How’d YOU make out in the storm? Here’s my car, with the tree on it

It began, at my house, with a fundamental failure of seamanship that would have disgusted Jack Aubrey. Every sailor knows that when a blow comes up, you take your sails in — or most of them — ASAP. I failed to do so.

My wife had already had dinner while I was writing this blog post. Then, as the lights started flickering, I decided I’d best heat mine while I still had use of the microwave. So I sat down to eat a little after 8:30, I think. Then there was a thump from the back wall — sounded like something in the kitchen cabinets.

Odd, I thought — then went to the window, and saw that the iron table on the deck had blown over. Because the umbrella was still attached, and open. As I rushed to deal with it (thinking all the while of old-time sailors taking in a reef in the topsails with a gale tearing at them) and branches and stuff fell all around, the wind almost carried the umbrella, me and the iron table off the deck. But I finally got it down, and into the house.

Then, the top of an internal doorway — the frame part — between the kitchen and the hall — started steadily leaking water onto the floor. After a few moments, it stopped. I haven’t identified the source yet.

After all the banging and crashing stopped, a neighbor came and knocked on the front door to inform me that a tree had fallen across my car. It missed the truck — falling right alongside it — and my daughter’s car, and my wife’s car, but landed square on the hood of mine. And effectively blocked in all the other vehicles, since mine was in back.

That same neighbor helped me move the tree enough to back out my car this morning, and we pulled it around just enough for my wife to get out.

And now, just a moment ago, my wife called to say that she realized that the light fixture that was smashed on the deck last night (oh, didn’t I mention that?) was right over the dog’s water bowl. Which might have broken glass in it. So now I’ve got to run back home.

How did YOU make out last night?

41 thoughts on “How’d YOU make out in the storm? Here’s my car, with the tree on it

  1. Karen McLeod

    Thanks be to God that it landed on your car rather than you! Sailors may have to deal with wind, rain, and lightning while reefing the sails, but at least they don’t usually have to deal with trees or flying debris! I have a few limbs on the roof, and lots of small yard debris, but nothing serious. Other than dealing with a terrorized kitty last nite, everything’s ok. After seeing the wind, and hearing the hail we had, I was pleasantly suprised to discover that my tomato plants are still standing.

  2. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    Since we lost two of our three big old trees earlier this year, we were fine, with a very brief post-concussion power outage around 8:30. Driving around Shandon and over behind the Woodhill Target, though, several big trees and limbs were down, and it looks like there was a microburst over by Midlands Tech on Rosewood–the cannas in the median are all blown sideways.
    Some moron left some of those white packing peanuts where the wind could blow them all over behind my gym (Anytime Fitness on Devine). At first they looked like flowers, but yuck–they weren’t the disintegrating kind, either. They’ll be around for a while unless someone picks them all up by hand!

  3. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    My Toyota was built in this country. My former BMW was even built in this state. Just because it has a US nameplate on it, doesn’t mean it was built here, and vice versa.

  4. Steven Davis

    Matt, you mean the Buick that was built in the Oshawa assembly plant in Canada?

    My Toyota truck was built in Indiana.

  5. bud

    Not sure how we got sidetracked on to a discussion about where cars are built.

    Brad, hopefully your car isn’t damaged too badly.

    Damage in my subdivision was very minimal. Just a few tree branches down. Just seeing the damage in Tuscaloosa and Joplin makes me thankful for such a mild storm here.

  6. Matt Bohn

    GM is an American company. Toyota is not. Call me old fashioned or out of it, but I believe in supporting American brands.

  7. Burl Burlingame

    Oddly, as I thumb-type this, it’s storming here in sunny Hawaii. Thunder and lightning.

  8. bud

    I buy the best quality car based on dependability, price and other objective criteria. I don’t care where it’s made and I certainly don’t care where the company is headquartered (which is different from ownership. Many Japanese based companies have thousands of US stockholder, and visa versa) Jeez, why should I care about proping up some gazillionare CEO just because he’s named Smith instead of Yamato?

  9. Steven Davis

    Matt, How do you feel about supporting American workers? If today’s automotive industry you can support American corporations buy purchasing vehicles built by foreign workers, or foreign vehicles built by American workers. I guess it all comes down to whether you’d rather support stockholders or employees.

  10. Brad

    It’s full. Or rather, it’s USUALLY full. You’d understand if you have five kids in their 20s and 30s. They’re always moving here and there and our house — mainly our garage — tends to be the storage facility.

    Actually, I said “usually” full because two of my daughters just moved more than half of the stuff out of there this week. But we’re just not in the habit of thinking of the garage as a place for cars. My wife, after dinging her car a couple of times going in and out (it’s a bit tricky — not only is the driveway a fairly steep incline, but it starts turning a bit as you’re pulling out of the garage, so you can’t come out quite straight if there’s another vehicle, which there always is), quit using it for that several years ago, and I never really did, because there was never enough empty space in it for two vehicles.

  11. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    @ Matt- You’re old-fashioned. I stopped supporting American companies when they stopped supporting American workers.

    I do believe I heard that GM has repaid its bailout–we didn’t get too badly hosed.

  12. Matt Bohn

    First, I’m glad no one got hurt in the storm. The American car comment should not have been my first reaction.
    You can cherry pick individual models of each company and see where they’re made. But on the whole, the Big 3 employ union workers (UAW) with generous pay and benefits. If people bought American, more UAW jobs would be created. Previous to making the comment, I checked out the State’s site and saw that Governor Haley’s husband’s Toyota FJ Cruiser (made at the Hamura plant in Tokyo- no American workers supported there) had been hit by a tree. I was impressed that Brad drives Buick. It seems patriotic and right.

  13. Brad

    My wife, who has been at home the last couple of hours, says that the word is going around among my neighbors that we won’t have power until SUNDAY… which I am still absorbing. Here I was, being tired from all this, and fully ready to go home and relax, and now I don’t want to go there. What would I do? Sit or lie there in the hot, humid dark?

    I’ve just plugged my phone into the laptop to get as much of a charge as I CAN before I go home. If I do that at home, of course, my laptop battery will run out (as it did last night). I’ve got to keep that going, as I’m not at all sure that my land line at home will work. We’re no longer with the phone company, and get phone service through the cable, and I confess I don’t know what the implications are for a power outage. Someone said they tried to call me at home and leave a message today, and couldn’t.

    It gets worse…

    One of my neighbors graciously came over a little while ago and cut up the tree that fell on my car. No, that’s not the “worse” part; that’s great. He told me this morning he would do that right after I realized that MY chainsaw, which is electric, won’t work. (And here’s how dumb you get when you take electricity for granted. I thought, for just a second, “Oh, I could use that reciprocating saw that I borrowed the other day from my son-in-law, for part of it.” Yes. It’s electric, too.)

    Anyway, in appreciation for his help, my wife gave the neighbor a couple of my beers. Because there’s no power to keep them cold…

    YES! That’s the “worse” part! My beer fridge, the one I keep in the garage, has no power! My stash is getting warm as I type this! I’ll pick up some ice on the way home, but something like this just makes you feel like civilization is a fragile thing.

    Speaking of which — not an hour ago I was talking with a colleague who was waxing philosophical and wondering how and why life got so complex. Why, she wondered, aren’t we still living in cabins or caves or whatever?

    I said without hesitation, here’s why (I’m always prepared with glib answers like this): Because 10,000 years ago or so, as we were going about our simple lives hunting and gathering — the men hunting and the women gathering, which just irritated the prehistoric feminists no end — one day some guy realized: “If we stop this roaming around, we can grow some barley, and make beer!” Without settling down and farming, we couldn’t make beer, so it was an easy choice.

    After that, our economy got more and more complex, until we got to where we could go hunting and drink beer at the same time, at least on the weekends. Not that that’s a safe thing to do, but we CAN do it now.

    So I was just thinking that a little while ago, marveling at how far we’d come — and now I get this news about my beer fridge.

    I wonder what other horrific implications arise from having no power, things I haven’t even thought of yet…?

  14. Brad

    Uh… my wife just said the power just came on.

    She said that about 30 seconds after I got off the phone with SCE&G, where the guy told me they have NO IDEA when it will be fixed in my neighborhood. I asked him about the Sunday rumor, and he said he hasn’t been told that, but he just doesn’t know.

    Now the power is on. Maybe it’s just temporary while they work on it; I don’t know.

    So… should I buy the ice? Probably…

  15. Scout

    We were out of power from about 9:00 until 4:17 AM. My husband was in the middle of doing wash to pack to leave for Denver this morning. His clothes remained wet and his suitcase unpacked all night. He was not a happy camper. Just got home from work and am typing this on my droid because have no cable or internet still. Mrs. Automated at time warner says maybe in about 90 minutes. I was just about to reply to Doug over on another thread when the storm hit. But I think that will have to wait until I can type for real. But thankfully no major damage here. Just minor inconveniences.

  16. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    A beer fridge?!?!? You realize that’s a serious energy hog, right? You could just a buy smaller quantities and keep them chilled,

    unless that would be a real problem for you…

    One day at a time….

  17. Norm Ivey

    Storm? What storm? A little wind and rain last night but that’s all in NE Columbia.

    Why buy ice? Drink the beer. They’ll make more.

  18. Nick Nielsen

    Out here at the northwest corner of Lexington County, we were the calm between the storms. Thunder to the north of us, lightning to the south, nothing here but rain.

    The driveway pool is full again; I’ll mount the diving board tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Joanne

    I’m so sorry for your damage, Brad. I suffered through Hugo, lost a car, a roof, 8 trees…It’s not fun, and it will make you feel during the next year of storms–no matter how strong– that it will happen again.

    Keep the faith.

  20. bud

    Bud’s law: If you buy the ice the power will be on immediately. If you don’t buy the ice the power goes back off.

  21. Karen McLeod

    Male chauvinist!! It was a woman who thought “Why do we have to keep wandering around gathering these plants and seeds while the men are out carousing? They might come back eventually with a carcass or two (or not), but we can arrange to have the plants and seeds where we want them, and thus have more time for our cucumber facials.” It was the women, after all, who were gathering these plants and seeds to start with.

  22. Ralph Hightower


    I’m sorry to hear about your car. I hope y’alls dog is okay (broken glass over the water bowl).

    I have a cell phone that CONSUMES power. It is a 4G Android phone. It does more than make and receive calls. My phone would be dead in a multi-day extended power outage.

    We lost a UPS in the storm that powered our wired and wireless ethernet. So I powered down our Windows 2008 Server and moved the newer UPS to power our ethernet.

    Regarding the country of origin of automobiles, in the forty-three years of driving, I had driven domestics, Chevy, Saturn, Ford, GMC, and Pontiac. My current Chevy was built in Mexico.

    However, my determination of whether an auto manufacturer is domestic of foreign is based on the location of their HQ.

    I remember one particularly bad extended power outage back in the late 70’s. Big ice storm; power was out for days. Before the ice storm, my wife had a wisdom tooth pulled and she developed a dry socket during the power outage. Life was miserable.

  23. Ralph Hightower

    I found another piece of computer equipment that didn’t survive the storm: the computer monitor that is used for my Linux system.

  24. Steven Davis

    “A beer fridge?!?!? You realize thatโ€™s a serious energy hog, right?”

    As if you don’t have things that plug in that aren’t energy hogs.

  25. Karen McLeod

    How about last night’s storm? It took out power and cable here, and I’ve got a tree branch in the middle of the road that I can’t budge. I’m glad Quarry isn’t heavily travelled!

  26. Brad

    My beer fridge is one of my best ideas ever. I think I’ll write a separate post on it explaining why, to those to whom it is not patently obvious. Something that, like many things, I suspect MAY break down along gender lines, roughly speaking.

    Last night, my wife and I watched a little bit of “I Love You, Man,” the comedy about the guy who labors at making a male friend so he’ll have somebody to be his best man at his wedding. Basically, the new friend is a guy who lives the sort of life many guys at least THINK they would live if they were bachelors. A key feature of his “man-cave” — his special place to which the women he dates are never admitted — is his beer fridge. I see that, and I go, “Yep”…

  27. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    @ Steven Davis–like what, pray tell? A single small, top-freezer Energy Star fridge, no icemaker, to keep food cold, an A/C to keep me from becoming homicidal–what else? I’m writing on a MacBook (doesn’t get much more energy efficient). Our TV, which is run just to show a movie at night, if then, is also Energy Star….Sometimes I listen to my iPod on a speaker unit….everything but the kitchen appliances and the internet stuff is on power strips that get switched off when not in use. Our lightbulbs are all CFLs….

    Using energy necessary to power our lives is one thing– healthy food requires refrigeration, enough land to grow your own (sprawl), or frequent trips to the grocery store. Using it to chill mass quantities of beer?

    Like I said, either it’s unnecessary to have so much beer on hand, chilled in an energy hog beer fridge(!), or maybe Brad needs to consider how much he’s drinking!

  28. Brad

    Last night’s storm sort of flowed around us. The wind came up suddenly and my wife hollered “the umbrella!,” which we had just put back up.

    The foremast hands (she and I) hurried aloft, but rather than strike it down, I reefed it with a bungee cord. That worked.

    Then we waited for the rain — my wife stopped in the middle of watering her plants — but it never came… Just heat lightning and some wind….

    Did I mention that one of the branches blown by the previous storm ripped holes in my grill cover? Not to worry; I repaired it with duct tape yesterday.

    Oh, and someone asked about insurance on the car. Yeah, we’re covered, but there will be a $500 deductible to pay. I was going to forget about it — I don’t care about a dented hood — but Friday evening my youngest daughter needed a ride from 5 Points, and I tried to pick her up on the fly without finding a parking space… and the front passenger door wouldn’t open, because of the distortion of the panel in front of it.

    So I’m taking it to the body shop tomorrow…

  29. bud

    Most beer conneseurs believe a good beer should be served at near room temperature, perhaps around 60 degrees. Not sure why a fridge is needed for that.

  30. Brad

    That’s British beer. American beer is formulated to be drunk cold.

    I was kind of disappointed with English beer — or rather, with my own reaction to it. I had hoped I would prove the sophistication of my palate by really loving it. But I didn’t. Best beer I had over there was an ice-cold pint bottle of Fuller’s Bengal Lancer India Pale Ale, which I think the barman recommended because he figured, “The Yank will like this…” I felt condescended to, but he was right about me.

  31. bud

    American beer is formulated to be drunk cold.

    Exactly. GOOD beer should be drunk at room temperature and that automatically excludes most American beers. Okay, I’ll sometimes have a Budweiser and very cold at that. But generally the standard American beers are very bland. Wish I could visit Ireland and sample a Guiness on tap there. The canned ones here are pretty good.

  32. Steven Davis

    I restored a 1950’s refrigerator last year and keep it in the garage. In this heat, it runs continuously… but all of the tasty beverages inside are nice and cool.

  33. Steven Davis

    @Kathryn – Nevermind, the joke (not a very good one) went over your head.

    Or maybe you have the kick-start model.

  34. Steven Davis

    @bud – actually good beer should be served at 33-34 degrees. Preferably sitting in an ice chest… 1/3 ice, 1/3 water, 1/3 beer.

  35. SusanG

    Maybe they could substitute instruction on teaching the best way to keep beer cold (and, the differences between chilling a lager and a stout, for instance) instead of Algebra — that’s something you use everyday. ๐Ÿ˜‰


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