You’ve probably heard about all the storms and flooding in Northern California in the last few days.  Well, we got a bit of it up close and personal on New Year’s day.
The storm blew into town early Sunday morning.  Winds from15 to 30 mph, gusting to 50.  Hard rain. Real "let’s stay at home weather."
Around 11am, as we were just about recovered from the prior night’s activities, it felt like a bomb dropped in the back yard.  Not just a sound, the whole house shook like a truck had hit the foundation.  Terrorists? Martians? Weapons of mass destruction finally showing up?
The view out the back window was odd, something wrong with the gazebo.  Couldn’t put my finger on it right away.  Could it be that the furniture out there was all blown over to the left side?  How odd!  And I could swear that the last time I looked at the patio recliner it was in one piece, not six. Oh, that’s it! The gazebo itself is about three feet to the left of where it should be…
There was a 25 foot piece of redwood tree on the back lawn that had literally (and I mean literally in the dictionary sense) dropped out of the sky.  OK, well it was the top of the neighbor’s tree, which had snapped off some 50 feet up.  Pretty clean break, we were able to see exactly where it broke off from the ground.  It dropped into the back yard, landing on the lawn with the top six feet or so deciding it wanted to be where the gazebo was. 
We were so lucky, this thing fell from that height and missed the house and failed to sever the power line. The power line is slack, looks like a brace on the pole is bent, but still functioning and not sparking.  The tree did take out the phone and cable connection, and about that time we noticed a second tree, this time on our side of the fence, was now listing about 30 degrees to rest on the power line that runs to the neighbor’s house. 
So cell phones to the rescue.  Long waits on hold for PG&E, the cable and phone companies.  Appointments over the next couple of days to get things set to rights.
Of course we’re not on the top of anyone’s repair list.  PG&E is out running around trying to restore power to folks whose trees were not so friendly.  And the one arborist who came out basically said PG&E would have to shut off the power on that line before he could remove the tree.
So we’re living with the "Evergreen of Damocles" hanging over our power lines.  If the one goes it will no doubt take our now weakened one as well. Luckily the forecasts for the next few days are for milder weather overall.  Oh look, Justin took some pictures…
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