Oct 27 2010

Day 563: The Day that Ended with a Flood

by andrew

I knew it was going to be an interesting evening when the horse escaped. Pixie was tearing out of the gate as if she meant business and I figured pretty quickly that she’d be way more difficult to catch if she got too far. I was just coming out from my cousins house when she made the move and I ran to block the path at the gate to her pasture. But she was already out, and instead of falling for my attempt to push her back she started hugging the outside of the fence and trotting south.

Good old buddy – a brilliant black mut that has some Lab in him somewhere – observed what was at stake and came running out to head her off. As he circled and turned her around I approached from the other side and blocked any potential escape routes. The 2 of us wedged her in, forced her back into her pen, and she was not happy about it. Even though Leon got some treats ready for her she still kicked up a storm at Buddy.

Later on we tried to shoot a skunk that has been pilfering the dog food in the garage. It snuck out as Jen pulled the other car out of the garage and  potentially out of harms way. A few days later we got it though. We had it trapped behind a big sheet of plywood and the wall. I eased the plywood back ever so slowly. When it peeked around the corner Leon shot it in the head. It must have already released though because… man… you think they smell bad when you drive past a dead one on the road somewhere. Wow. It is quite debilitating.

Ok, so back to the night in question. Anyway. The wind turned vicious. It was nearly impossible to open the door to the heated shop (in which we had parked our trailer for our stay at our cousins) without going for a ride. It literally yanked my mom-in-law off her feet at one point. The door didn’t get shut all the way either at one point and the wind literally tore it off its hinges.

Try reattaching a door on hinges to the frame and some of the hinges back to the door while holding it open in Category 3 hurricane conditions. Fun times. It took several sessions (my first couple attempts were successful but not permanent as the wind had its way with the door again and again), but I finally got it. And I’m actually not exaggerating about the conditions. I know it was Cat 3 winds because at midnight we got a call from the nearby town (Winnipegosis) asking for help sandbagging. There’s a river that flows into the local lake (Lake Winnipegosis). Well, the winds were so strong and constant that they were actually blowing the lake water backwards up river and flooding parts of the town.

It was quite surreal. So we went and sandbagged for a bit. The next day the winds continued and the water displaced some residents, The Dredge, and a bunch of other stuff we found washed up around various fields that we went quading (4-wheelin) through a couple days later.

That was quite a day. People that have lived there all their lives said nothing ever close to that has happened before. I think there was some kind of flood in ’53 but hardly anyone remembered. Here are some shots from the next day.

Canada Flag shredded from the wind

Our friend's house in town. The "normal" river is way in the distance.

Driveway at the first place we sandbagged the night before.

Had coffee here at 2am. This was probably one of the worst-hit businesses.

Jun 9 2010

Day 424: And then you Blink

by andrew

And where did May go I might ask you? Well, at least that wasn’t quite so bad as I was expecting. It seems like 3 months have disappeared, but it has only been 1 + a bit since last post… of course, it HAS practically been months if you don’t count the latest posts which haven’t had a whole lot to do with what we’ve actually been up to here in Pennsylvania. And now the clock is already winding down to another departure probably by July… less than another month away. Yikes.

So, here’s the highlight reel. Another crazy thing is that I’ve hardly touched my cameras (relatively speaking), though I do have enough great video clips to cut a few more episodes of Joureys… like so many noble projects collecting dust on the back burners. But here are some of the things that have been filling our days here in PA (besides the work we do in our virtual worlds):

There are some amazing storms that blow through from time to time.

We've been feasting on strawberries. Renee and the kids have helped weed and pick, and every couple of days we get a new big bowl-full from the garden. This was an actual, single strawberry that Reayah found.

Our friends set their pool up over a week ago, and it was added to our daily routine.

Ever since our friends got three new cows, Joy has been smitten. Every single day, several times, we here the familiar refrain: "go see cows? i like cows!"

And of course there's all the farm stuff: I made an attempt at seeding a bit of pasture with grass, and Renee has been having a ball doing all kinds of planting and weeding and picking. Of course the kids are pitching in too.

No country farm would be complete without a creek. Even with the pool set up, this is still pretty much a daily necessity. The creek is so versatile it has hosted forts (under the bridge), dam-making, snake killing, rope swinging, splashing, wading, falling in, and so many other things over the weeks.


Flying down the long driveway hill on scooters is also nearly a daily event. The most common question (the younger boys have to ask first): "can I go down the hill 2 times?"

For more pics of our adventures here over the last couple months, check out my latest smugmug galleries, which I am once again finally getting caught up with (there’s roughly 35 pics in each, and they are still uploading, so if they’re not done when you check, you can always check back again later):

As far as other news… everything is new. We were planning to have left from here a long time ago, but this place has been so fantastic for getting work done (the kids are incredibly content having so much to do outside all the time), and there have been important things that YHWH has kept us around for. It has been a real blessing to have the nearly constant community and fellowship with our friends here.

There is still quite a bit of uncertainty about what will unfold day-to-day, but we’re planning to hit a garlic harvest in July and meet up with some of our dear Colorado friends there, and then head back and still make a run at heading up the East Coast after that. We’ll see… as we’ve discovered, everything is subject to change 🙂