Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rain and Shine

A double post.

The first.

A Questionable Decision............

'A' has lost so much weight that she really needed a new winter jacket. She tried on her jacket, new last year, to discover that I could fit in it with her! It looked a bit silly (even without me in it with her) and she decided that no matter what the weather brought she would not be wearing it. Of course with the temps hovering around 30°F, wearing a lightweight jacket instead wasn't a good thing. She didn't have many days off work that coincided with my time off, so I promised that we would go to the mall on Tuesday morning before she had to be at work.

Rain, wind, and localized flooding had been predicted, but the weather reported to expect the worst of it in the afternoon. I thought we would be fine with a thirty minute one way, trip to the mall. I should have known better as we left the island. No sooner had we crossed the 'big' bridge than I spotted flashing blue lights ahead. A car had spun out of control and was resting against the right side guard rail, facing the wrong direction. We had to edge out in the passing lane to get around the scene.

Still I drove on. Idiot, but driving wasn't bad at that point. We were taking it easy. Staying very close to or just a hair below the speed limit. Most drivers were doing the same, yet there were the occasional fools that came flying by. I would think hydroplaning at 65 mph+. No mind, I was being cautious. About twenty minutes down the road and our world got very dark. I was hoping that it was a momentary downpour. The rain was blowing horizontally driven by the predicted 35 mph gusts of wind. Traffic slowed to 40 mph. I told 'A' that if things didn't improve shortly I'd be using the next exit to turn around and go back home.

The Grapevine Road exit came and went. The rain had subsided a little and I could deal with the gusty winds. On we drove to the Northshore Mall. I parked as close as possible to the Sears door and 'A' and I made a drenching dash for the door. Once inside, we checked out the winter jackets. The Land's End jackets were on sale for 30% off and we each bought one. After Sears we headed for the Liberty Tree Mall down the street. 'A' had seen a shirt she liked on a previous visit to Kohls and she had decided to go back and try it on.

The dash from our parking space to Kohls was a repeat of the previous soaking. Once inside 'A' checked out the handbag department (her's is on it's last legs) and then gathered an armful of jerseys to try on.

Just as there was a thunderous boom from overhead. Then another. Then quiet.

A couple minutes passed and the raucous started again. Sounded like giants tossing 55 gallon drums around on the roof. No one else seemed to notice. Spooky. I told 'A' to hurry up with her choices. I wanted out of there. I couldn't tell what the weather was like outside, but it must have gotten far worse and possibly loosened or damaged some of the heating/cooling/ventilation system on the roof. I was dreading the half hour drive back home.

After another soaking getting back to my truck and a quick phone call home to tell my mom we were on our way, we headed out of the parking lot wondering what would lie between Danvers and Rockport. The first item came a short 5 minutes into our trip. A large tree limb was across our lane of two lane Conant Street. We were halfway up a hill, behind a 'lead' car, when that car swerved into the oncoming lane to avoid the limb. I had to stop because of oncoming traffic. While I was waiting for a break in traffic, the guy driving the first car pulled in to a driveway and headed back to move the limb. A couple miles further and we were driving a slalom course around trash cans and recycle bins scooting and rolling back and forth across the road. That morning had been trash pick up in Danvers.

What a relief I thought it would be once we could get on the highway and drive a steady, but cautious, 55 mph! That is until I found it necessary to keep and eye to the edge of the road and overhanging trees. Fortunately a Mass Highway Department truck had stopped with it's lights flashing to warn motorists of the overhead danger at one spot. But what about the rest of those trees?

Once we arrived home safely from our shopping adventure, I turned on the weather report. They had changed their story! The worst had been in the morning hours and it would taper off in the afternoon. Nearby Marblehead had recorded winds of 65 mph and there were numerous trees uprooted. A home in Salisbury, to our north, had lost a portion of it's roof. Not just the shingles, the rafters and all! On Plum Island, again north, an older home teetered on the brink of a sand dune, it's foundation undermined by the relentless high surf. Today it was declared a total loss and demolished. Winds had been sustained around 70 mph in the area.

No wonder things had been loose on the roof of the mall!
The second part.

Today the Brain Was In Gear..........

On today's bright and sunny morning, I headed to ESP (formerly Mailboxes) to get some signage for the next craft fair display laminated. As I got to the end of our street I noticed that a neighbor was having some tree work done. After having a bit of time to think about it by the time I drove back home, I realized that the 'tree work' was actually the 'harvesting' of Rockport's Christmas tree for Dock Square. I got to the house, ran in with my signs, grabbed my camera, and headed out at a brisk pace back to the end of the street. It's amazing how they extricated this huge tree from behind a garage and then transported it down Main Street and Broadway to be erected in Dock Square. Ace (Smith) Hardware supplied the flat bed truck equipped with a crane. Of course a police escort was needed and one of our fave cops, RL, drove the cruiser. After I dropped 'A' off at work this afternoon, I drove through town to have a look at the tree. I think it is the nicest we have had for many years for our Christmas tree. Thank you, DG down the street, for donating such a stunning tree to be a focal point in our annual Christmas celebrations!

Once it is decorated, I'll share some more photos.

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