Three times?!

In September there was a “freak” windstorm that destroyed trees throughout the forest, including several in our yard. “Wow, that never happens!” people told us. Then in November it happened again. “Seriously,” people said, “I’ve lived here thirty years and I’ve never seen wind like this.”

Last Friday, it happened again. Winds gusted above 60mph for nearly a full day. The trees were shaking, and we were hoping they’d be okay. Alas, no. Pepper was looking out the window at one point and saw one topple in the forest to the north of us. Around 1pm the power blacked out– trees had fallen on power lines down by the highway. We made the most of our last day with Kyra and Hannah, enjoying a nice candlelight dinner…

… and playing our newest board game, Splendor, with candles and lanterns:

As the hours passed, it became clear the power wasn’t coming back that night. The wind was unbelievable, and the electric company’s crews couldn’t safely work on the lines. So we finally went to bed around midnight. By then the house had dropped to 45 degrees (our heating system is electric, not gas). All of us slept under piles of blankets and managed to stay comfortably warm.

But throughout the night, as the wind howled and literally shook the house, we could hear distant whumps outside. I knew those were trees falling. We just prayed they wouldn’t hit the house as we passed a fitful night.

In the morning, the full extent of the devastation could be seen. We lost another enormous tree in our back yard:

A towering larch dropped right alongside the driveway:

In the front yard, one remains leaning precariously, supported by a helpful neighboring tree:

But the brunt of the damage was in the forest just to the north. It literally looked like it had been clear-cut in places.

Dozens upon dozens of majestic trees lay uprooted, and the forest that used to stand there had been reduced to a few lone trees.

The view from the house is noticeably different now– we can see the lake, and over to our neighbor’s property, whereas before all of it was hidden by trees. These pictures don’t really convey the full extent of the damage; it’s astounding.

That said, we’re very grateful no trees hit our house, and Katie reminded us that we still have hundreds of trees surrounding us. The forest is thinner, to be sure, but it’s still a forest.

Now, if I had a nickel for every person who told me, “No, really. This seriously never happens…”