Things that explode in the night

I always read myself to sleep on the couch each night and then when I wake up at what ever ridiculous time in the AM I go to bed.  It has become a annoying routine, but one that assures I will sleep when my head does hit the pillow.  Unless of course I am sick in which case sleep does not normally allude me.

Monday night’s routine was going according to habit and plan and I had just dozed off when there was a horrendous explosion right outside in front of our house…  Now don’t think bad of me or hold it against me, but after being so thoroughly jarred from slumber at 12:45 AM I jumped up and was heard to shout, to nobody in particular:  “What…the…he…!!!” (twice actually).  The house had now been plunged into total darkness and silence.

so much for sliding into slumber.

I stood in the dark trembling and then began fumbling for my little flashlight that takes me from couch to bed without burning out my retinas or waking Bob from his slumber, and then went out to the front porch to see what had made the explosive sound.  Silly to tell you this, but that feeble little light only showed me business as usual; grass, shrubberies, fence-line, cars in the drive… Oh, and that the rest of the houses on our street were in darkness too.  Hm, I thought,  the transformer is on a pole at the roadside just in front of our orchard/gardens…

“Yeah, that’s it.” I told myself

So, I came in, locked the door, and found Bob fully awake and standing up in the dark by the bedside.  Groggily he asked, “What happened?” Then said, “My CPAP quit.”  I told him I thought it was the transformer, and we put ourselves to bed.  Well, about 4:00AM we woke up to big truck sounds and chainsaws right outside our bedroom window! The light from said trucks was very bright and leaking in around the blackout shades!


We got up again, went to the front room window and then out onto the porch to find this…

click for a larger view

The work to clear away the tree, restore power to the house on the other side of said tree, and to reconnect telephone and electricity to all the homes from our house down took all day.  Strangely, our power came online very quickly, but new lines to all the neighbor’s houses and power were not restored until about 9:00PM last night.

All things considered, even with missed work and no electricity, this was the best possible outcome: Right into the street and not onto their home and vehicles.





28 thoughts on “Things that explode in the night

    • Lynda says:

      Annie, these big oaks are very old. I suppose not so old by some standards, but pushing 100 in these types seems to be the death knell for them. Most of ours are that old at least and have been dying back, dropping huge limbs, and in general making me hate to go into some areas of our property! We have one out by the driveway we know is ready for removal… it’s also near to the road next to the electric & phone wires.

  1. tialys says:

    What the he…? indeed. I would probably have said worse. That must have been scary but very lucky nobody was hurt and no property damaged. A very obliging tree to fall so carefully.

    • Lynda says:

      Lynn, it was and yes, I can hardly believe that it was so careful about how and where it fell! Good tree! We have bee planning on removing a rather rotten roadside oak on our property. Maybe we should quit planning and just do it? 😯

  2. evilsquirrel13 says:

    The power companies have worked pretty hard over the past decade to clear limbs away from power lines, but not much you can do when a tree just decides to up and fall over. This was timely to me for a different reason since a squirrel tripped the transformer in my backyard yesterday and left me (and two of my neighbors) without power for three hours. I love the guys, but they’re a little stupid when it comes to staying away from transformers (they really have no business climbing that high when there are lower cable lines for them to traverse)….

    • Lynda says:

      Bill, I have to agree with you about the brain power of little squirrels! BTW, did you ever see The DoDo story about an electrocuted squirrel that a Colombian man gave CPR? He brought it back too! Look here:

  3. shoreacres says:

    My first thought was, “transformer.” But of course “tree” can fail just as dramatically. When they arrange their falling in such a way to miss cars, roofs, and so on, it’s always good — but what a shock in the middle of the night.

    • Lynda says:

      Linda, it sounded just like a lightning strike right in our yard except that it wasn’t stormy weather! And, the transformer was so loud that I actually never heard the tree land. Though I am at a loss as to why I didn’t feel at least a rumble! Too scared to notice it? Maybe.

    • Lynda says:

      Well, actually, yes I did! And, me too, Deb. When we have storms and the trees come down onto homes the result is often deadly. Bad enough, the dad was out there from the time the tree came down until late that afternoon helping to cut and stack the debris for the city workers to pick up and haul away! He must have been exhausted when he finally quit.

  4. Steve Schwartzman says:

    You’re right about a generally good outcome, even if inconvenient. Seven years ago in a storm a large tree crashed down into my sister’s house and she barely escaped getting killed, ending up with only a broken rib.

    • Lynda says:

      I am so glad she escaped with only a broken rib! We do see a lot of trees come down during storms and wind. The first few months after we moved here I remember hearing about a man who was killed while out mowing his lawn. He had been retired only a couple of weeks when a huge oak branch came down on him and killed him. I have a healthy respect (and dislike) for all these old oaks. They are beautiful giants best viewed in the distance… and, in my estimation, they certainly do not make good lawn and shade trees.

      • Steve Schwartzman says:

        Yes, a fortunate escape. The house was badly enough damaged that they ended up selling it to builder and buying another house in the neighborhood. I’m sorry your newly retired neighbor didn’t fare as well.

    • Lynda says:

      Mary, I agree! It fell precisely where it needed to with the least amount of damage. Well, if you don’t count the two or three sections of his split rail fence… but honestly, that’s nothing.

  5. Joanne S says:

    Oh my! That would have had me scared, too! Thank goodness no was hurt. Sorry you had to suffer with the lights and noise in the middle of the night.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Joanne. We weren’t so bad off, but we sure felt bad for the fella that lives there. He was up all night and all the next day cutting and stacking that old oak tree into bits the city would pick up and haul away!

  6. Littlesundog says:

    How strange you and I experienced the same thing (well, your’s was worse, we kept our electricity as our lines are buried). I was at the computer early one morning and I heard something similar to a gunshot just outside the window! It was the opening of muzzle loader season (primitive arms) so I thought someone must be hunting on our property. On venturing outside to find the culprit, I finally rested my eyes on a huge pecan tree on my neighbor’s property, had split down the middle and had twisted and finally laid over on our side of the fence. Nothing was hurt but the old rickety fence. But what an explosion splitting wood can make!!! I’m so glad nothing was harmed at your place!

Leave a Reply to kathyreeves Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s