Early this morning my husband, who works downtown, texted to ask if it was windy at our house. This is not an unusual question. We live at the base of the foothills, which means we live in the rough equivalent of a wind tunnel. We have seen our fair share of unpleasant winds. These winds have tossed our wrought iron patio furniture and our heavy Weber grill off our flagstone patio and into our fence. They once took our roof down to bare wood in a 3 foot square section on the crown of our house. They have snapped street lights and taken them down. And, they have kept us awake more nights than we care to remember.
A couple hours later, I received another text. “Windy downtown” was all it said. It hadn’t sunk in yet but in retrospect I now realize hubby was trying to prepare me for a wind event. I hadn’t seen a weather forecast, so I had no idea. Around 5 o’clock tonight, the winds started picking up. By 7:00, I could hear roof tiles from the neighbor’s house smacking against the side of our house. By 8:30, I realized we were missing the entire south side section of the fence in the backyard. It was knocked over in some sections and torn to shreds in others. At 9 p.m., our neighbor Randy called us. His house is on the north side of ours so it bears the brunt of these winds from the northwest. In the last windstorm, which did not have the 75 mile per hour gusts we’ve seen tonight, their roof was damaged badly enough to require replacement. He was calling to let me know that they could not locate the glass top to their patio table and wanted to make sure we kept an eye out for broken glass in our yard. Good to know.
We have a standard operating procedure when the winds are bad. We set up shop in Luke’s tiny room. Luke’s bedroom faces south and is the only bedroom protected from the wind during storms like this. Steve and I have tried sleeping through winds in our west facing bedroom, but the weep holes in the windows make the wind rumble through loudly. It sounds as if an elephant is trumpeting in the room. True story. Over the past ten years, we’ve tried sound machines, fans, ear plugs, and sleep medication as means of helping us sleep through the wind but to no avail. I’ve spent many a night with two pillows on top of my head, drifting in and out of sleep as the wind growled at our house. We gave up. We learned that a few nights a year it’s worth it to crash on an air mattress on the floor of Luke’s room. The boys love it (they call it Family Sleepover Night) and we all sleep, which means I am a much less cranky mommy the next day.
As the winds continue to wreak havoc tonight, I find myself counting my blessings. With each loud bump I hear on the roof above me, I know that the shingles are mostly still there. And when the roof tiles fly off our neighbor’s house and hit ours, with each impact I am grateful that they hit siding and not a window. I’m happy that if we have to sleep on the floor in Luke’s room to avoid the wind, at least the queen-size air mattress fits perfectly in the little bit of space available. The dog’s stainless steel water bowl may have ended up in the neighbor’s front yard (don’t ask me how), but at least I found it and that’s one less thing we’ll have to replace when we assess damage in the morning. Tomorrow we’ll call the insurance company to send out an adjuster so we can fix the fence and the roof, but for now we’re all nestled safely in our beds. The winds can continue to howl. It’s all good. I’m not afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. His huffing and puffing haven’t blown this house down yet. With any luck, he will blow so hard tonight he’ll pass out for a while and tomorrow night we can go back to sleeping in our own bed.