The Aftermath

Vastly different than afterglow…we’re currently in the aftermath—wake—of yesterday’s storm that hit the greater Chicagoland area with over 200,000 people still without power this morning, ourselves included.

We live in an older neighborhood in Crystal Lake, Illinois laden with full grown oak, hickory, and maple trees. On our street alone, many of these stately giants were snapped like match sticks, or yanked up by 75 mile an hour winds and slammed across people’s homes, garages, or cars. Except for debris in our driveway and yard, we were left unscathed.

Debris from storm 07-11-2011

Debris from storm 07-11-2011

In making our way to our business—HolEssence—to assess any potential damage, we saw that the destruction was widespread, with emergency vehicles and Commonwealth Edison trucks everywhere due to trees and power lines laying across main and side roads.

After the storm roared through, we spent the rest of the afternoon clearing dangling limbs from trees and debris from our yard and driveway. The 91 degree heat and humidity made it somewhat of an unpleasant chore with no fans or air conditioning to take a break in.

Reading by Coleman Lantern 07-11-2011

Reading by Coleman Lantern 07-11-2011

Making lemonade out of lemons, we enjoyed an evening of reading by Colman camp lantern. Without power, I’m a day behind in catching up with emails and blogs. I intend to start today at HolEssence between clients because we have power here.

What was the last big mess you had to clean up?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               — Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

29 thoughts on “The Aftermath

  1. Laurie, Len,

    I am glad to see that you are both in good health! Yes the trees always seem to get the worst of storms, God/Goddess way of pruning i suppose!

    Do I am a last mess to clean up? I don’t think so?

    • Jeff – We are well, indeed (and so are our three dogs, although during the storm each of them was confident that the trees falling was bombs going off). I like your analogy of God/Goddess’ way of pruning. I never thought about it from that perspective.

  2. Aftermath!!
    Yes, the house on Lake in the Hills was hit too……in the front of the house ….a large tree feel on a smaller tree in front of the house.
    There is a God! , as I was not real fond of the smaller tree……
    Oh well, glad No one was hurt.

    Take care
    Kim

  3. Laurie, I am sorry to hear about the storm that did so much damage. I am just north of you in Milwaukee and we saw nothing here. I’m glad to hear that you and yours are safe.
    🙂 Karin

  4. Glad you and yours were unscathed. It’s always sad to see old trees toppled. After the big hurricane in the 1980s in the south of England people carved broken trees into interesting sculptures.

    • Paul – Carved sculptures, what a fantastic idea! Unfortunately, all of our old fellows will be sent through a chipper as the Public Works department goes street-by-street for clean up duty.

  5. Hi Laurie,

    Hang in there :). Luckely all went well for you.
    As to your question : a huge paper bin. No comparaison of course, but I was releaved to get rid of some old stuff.

    • Elke – So good to hear from you. yes, Yes, YES — I fully understand getting the great feeling of getting rid of “stuff.” It’s a nasty chore but feels oh-so-good once it’s done 🙂

  6. Glad to hear you are in one piece Laurie, save for the mess, it is good that all is well. I totally feel for you though, I had a similar experience right after I moved to Asheville. I came home to about 3 inches of water and half the driveway in my living room – the bank on the other side of the house had collapsed due to torrential rain and with no French Drain to redirect the flow of water and dirt. . . well, you get the picture. The new hardwood floor was history too along with the carpeting in both bedrooms. It’s amazing the force of nature isn’t it!! Take care.

    • Alison – For some reason your comment about the force of nature took me right back to when I was a kid and there was a Chiffon commercial on television that said, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” Your incident sounds bad. Really bad.

  7. Laurie is it usual for you to get these high winds in the summer time? We had a warning as well a few days ago but the winds thankfully didn’t materialize.

    Alison I am so sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds really grim and is going to difficult to deal with.

    We are having a cool ,wet year here on Mayne Island but other than that things are good. The last big mess I cleaned up? I haven’t had any for awhile…. hum. Nope. None I can think of. Lots of little messes though 🙂

  8. Laurie, I’m sorry to hear of the poor weather conditions. Glad you are both safe and making the best of out of a bad situation.
    Mess… Well, while I am lost in novel writing dreamland it is so easy to let things lapse. After writing the last word, I wake, look around and think, Who made this mess and who’s going to clean it. That’s all the motivation I need to keep writing. : )

    • Leanne – Our power was restored last night at 8pm and we’ve got a pretty good handle on our mess. I feel really sorry for the waste management guys who will come by on Friday morning for all of the non-landscape type stuff. They’re going to be picking up tons — probably literally — of it. The motivation you wrote about (“who’s going to clean it?) cracked me up 🙂

  9. Our weather has been very cool and actually quite pleasant; we are back to rain for this week – helps me get more work done.

    Until we got our French drains in and 2 sump pumps we had flooding in our house at least once a year into the bedrooms. We thought we had that all corrected when the hot water tank once again ruined the wood floors and carpeting in the bedrooms – and created such mold.
    The last mess I had to clean up was a pleasant one…have 10 people at our home for 3 days made for a great deal of washing and cleaning…I was fortunate to have a breeze and a sunny day to put sheets on the line.

    I am so sorry for your storm – glad for you minimal damage and clean up…and hope that your area will be back on line soon.

    Yes, Mother Nature certainly has her ways and balancing systems.

    • Patricia – Your recent mess does, indeed, sound like a pleasant one! And then to be able to hang your sheets out on the line to be air dried — life is good! Our power was restored last evening at 8pm so we’re getting ourselves back to normal.

  10. Pingback: Grandness when faced with our need for resilience « Creativepotager's Blog

    • Readers – If you haven’t been over to Creative Potager to read/see Terrill’s “Grandness when faced with our need for resilience” tribute, I highly recommend that you do — you’ll be glad you did. Here’s a LINK for your convenience.

  11. Hi Laurie & Len

    Glad you folks and your property survived the storm.

    The eastern boundary of our section is still a mess to be dealt to.
    It’s not good drying weather here (being mid winter) so if I cut up the big limbs now they will take a long time to dry. Still have 5 more trees to take down, but we are having persistently windy weather.

    Ailsa’s foot is a bit of a mess, but coming right.
    Took her down to Christchurch and got the stitches out and a new lighter cast on, so she is a bit happier now.
    Also got to speak to a surgeon, and get a copy of the xrays, so know exactly what happened now (finally, after 2 weeks).

    Had some weird weather here 3 nights ago. I was out walking the dogs about 10:30pm, with a clear sky and a half moon, cold but still; then suddenly I hear a screaming noise, it was a massive gust of wind in the cell phone tower – about 50 yards from where I was standing, but I was still in calm air. It lasted about 5 seconds, then suddenly the wind hit me, probably close to seventy knots, then within another 30 seconds it was gone, and silent and still again.
    Quite terrifying actually.
    Out of nothing, and back into nothing.

    Life here is slowly returning to some semblance of normal.

    • Ted – The experience you described does, indeed, sound terrifying. I’ve never encountered anything like it in my life. I wonder what in the world the dogs thought of it? Probably scared the bajeebers out of them too! I’m so glad that Ailsa’s in a lighter cast and on the mend!

  12. Wow, Laurie, you have my empathy and sympathy. I’ve been through a couple of tail-end hurricanes here in Maryland that wiped us off the electrical grid plus there was that two-day episode of no power during the blizzard two winters ago. The only thing that time that helped us was we have a gas stove so at least we could still cook. Given a choice between the two, I would have to pick summer power loss because at least then I could get in my car and drive somewhere (or at least turn it on in the driveway with the air conditioning!). While it should not surprise me how dependent we are upon electricity for our everyday activities, each time I am caught by the sheer immensity of my reliance. I actually have to find pen and paper to write. I am glad you are back on line.

    • Barbara – I clearly remember your “No Power in the Blizzard” episode. And I’m with you, I’d much rather have no power in the summer than the winter!

  13. Laurie: This kind of thing is always especially frightening, as there is little you can do when your caught in the storm’s path. Sitting by with the Coleman lantern and waiting for things to run their course is pretty much the limit. The high temperature of course only adds to the discomfort. I had been informed of this disaster by another readers who lives in your area, so I quickly came over to SPEAKING FROM THE HEART and lo and behold. Above all I am relieved that everyone is fine, and hope things will be rectified as soon as possible. I much appreciate the photos too.

    The “mess” we all had to clean up last weekend was overgrown weeds which had engulfed our back yard. But heck, that’s child’s play compared to what you are going through.

    • Sam – Our power was restored at 8pm last evening and all is returning to normal. We need to replace everything that was in the refrigerator/freezer, but that’s absolutely nothing compared to some folks in our area who are having to replace roofs, out-buildings, windows, and/or cars.

  14. Thought of you when I heard the news, Laurie. Has been a trying summer for so many people. I wish you a speedy storm recovery and good days, smooth sailing, ahead. In my thoughts as you put things back together. With heart, Daisy

    • Daisy – Our power was restored last evening at 8pm so we’re in the process of picking ourselves up and dusting ourselves off 🙂 I feel sorry for the people who have to pick up all the non-landsape type trash from our neighborhood this coming Friday. Most of us have lost everything in our refrigerators and freezers, and while many of us will compost what we can, some stuff simply has to go into the big bins out to the curb — it’s going to be stinky.

  15. Pingback: Post to Laurie’s Aftermath post | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

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