hurricane Irene {the aftermath}

**UPDATE** As of Saturday, we have gotten the yard cleaned and mowed...but the oak tree is still here, hanging on the porch & dying on the ground. Thankfully, the insurance guy came out yesterday and tried to move us up on the list, but we don't have any way to move the tree. Prayers are still needed, readers; I know I can count on you for them :) 

First off, we're here...safe & sound. Your prayers were so greatly appreciated & I can say without a doubt that God protected us; so many of our friends lost oh so much more than we did. Thinking of our friends from CBS who have whole trees in their house & the worst of all: our friends lost their whole on-the-water home in Nags Head. It breaks my heart to see the destruction & heartache Irene caused, but it's a testament to God's awesome power.

Irene was an all weekend event, ya'll. I'm not even kidding...we saw a change in the weather early Friday & it was Sunday before all the wind died down & rain moved away. So I thought the best things to do was break down each day in the weekend & give you a rundown of hurricane Irene's wrath

{Friday 8.26}

 Since the rain & the wind started mid-morning and only got stronger, we decided to stick around the house & clean, do schoolwork, and last minute prep stuff to the house...

...BUT! The show didn't get started until after we went to sleep; the parents made an executive decision to drag a mattress downstairs & let us sleep in the family room...the only room that wasn't over a hundred years old!
We lost power around 8PM that night & went to sleep after reading by candlelight. About an hour after we blew the candles out, the power came back on & stayed on until early Sat. morning while the weather outside continued to deteriorate. Needless to say, no one got a whole lot of sleep that night; Clark was the only one that wasn't awakened by the storm...he said the only thing that bothered him was the TV on all night. ;)

 {Saturday 8.27}

Like I mentioned earlier, we lost power for the whole day early in the morning; I woke up to Mama talking on the phone & Clark already going stir-crazy. Pop Tarts were consumed, lots of reading took place (along with a bit of schoolwork), and I even zoned out for a pre-lunch catnap. Sandwiches for lunch, another nap, and lots of pacing the living. I texted Emily for updates (I think at that point they still had power), texted other friends randomly...

While people were starting to go crazy in the house, outside the wind howled so.loud. that you really couldn't even talk. I felt like I was yelling all the time.

There was a lot of this:

Oh goodness, there was a lot of rain. Whole yards under water, the pool overflowed & we had rain blowing in every north facing window. We took turns wringing out towels & putting dry ones in their place.

Later that afternoon we ventured upstairs & saw that half of our 100 yr old oak tree was lying on the ground, along with another big limb in the front yard AND another limb about the same size resting on our porch roof. Since it was raining there was nothing we could do but we prayed that nothing else would fall for the rest of the day. 

Once we had eaten whatever we hadn't eaten already for supper, we decided before turning in for the night we'd play a board game by oil lamplight; something we do when the power goes out anyways. Mama & I ended up winning a pretty intense game of Cranium. :)

I rock at the yellow Word Worm cards & this was my rendition of  a DJ. Pretty awesome, no?

Yes, we played on a mattress. We are adventurous like that.
We went to sleep that night tired & nasty {we hadn't showered since Friday before the power went out...which wouldn't have been that bad if we had some way to cool off since the AC doesn't work without power. Duh.} but ready to tackle the cleanup we KNEW would happen the next day....at least, we thought we were.
{Sunday 8.27}

Sometime late Saturday night, the power came back down {YAY}, the winds died down, and the sunshine was shining bright early that morning. We got up, showered, ate breakfast & went outside to check on the status of everything.

Note: All of these pictures aren't as "artsy" as I would've done them {Dad took them for the insurance company} but they show the damage relatively well so here you go! 

The pool {1st picture} & patio {above} were trashed. It took almost as long to clean the pool & grass area as opposed to the rest of the almost 3 acres elsewhere.

See what I mean?! The pool was so messed up; Dad spent a whole afternoon scooping leaves, vacuuming, backwashing, etc. We pulled 8 ft limbs outta there as well!

To the right of the house; we call it the sideyard...along with it being our football yard, it also houses our pecan trees. We lost the whole pecan crop {this was going to be an awesome year} & had to rake up every.single.one of those green bombs because you can't mow over them. That was torture.
On to the front yard, which was by far the worst of the damage...

The smallest branch. THE SMALLEST.

The second biggest branch...it's the one that resting on the porch roof.

The place where the biggest part of the oak tree fell...

A wide angle view of the destruction; it was massive.

After we had gotten the necessary  pictures for the insurance company, we went back inside because man...it was HOT out there. Made a game plan & tackled the yard in 30 minute spurts.

More pictures of the downed oak tree...

There was a HUGE squirrel nest in this part of the tree; we saw it in the pool area totally brain damaged & stumbling around.

It hurt to see this: a perfectly healthy tree lying on the ground, twisted & mangled. We lost our tire swing as well & haven't been able to locate it in the tree.

The inside was completely hollow...weird!

We cleaned up until about 3 when we threw in the towel. Needless to say, we slept GOOD that night!!

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