M. Giant's
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Thursday, June 26, 2008  

Branch Out

Last Friday, near the end of another sunny, perfect afternoon, M. Edium and I got into the car to make a run to the post office. I noticed some vaguely forbidding clouds high in the northwestern sky and pointed them out to my son. He asked if they meant it was going to storm. I told him not until later, and possibly not at all.

When we got home fifteen minutes later, not only was our planned barbecue cancelled, but this had happened:

im in yr drivwai, freekin u out

That's not our house, tree, or driveway, mind you. It's our next-door neighbor's house, tree, and driveway. Since the neighbors were out of town for the weekend, at first I thought I'd stumbled upon a firewood bonanza. But this photo really doesn't give any sense of the size of the branch that came down. This is a good thirty feet of mighty oak standing en pointe in the neighbors' driveway. Please also note the cable pulled tight as a bowstring, ready to catapult the whole thing into Lake Calhoun as soon as leaves start falling off it. That's only one of the cables helping to hold this beast up. And one of them is the power line. So I thought it best to call the power company. They didn't have an ETA for me, but since I could see from the neighbor's slowly rotating electric meter that they still had power, I suspected it would be hours instead of minutes.

As of this writing, it's Thursday. The neighbors have not only come home, they've left again. And here's the same scene from a different angle, earlier today:

Don't mind me, I'll just be over here, quietly shifting a couple of inches a day until I'm in position to crush your deck.

Can you see the whitish mass there, just to the right of the neighbors' eaves? That's where the leaves are dying. It represents about a quarter of the branch's total volume.

To be fair, there has been a little activity on the part of the power company. On Tuesday a guy in a pickup stopped by just long enough to determine that there wasn't anything he could do, and that a crew would have to return with a lift truck or something (possibly a crane or a helicopter). I'm like, "No shit, Hardhat."

And now we're coming up on a week. We're not actively scared or anything, but it's been a little inconvenient to not be able to let M. Edium play in the backyard. And M. Edium protested our decision to move the kiddie pool to the front yard. But once we explained to him in precise detail exactly what would happen to him if that power line finally snapped and dropped a live, sparking tendril into the water next to him while he was in it,* he came right around.

But we're coming up on a week now. I know the power company has got its hands full, with a big region and lots of storm damage over the past week. But I've realized something else:

I should have lied and said the neighbors were without power.

*We didn't actually do this.

posted by M. Giant 7:54 PM 3 comments

3 Comments:

I have a friend in Mpls who had a couple of power lines break in his yard. The energy company fixed one of them, turned the power back on, and almost burned his house down.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 29, 2008 at 7:31 AM  

Crazy! We've had a series of storms here in my part of NC for the last week or so...fortunately it's been those brief ones that roll right out and leave humid sunshine in their wake.

In other news, my copy of A TV Guide to Life shipped yesterday! Whoo hoo!!!

By Blogger Jen, at June 29, 2008 at 4:30 PM  

We had a huge storm in Chicago on Father's Day, which left an enormous fallen branch reaching across *three* backyards. Problem is that the house that "owns" the tree is in foreclosure, so we and a few neighbors had to band together to get the power company, phone company, and tree service to come make things right. Took 'em three days.

By Anonymous Julie, at July 6, 2008 at 12:58 PM  

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