Last night as I was about to crawl into bed I heard a loud whooshing noise that sounded like the flame on either the furnace or water heater was mighty excessive. Went downstairs to investigate and, after stepping into water about three inches deep, discovered the water heater had gone Vesuvius and was blowing water out the top where it’s only supposed to be venting carbon monoxide from burning gas. Shut off the water and woke Becky up to tell her the news. We then spent until 4:00 a.m. or so “sweeping” water with push brooms all the way out through the garage to the driveway. The floor drain, which is right next to the water heater, was clogged up, of course. Then I had to go to Walmart and buy towels and mops to soak up more water. The worst part was moving all the boxes and junk out of the water. Today, besides really sore backs, we have a spankin’ new water heater next to the spankin’ new furnace we had to buy in September. After the guy installed the new heater I ran out and stopped him as he was pulling out of the driveway to tell him I thought I smelled gas. He wasn’t thrilled about coming back in but, indeed, he found a leak. So I was glad I stayed home with Becky to “supervise” the repairs instead of going to the office.
Wow, a year and a half since last post. I suppose if nobody visits the blog there’s good reason — not likely to find anything new. It’s not as if nothing has been happening with the family. There’s been lots. Things that come to mind are Kim’s adventures in sailing, and other adventures, and David’s move from Menlo. Jeffrey has expanded from musician to author to app provocateur (do I mean entrepreneur?). Jessica has had milestones career-wise. Steve and Kathie continue to nurture a couple of incredible kids. Miles continues to excel doing Miles stuff. John and Becky, however, remain boring. We fired up the furnace yesterday for the first time this fall. Maybe I’ll come back soon and put some pictures here, although everybody is mostly putting their pictures on either FaceBook or Google+. Admittedly, there are more exciting places to gather than here. So it goes.
Last night after supper the wind suddenly blew in, like really hard and really loud, with drenching rain and a little bit of lightning and thunder. The wind was louder than than the thunder. Becky and I wondered if we should head for the basement, but there were no tornado sirens and nothing about dangerous weather on the TV or local radio. And then it settled down. And then it started up again. We were perplexed. Finally, the TV news started showing radar images and talking about tornado watches and warnings. Turned out Lawrence was in a tornado “watch” and the “warning” was a bit south of us. Still, I pondered whether the constant very loud “rumble” sounded enough like a freight train to justify going downstairs. Well, we thought about it long enough for things to settle down, so we never made it to the basement. Instead, we went to bed and I wondered how many limbs from the maple tree out front and the cottonwood out back would be on the ground the next morning. They’ve needed trimming real bad for a few years, but I never got around to hiring anybody to do it.
This morning I went out front and there was nary a limb nor a twig from the maple on the ground. Went out back and ditto for the cottonwood. But, what heck? The whole apple tree was lying on the ground. Incredibly, it fell in just the right direction to avoid all wires and fences. On closer examination of the base of the trunk where it pulled out of the ground, I expect it would have fallen over if I’d just leaned on it any time the past year. I got the camera to take a few pictures for posterity which prompted a weird thought to occur. It was: hey, I outlived a tree!P.S.When I got home from work there was a big pile of cut up apple tree by the curb. Becky explained: She was out back looking at the tree. A neighbor a couple houses up had just finished cutting up his fallen tree and saw her. He came down the hill and asked if we needed ours cut up. She said, “Sure! How much would you want to do it?” He answered, “Nothing. It’s what neighbors do,” and proceeded to cut it up. The whole thing. Whoa! Really? Yeah, really. She also found out the tornado sirens in Lawrence had actually gone off, except the one nearest our house.