It was a dark and stormy night.
Thursday, February 17, leading into Friday, February 18 was by no stretch of the imagination a good night for me. It began at midnight. I was suddenly awakened by Karlyn shaking my arm. I jumped awake. A bright light was shining in my face (the flashlight on her cell phone). “Daddy, I hear a creaking noise in the attic. I think somebody’s up there.”
Now, we’re talking about a 20-year-old woman. How in the name of all that’s sacred she could even conceive of anyone being in our attic is beyond me. The only access to the attic is by way of the pull-down steps in our hallway. The only windows in the attic are at either end of the house and are blocked by exhaust fans. To imagine someone bringing an extension ladder to our home for the sole purpose of dismantling a fan in order to get into our house … well, you can see how ridiculous this was getting. Still, nothing would do except my standing in her bedroom until the “creaking” noise sounded off (which I never really did hear). I even pulled the steps down so I could do a 360 from the top step and then let Karlyn take a look for herself.
A storm had arrived in our area by this time, and the wind was excessive as was the rain. The wind was stronger than any storm we had had in recent memory. It blew the lid off the storage bin on our front porch and then blew the bin with the cushions in it to the far corner of the porch. There was also a considerable amount of rain off and on. I told Karlyn that she was probably hearing the rain on the roof or, possibly, rain that the wind was blowing in thru the window and hitting the plastic storage bins that are fairly close to it. That seemed to settle her.
Somewhere around 4:00 AM, I heard a loud crash. “That wasn’t thunder,” I said into thin air since nobody else was awake enough to hear me. I looked outside and found that the wind had blown my trash and recycling bins over. I grabbed my coat, hat, and Slogger shoes and ran outside to retrieve what recycling hadn’t already blown down the street. I set the bins back up, came inside, and heard the wind pick up again. Sure enough, fifteen minutes later, the bins were on their backs. So this time, after picking up what I could retrieve, I moved the bins to between our two cars, figuring that I could move them to the curb before I headed off to the fitness center later on.
When I got up around 6:00 AM, the storm appeared to have moved on. Put my coat, hat, and shoes back on and moved the bins to the curb after I took Kianna (Evelyn’s service dog) for her morning walk. No sooner had we come back in the house than near-hurricane-force winds blew thru, accompanied by torrential rains! Wind and rain that blew the bins over again! I was grateful for the timing in that I was able to get Kianna outside and back in mere minutes before this last wave of wind and rain arrived. But I was getting more than slightly irritated with having to rescue the trash and recycling bins.
Now, what I noticed was that my neighbor’s bins never blew over at all. Not once. So this time, I moved my bins to the opposite side of my driveway, more in line with where his bins were across the street and in front of his house. I thought that perhaps his house was blocking the wind. Or maybe it was because the handles to his bins were facing the wind so the lids couldn’t be lifted. It didn’t matter. My theory didn’t work anyway. The next blast of wind tipped both of my bins over. There was getting to be less and less recycling in the bin, as the wind was scattering it to the four corners of our neighborhood.
I went back outside and began gathering the recycling, but before I could get to a Band-Aid box, a small square of cardboard, and various and sundry pieces of cellophane wrappers, the wind came along as though to torture me and blew them at race-car speed down the street.
I was running out of ideas. However, I tried one last time. After reloading what I could in the bins, I moved them across the street to the neighbor’s curb and set them next to his. He had already left for work, so I was sure I wouldn’t be interfering with his day. I would be able to bring mine back after the trucks came thru So, there are now four bins all lined up together in front of my neighbor’s house. If the trucks don’t come soon, Mother Nature is going to take care of the bins’ contents by doing her own version of “recycling.”
What was that noise? Oh, great. The lid from MY trash can has blown open!