Wednesday, March 25, 2009


So---- Just as I was beginning my last post, my neighbor came over, bringing me some roses from her garden and telling me about the bad weather that was on its way here. I had no idea. Personally, I don't watch the local news anymore because it is so depressing, and it's cheesy Austin news. (And it's also not my beloved San Antonio KENS 5 with Chris Marrou, Steve Spreister and Ursula Perry...) Okay, I'll get to the point.

So I flip A&E TV on to "Cold Case Files." (My kind of programming.) A red screen cuts in, saying to turn to channel 10 for emergency warnings. It said Burnet County and several others were under a tornado warning until 5:30 and a severe t-storm watch until 9:00. Now, being from West Texas and growing up in a house with a cellar (which we never used, by the way...), I tend to take certain weather warnings with a grain of salt. I think that's from growing up with my dad. When I was little and warnings would flash across the TV screen, I would ask him, "Don't you think we need to get in the cellar?" He would always say, "We'll be alright." (And I understand now how it would have been MUCH better to risk the storm than to crawl into the cellar with who knows what and all kinds of creepy crawly things...)

So--I call my dad. My parents both grew up in Haskell County, Texas, which ALWAYS seems to be having tornadoes or heavy t-storms. (I kid you not.) I remember staying with my grandparents and going through so many t-storms and tornado watches. I had a roll away bed I used in their bedroom and I remember seeing lightning flash outside the window and hearing the wind howling while they were fast asleep, my granddad, "Paw," snoring. I also remember going into the neighbor's cellar one time (by the way, the ONLY time in my life I have been in a storm cellar due to weather). A tornado hit my grandparents' town in the 1990s, and thankfully, their house did not receive any damage. Anyway, back to my story.........

I did, thankfully, move my citrus trees and pink hydrangeas under my front porch. However, I was starting about 140 different seedlings in a special plant nursery, and didn't move my backyard plants under the back porch..... I stepped back in the house, on the phone. All of a sudden, the stillness turned to calamity. Hail the size of giant gumballs/silver dollars began falling, and the wind blew in Meadowlakes like I've never seen before. (Not that that amounts to much---we haven't been here that long!) The news later said we had up to 50 MPH wind gusts! I watched my backyard plants being pummeled before my very eyes. It was not pretty, folks. After the storm let up (10 minutes or so), Dad told me to check my west windows. (Thankfully, we didn't have many windows on the west side....) However, 2 of the 4 small windows on the west side were broken. However, the 2 that happened to be broken were double paned, so no water is leaking into the house. During the hail, Weiss kept saying, "Look, Momma! White snow!" It looked like it had snowed.

All of my landscaping in the back is damaged. Hopefully most of it will live. My $50 worth of seedlings will probably not. However, the landscaping in the front is okay because the house protected it as the storm blew in from the northwest. Thank goodness, because this is where my "really pretty stuff" is. Logan was at the office and had both side mirrors busted and hail damage; I had one mirror broken and hail damage on the top of my car. (And yes, we do have a garage, but it is filled with junk, not with a car.) We will most likely need a new roof, along with everyone else. However, all of this is minor damage compared to all of the homes on Meadowlakes Drive. Hannah called me when I was on the phone, checking to see how my in-laws' place fared (the lakehouse at Kingsland was a-okay). They live on Meadowlakes Drive, and all of their front windows blew in, bringing glass all in the house. The girls' bedroom was covered in glass, along with their family room (where they have a play area with all of their toys by the windows) and Casey's office. I haven't talked to her this evening, but she told me this afternoon they were at her in-laws' house tonight.

When Logan got home, we hopped in the car to see the damage. There were already many cleanup crews and handymen out because many houses were damaged. People were outside, milling around their property, looking at the damage, driving around, and working, boarding up windows, cleaning up glass. Tree limbs, plant debris and leaves were everywhere. On the area of Meadowlakes Drive running north to south, ALL of the houses had their western windows knocked out. It was a mess. So many of these homes have beautiful landscaping, and much of it was also lost--shrubs, flowers, small trees--due to the severe hail and wind damage. Please pray for the people in these homes.

Tomorrow, I will walk the perimeter of the house and see exactly what we need to replace. We'll call our insurance agent, along with everyone else, and see about replacing our roof, windows, and getting the areas fixed/replaced on our cars. There is much cleaning to be done; limbs and leaves are EVERYWHERE.... I was working so hard to get everything fixed up, and had all of the limbs picked up in the backyard. I also pressure washed the back porch yesterday, which now looks worse than before. However, I can't complain. I am thankful our house was, for the most part, unscathed.

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