Blinking, I was suddenly awake. There had been a loud noise. But all was silent, so I closed my eyes again. It had been a long couple of weeks and I was exhausted.
And then silence.
Ok, that was certainly not my imagination or the neighbors. That one shook the walls of the house.
I was in motion before I was fully aware of what was going on. Dressing quickly, I dashed upstairs and opened the door to go figure out what was wrong, when the wind sucked the door shut again.
I pulled it open and discovered the source of the sound. It was not just a loose shingle or a bit of stuff blowing against the side of the house.
The wind had ripped through the atrium and caught the screen glass door, yanking it open, time and time again, until the chain that keeps the door from extending too far broke off of the door. One more solid gust and the door extended too far and the plunger mechanism that keeps the door from slamming shut tore from its mounting on the wooden door frame and now dangled in mid-air with a chunk of wood still attached. The door was slamming wildly against the side of the house. Amazing enough, the glass in the door had not broken.
My sleepy mind struggling to figure out what was going on and how to fix it was far behind my feet, already taking me back inside to get keys to get into the garage.
Rope. I needed some rope.
Once inside the garage, I found a bungee cord with hooks on it. That will do.
Back outside in the wind, I sliced through the corner of the screen and wound the cord through it and tied it to the new loop handle on the front door. Both doors lashed together now meant that nether was usable. â€œA fire hazard.â€ I thought.
I walked the perimeter of the house to check for more damage, only to be met on the west side by a solid wind from the north. You know the kind- it makes you stumble back a few feet and rips the breath from your lungs. Mariah is angry at something.
There was no further damage visible, but the sounds of the skylight in the atrium slamming around didnâ€™t make me feet too happy about the whole thing.
Then the thought struck me. â€œIt is trash day.â€ But not in this wind. It can sit in the garage for another week.
With that, I groggily went back inside and fell back asleep to recover from the last several weeks.
That was exactly a week ago.
Sadie, sitting at the window in the computer room with Sprite, suddenly jumped and ducked, Sprite in a close second running behind her. All cats react funny to the smallest things, but it takes something major for both of ours to run for cover. I looked out the window to see what had startled them. A large object took up half the window and it took only a moment for my mind to put it all together.
A sudden microburst had swept through the back yard and pushed the vehicle gate open, springing apart the top and bottom latches that, until now, had kept the invisible hole in the fence concealed. Leaves and other debris raced through the opening and dashed up into the sky. The three guardians of the corner, three large very dignified blue spruces, cowered in Mariahâ€™s early winter wrath.
I put on a coat and went out back to shut the gate. I drug the gate doors shut and latched them. No sooner than I had latched it, a fresh forceful gust blasted it open again.
Time to get the bungee cord again. I had taken the screen door off only a few days ago and put the bungee back in the garage.
Leaving the gate open for now, I got the keys from inside and opened the door to the garage. There before me was Mariahâ€™s last week victim- the screen door leaned against the shelves, safe from the wind. I grabbed the bungee, walked past the trash cans that were starting to smell a little, and headed back outside.
The initial gust that blew the gate open had even moved the small rock that acted as a block at the bottom of the gate. I pulled a heavier ornamental stone from the garden nearby and put it at the base, but the top still leaned open. Wrapping the bungee through the top slats in the fence, I crossed the cord and hooked it to the opposite gate. The wind pushed, but the bungee held strong. I will have to get something for it when I go to the hardware store.
So, for the second week in a row, I will not get to put the trash out. What does Mariah have against the trash men and the recycle guy?