Wednesday, October 14, 2009

After the Storm

What was I thinking? I have to laugh when I read my last entry. "Enjoy a different kind of music?" Ha ha ha ha ha!!!

I ought to know better. Nature's got a mighty twisted sense of humor.

Instead of curling up in front of a nice fire, listening to the raging storm, we soon found ourselves becoming the punch line to Nature's Big Joke.

"What's that?"

The sound of falling H2O sounded too close...like it was coming from...oh, my god, is that water on the INSIDE of the windows? There was a waterfall coursing down the giant cathedral windows on the east side of the main room. We quickly laid all the towels we could find and put little containers all along the sill, but we had to find a real solution quick.

"Go online and see if you can find a caulk or something we can use underwater," Big Dog yelled as I ran up to the "office" to log on. There's not much you can find out when you are on a 28800 baud rate dial-up. The local hardware store didn't know of anything (except tar) either, so putting on our raincoats, we drove to Home Depot to see if we could pick out something. Anything.

The wind that usually blows from west to east down Los Osos Valley, was howling from the other direction. Maybe the trees were happy.
"They're getting their kinks out. Sort of like going to a chiropractor," I mused.

There really wasn't anything at Home Depot either (except tar!) but we picked out the one caulk that didn't tell you to make sure the surfaces were completely dry and went back to the ranch.

"Watch out! There's a tree!"

During the brief time we were in town, a tree had fallen and had turned our local road into a one-laner. Rocks had tumbled from above and provided further obstacles.

"Peligro! Derrumbes!" I shouted. I've become quite fluent in Road Sign Spanish.

Well, I don't know how we did it, but we managed to seal the window casing with the strange goop we picked up. The goop didn't really stick to anything, but from the very top of our rickety ladder, I was able to push enough of it into the hairline cracks. Encouraged, we sealed the window casing to the bedroom window which was also starting to leak.

"I'm so glad we were here for this. Imagine if we were away!" We kept telling ourselves how fortunate we were, despite being drenched from head to toe. Big Dog had lit a fire, so once inside the house, it really wasn't so bad. Until we came across another leak, that is.

"Okay, I'm going out again!" I put on my cheap plastic raincoat (second of the plastic raincoats I bought at a particularly stormy Fuji Rock Festival -- Ryan Adams drew a cute picture on my first plastic raincoat) and went out, caulk gun swinging. This time, the goop didn't work and the rain kept coming inside. We had to rig a plastic sheet onto the top of the door so that the rain could come down it and into a bucket.

"4 inches already!" Big Dog kept his eye on the rain gauge and would announce the rainfall every few hours.

By the evening, the rain gauge was completely full, so I know we got more than 5 and a half inches of rain. Maybe we got 6. Maybe 7. Seems like we got an entire year's worth of rain in one 24 hour period.

And just when we thought the day was finally over, the phone rang.

"It's J here. Sorry to wake you but we just got back home and the drain outside JD's place is clogged or something. Water's rising up and nearly to his door!"

We got them a wide broom to try to push the water away from the door. It was around midnight, too dark to see anything and still raining like crazy. You'd think that with all the excitement, insomniacs like us would stay awake for hours, but maybe we were too exhausted. The water music lulled me right to sleep.

About 6 hours later, another phone call woke me up. It was our neighbor, D., letting us know that a car was blocking the easement road. Apparently it was the McC's car, abandoned on one side of the creek. It looked like the car had made it across the creek and stalled on the other side.

The dead car is now gone. So are some trees and lots of limbs. The creek is still roaring ("Like, I'm a river, man!") and it's still drizzling (how can there be so much moisture up there?) but it's calm and windless again. The storm has passed.

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