inverter setup when the utility power comes back on.

I think we're tired. Thank goodness the winds are forecast to be much milder tonight. However, it snowed a little bit this afternoon and may snow again tonight and tomorrow.

On the brighter side, if messes like this and the one last week have to happen, it's better than they happen when I'm here. Lisa can be very handy, but she's far more reluctant to do things like climb around in trees cutting branches without me acting as a lookout and helper.