Friday, April 29, 2011

Grandmother, her Yippy Dog, & a Goatmobile Full of Hot Chicks!

Life on a farm is ALWAYS an adventure! Last week, a tornado struck just south of Groveport, Ohio . . . which also happens to be where Harrison Farm is located! When I went to bed that night, I knew there was a possibility of severe storms. At 2:27am on Tuesday morning, I awoke to tremendous noise (and it had to be astoundingly loud to awaken me!) I noted we had lost power, and went to check on Grandmother. Before I could get her bundled down to the sorm cellar, the tornado sirens ceased. The house appeared solid, and there was little I could do in the dark, so I went back to sleep. Poor Grandmother was incredibly stressed and didn't sleep that night.

The next morning I began to ascertain the amount of destruction. This was only two weeks after we had been struck by straight-line winds that took part of the roof off the big barn. The good news was that the insurance claim was already moving forward and the roofer was ready to begin repairs from that storm. There was some additional damage to the big barn from the tornado, but within 48 hours it was repaired since we were already next in line for the roofing crew! Unfortunately, there was enough additional damage that another insurance claim had to be filed. There was roof damage to the long shed, chicken house, and airplane hanger. Some barn doors and windows were damaged, and several trees wereaffected. All in all, though, we were VERY fortunate. All the animals were safe and none of the destruction was catastrophic. We were especially fortunate compared to some of our neighbors, who lost entire buildings.

Power was restored to the farm within 24 hours after the tornado -- thankfully! It was quite a bit of stress, however, on The Grandmother. Life carried on as we dealt with clean-up over the next few days. I was most delighted that my new chicks arrived on Monday! As I rushed around that day, I quickly set up a heat lamb for them in a corner of the kitchen, expecting to get them housed in the basement as soon as I had time that evening. Much of that day was spent working in the barn -- leaving me covered in manure & mud! The farm has become an extremely muddy mess, due to central Ohio experiencing its wettest April on record. The sun eventually came out that afternoon . . . and then the power went out yet again!

Grandmother began to panic with the loss of electric, and I was very concerned when I came in from the barn and realized she was lighting kerosene lamps in the house! I finished the chores while it was still daylight, and then consulted with Auntie about what was best to do for Grandmother. As it happened, Auntie's sump pump stopped working when the electric went out and volumes of water were rushing into her basement! Noting that Grandmother was on the verge of an anxiety attack, I decided I needed to get her somewhere warm that had electricity. She decided she wanted to go to the local motel. Shortly thereafter, I found myself (still covered in manure & mud) driving Grandmother & Buffy the Maltese to the Best Western, with my chicks in the back of my SUV! Remember those baby chicks? Baby chicks that cannot get cold when they are so young? I knew the Goatmobile was at least warmer than the powerless house!

In that state, I arrived at the Best Western! Thankfully, the Bahamian desk clerk was most understanding! I checked Grandmother in, and learned that pets were not welcome. Thus, Buffy accompanied me into Canal Winchester, where I was optimistic that I could leave the baby chicks with my friend Christopher. After all, what man doesn't want to say he has an apartment full of hot chicks?!? Of course, I wasn't expecting Christopher's neighbor to be out with his pit bull when I arrived with Buffy the Maltese . . . imagine the Goatherd trying to carry a tub of peeping chicks and a yipping lapdog past a curious pit bull! Buffy & I then returned to the Farm to check on Auntie and her basement. Thanks be to God, power was restored! The sump pump kicked back on and the water rushed outward. I then began the reverse journey to retrieve the chicks and then pick up Grandmother. And yes, it was absolutely worth the $88 room fee for Grandmother to have a warm shower and be able to watch Pat Sajak in comfort!

So life moves on, always full of adventures! Buffy & Grandmother are both bonded to the chicks (who continue to be in the kitchen on Grandmother's request!) We have not lost power any more this week. The roofer will soon begin repairing the outbuildings. More baby goats continue to arrive. And the Goatherd has even more amusing stories about farm life!

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