Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Peter's wife, Karen is from northern Ohio. She and Elizabeth went on a visit to her parents. On Saturday, Sept. 13, Karen's mom, Rebecca, drove them down to see us.Elizabeth turned eight months old on Sunday. She was such a busy little lady. When she was awake she was hardly ever still.
She also did a lot of chewing because she is in the process of cutting more teeth.
She demonstrated crawling on the floor, and then stopped to smile and show us her two tiny teeth. (If you click on the picture, it will enlarge so you can see the teeth better.)
Something sweet, but also very sad happened. Peter really wanted to see his family so they set it up on the computer to use a webcam so they could talk and see each other. Elizabeth immediately recognized her daddy and held out her arms to him. He held out his arms to her also, and she couldn't understand why he wouldn't pick her up. She cried as if her heart was broken. It was so sad. Karen took her away from the computer for awhile and let her calm down, but when she brought her back Elizabeth did the same thing again. After that they turned off the video portion. Elizabeth loves her mommy, but it was obvious that she loves her daddy too. ^o^
She did a few deep knee bends. She was really trying out her legs. We even got to see her stand by herself for a second or two.
Here she is cruising around the Rebounder. At this point she cruises only to the right. Karen said that's because at home she puts Elizabeth at the far corner of the couch away from Daddy's computer and she cruises to the right to try to get to it.
Here she is with grandma and grandpa.
Sharing a giggle with Karen and Kirsten.
Sunday after church we came home and had a big lunch. Betsey had made two lasagnas on Labor Day. We took one to the church picnic, and put the other one in the freezer for today. We were glad we had a big lunch because soon after lunch a BIG wind came up and the power went out. This was the remnant of hurricane Ike coming to visit. Here we all are checking out the wind outside. (Jim and Karen's mom are in the back row.) It was SO windy that Elizabeth and Kirsten didn't want to look up. It got really scary then, so we got sensible and went back inside. You can see the beginnings of our yard being littered with leaves and branches.
Karen and Rebecca needed to leave for home, but it was way too windy so they stayed around another hour or so waiting for the wind to die down. Grandma Rebecca got out a cross stitch she was working on. It was still plenty light enough in the house to see at that time, even though the power was out.

The wind did seem to calm down around 4:00 so they left. Just a few minutes later ,however, it got really bad again. A few hours later we tried calling Karen to see how they were doing but couldn't get through. We kept getting a written message on the cell phone that said "For Emergency Use Only." That was disconcerting. Apparently cell phones are not all that dependable during a crisis. Jim is planning to call the cell phone company and ask about that. I hope he remembers.
Well, the wind continued to howl for quite some time. We don't have pictures of how littered the front yard got, but this shows some of the back yard. At one point I was looking out the front window and I saw a branch from a silver maple tree come sailing out of the sky. It was about 10 feet long. It had to have come over the roof. We had upwards of 70-mile-an-hour winds, but almost no rain.

It got pretty dark in the house as the sun went down, but we had flashlights. At one point Jim went to call the electric company, again, to check on the status of our lights, and I went and sat with him. We didn't need the flashlights on just to sit there, so we turned them off to conserve the batteries and sat there in the dark.


We might as well play a game, so I said, gleefully, "I'm thinking of a word and it's not ATE." I'm thinking of a word and it's not… is a neat game that Bishop Nufer taught us some years ago while we were waiting in a long line at a National Junior Honor Society banquet. To play it you think of a word, but rather than say the word you are thinking of, you say a word that rhymes with it, and the others have to guess the word. They have to guess the word by describing that word rather than saying it. Then the person tells him if it's correct or not and says the word.

For example Jim said, "Is it something that you use when you go fishing?" and I said, "No, it's not BAIT." He came up with some really creative things. My favorite was, "In Anne of Green Gables is it something that she hit What's His Name over the head with?" I said "No it's not a slate." I don't know how many other things he guessed.

Finally he asked me if it was in first half of the alphabet or the second half, and I told him it was in the second half. (By this time he had already finished his phone call, but didn't want to give up on the game.) He finally asked, "Is it something you find out when you step on a scale?" I said, "Yes, but it's a different form." He couldn't imagine what I was talking about, so I finally said, "It's what they were making you do on the telephone! ^o^ He said "Wait!" We got a good laugh out of that. It was just fun.

The last time we played that game I was getting a little silly, and said. "I'm thinking of a word and it's not "Noodle!" He said "Really?" We laughed a lot that night too. (You would have had to be there.) Then he said, "Is it kit and…?" I said "No it's not kaboodle." The word was "poodle." Not much else rhymes with noodle, but that's OK. My philosophy is that if there are two words that rhyme it's worth a try, and it's probably good for a smile or two along the way.
Well, our power finally came back on just before 5:00 a.m., and we were very fortunate. We were fortunate that we didn't have any damage, and fortunate that we had power. Ours was out for only 13 1/2hours. As I am writing this (Tuesday night) there are some people who won't be getting theirs back on for another 5 days.

Our neighbor lost two evergreen trees that were growing close together. They blew over as far as they could and then just broke off. They landed over the fence into our yard, but the fence wasn't damaged. He was out early Monday morning with his chain saw and cleared everything out of our yard.
It was sad, because they were pretty trees. There are other evergreens along the back fence also, and I'm thankful they were OK.
This is a picture of what happened to a house across the street from our neighbor, Lorna. The tree split in four pieces, some of which landed on the house. I don't know if the house had any damage. All over town there are areas of damage, and other areas where there was none. Lots of people (180,000) today still didn't have power in our area, and Cincinnati had more than that. Three big evergreens blew down on the next block.

What was really scary though was that behind the houses across the street from us a tree fell on a power line and knocked it down and started a fire. 3 fire trucks and an ambulance showed up. Our neighbor was in the hospital, and his family was able to stay with him over night because the power was out in their house. That was so nice for them.

I could say more, but it's late. It's been quite an adventure. It's amazing to us that Ike came to the Ohio valley with so much force. He will be long remembered I'm sure.

P.S. Wednesday:
Clean up has been progressing. This shows the pile of branches that were picked up in our yard. These are waiting to be taken to the dump. We are fortunate that our pile was this small.
I've been thinking about the tree down the street that split into four pieces and fell on the neighbor's house. I don't remember what the tree looked like, but perhaps its trunk was similar to the one above, only with four sections instead of three. Those angles between the sections are much too narrow, making the tree vulnerable to breakage as it gets older and the branches get heavier.
We had ours cabled earlier this summer, to protect it from falling apart. The cable runs from trunk number 1 to trunk number 3. They are attached to some very strong eyes that are screwed into the trunks. Unfortunately a branch fell on the cable during the storm, so the whole thing isn't visible. Hopefully you can get the idea.
This is an example of what safe angles look like. Larger angles like these are far less likely to break.
The tree is special to us because Peter planted it as a Cub Scout project over 20 years ago. It has grown into a lovely shade tree.
If you click on this picture it will enlarge enough that you can see the cable running all the way across if you look really close. If we had known 20 years ago what we know now, we would not have bought this particular tree because of those angles. That's one of those "live and learn things."


Jill said...

How nice to have family come visit! I couldn't believe how strong the winds from IKE were!

Helena said...

Aww, the story of Elizabeth crying at the computer is so cute and sad. She must be happy to be back home with Daddy again.

We always said homophones counted as the same word, when playing that game.

Kathey said...

I know that homophones count, I was just giving him a hard time because the word was wait and it was about him waiting.

Barb said...

I'm so glad the damage wasn't any worse.

Speaking of planting trees, I read a quote the other day that said "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is today." I really liked that.

I remember when we planted those and we took pictures of ourselves standing inside the holes. That was fun.

Liz said...

Wow! Your trees had so much more damage than ours. Glad you made it through ok with your fun games to pass the time.

Peter said...

Thanks for posting.

Love, Peter