Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Forced Camping - Back to Basics!

Here in Michigan, we have had such a mild summer this year. Cooler than usual temperatures, virtually no storms, just enough rain to keep the lakes filled and the gardeners happy!
Towards the end of last week, all good things came to a screeching HALT! Flat line winds came across the Lake from Wisconsin into Michigan, taking out trees, power lines, and homes.
The power of a 60 mph wind is amazing. Mr. Wonderful was getting ready to cook dinner on the grill, and I called him over to see the 'calm before the storm' - it was dead silent. And then - Suddenly, the winds hit full force, bending the trees in our little woods! The May Apple leaves were flattened to the ground, looking for all the world like BIG FOOT had stomped the life out of them! It began to rain so hard that we could not have seen our hands in front of our faces, had we been out from under the protective roof overhang on our side porch!

As suddenly as it had arrived, the storm left us - it could not have lasted more than 15 minutes before moving on to the next town. But just look at these pictures -
We were fortunate to have only lost 3 trees with minimal damage - the worst was the one across our driveway, which needed to be cut up before we went anywhere. The next day, we saw 250 year old trees, ripped out by the roots, wires down everywhere, and firemen and volunteers removing trees from the road so traffic could pass on the main roads. I am sure that many folks had to hire tree services in order to begin repairs to their yards and homes.

Being inconvenienced for a few days was the worst for us. Since we have a well, there was no running water due to the downed power lines. No phone, no nothing. The humidity was so high that we felt like doing nothing more than we had to, to get by. We heard chain saws in the distance, and the sound of a hatchet hitting wood was right through our yard at our neighbors place. Mr. Wonderful went to their rescue with his chain saw - and saved them a lot of time and work! Too bad that a disaster is the best way to meet neighbors, sometimes!

Our power came back yesterday evening, finally. We had a generator loaned to us in the nick of time, which saved our frozen meat. Much of the refrigerated items had to be tossed. We hauled water in camping barrels that we used a few years back in the rustic horse camping sites, and used that water for most things. Cooking on the grill was not optional. The wood was too wet to do any campfire cooking. Fire departments were handing out free bottled water to whomever was in need. 5 days without power made one realize how dependent our society actually is. It is hard to live by candlelight, even knowing our ancestors got by that way for centuries. Our generation is spoiled! Perhaps we should all have a 'lights out' weekend, to appreciate all that modern living provides for us, and to learn what 'getting back to basics' is really all about.


Rechelle ~Walnuthaven Cottage~ said...

OMGoodness! I am so glad you are all all right and that your damage was minimal. We don't experience storms such as that so I can only imagine how rough it was.
I have to say I agree that our society is rather spoiled, me being at the head of the pack :p I've tried a tv free week and puter free days but to go with electricity would be a tough task.
Enjoy your day!

farmlady said...

That was a fast and furious storm. Here in central California we rarely get storms like that and never in the middle of summer.

As for our society...,we are a VERY spoiled people and someday when it all goes away, because of our excessive use of resources. Folks will just wither and die without all of their conveniences. When this happens, this new way of life will separate (the proverbial) men from the boys. It will be the great leveler of mankind.
Nothing lasts forever and our society doesn't really care unless they are inconvenienced and then all they do is get angry and find someone to blame, or sue, or judge. Their "intitlement" will dissolve like fake sugar in hot tea and very few will survive the chaos.
A strong storm and lack of electricity, for a while, is just a reminder.

^..^Corgidogmama said...

You were VERY lucky especially since you all live in the woods!

Angela said...

Wow! I had no idea that you were without electric for 5 days! I think the longest we have been was 2 before the generator. I'm so glad that no one was hurt!