So this is the story of how we came to have a tree in our living room.
It was a chilly, gloomy night at the cabin, and after watching the UFC card, we went to bed. It was rough getting to sleep, but eventually, it happened. At about 1:23 am, I woke to find Carl not in bed. It worried me, so I got up to see if everything was ok. At the same time, I noticed crazy lightning on a sort of constant, horror movie-esque basis. It was really pretty.
I found Carl in the kitchen. He had been coughing and didn’t want to wake me, so he had been up in the living room, killing time. We sat in front of the large bay window, watching the lightning. Suddenly, there is rain. It’s big, heavy rain, hitting the window with a bit of force.
Looking out across the horizon, we see the end of the storm moving, and fast.
The hyper-paranoid storm freak I am, I tell Carl we need to get away from the window with the winds picking up. Just then, the windows and doors start squealing like a banshee. It is getting louder and louder, and I make my way from the living room entry way to the hallway, which I have deemed the only safe place in the cabin in a storm.
Carl is still in the doorway. My instinct kicks in, and since I already need him to comfort me, I pull him to me in the hallway. Then, only seconds after clearing the living room, the cabin fills with light. There is an ear-splitting crack of thunder and then, the loudest, most horrifying crashing sound.
This is when I started screaming. However, I really don’t remember screaming. As Carl said, that is exactly what "uncontrollable screaming" means. This wakes up my parents, who are now screaming back as I continue to scream. Is everything ok? Am I ok? I finally realize that the sound I am hearing is coming from me and I stop. I am shaking uncontrollably. We turn on the light and peek in the living room…
It wasn't lightning, as I originally thought. Instead, it was 70mph straight line winds.
I instantly remember my cat had been lounging on the table, and my mom’s had been curled up on the chair. Both are missing. My eyes shoot to the window to make sure there are no major holes in the walls and that the windows aren’t broken… What if they got out?!
My parents come out of their room to see what is happening. My mom and I are both crying and in hysterics. I can’t form sentences, so Carl, who has been making sure to keep me from jumping out of my skin and running stark-raving mad around the cabin, explains that the tree in the front is now in the house. The tree has fallen through the roof.
We begin to make sense of it all, and thankfully find the cats under the bed in Carl and my room, hiding. Then we worry about the structural integrity of the house that is starting to soak from water pouring in. Mom runs to the neighbors to tell them what is happening. After a little while, we are told the house is ok for us, so long as we stay in the back rooms.
So what do we do now? We wait. We cry. We panic. We try to figure out what happens next. Rain is pouring in and we have a variety of buckets catching water. Finally, at 4am, the adrenaline wears off and we all agree to try for a little sleep. It comes really slowly. I am jumping at every loud sound, every flash of lighting. I am still terrified… but two hours of sleep finally happen.
I am still in shock. The tree has been cleared. We burned most of the brush. It was a lot of clean up, especially inside where there was Styrofoam, sheet rock and fiberfill everywhere, but little by little, we got it done.
For someone who is already terrified of storms, this is no good. Loud noises have me jumping out of my skin and in a panic in seconds. As cliché as it is, though… at least we are all okay and no one was hurt. Family, animals… we are all fine. Very tired, but fine.