As much as we miss Michelle while she’s out of town, I have been grateful that she has not been here to experience some of what we’re seeing here on the homestead. We got clobbered with a winter storm Monday and Tuesday, and things happened that she just would not have appreciated. Not that we did, but we took consolation knowing that she was with her parents at the time.
Monday we saw 50 knot north winds; Tuesday, they ramped up to 55 knots, with gusts, according to the weather service, of 80 knots. That’s just a hair above 92 miles per hour. It’s wind enough to have a very unsettling affect on our wind generator.
We had applied the brake, as we generally do in very high winds. The brake shorts out the three incoming wires, stopping the prop almost completely—it turns, but only under considerable force. Monday, a gust hit it, spinning it at full speed, then furling it! To add suspense to an already tense moment, it took a long time to switch from “regular” operation to furl, because the pivot’s still sticky. In that time, the whole tower bounced back and forth so hard I began to fear for the integrity of the structure.
About 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday, the gusts began again, and the generator started up several times. Aly told me the next morning that she heard it so often she assumed I’d turned the brake off.
Compounding this, the trees closest to the house are whipping in the wind, along with every other tree in the area. Some of their roots have reached under the cabin. During the day, Aly and I start, thinking someone’s on the porch, as the tree out front shifts. At night, the trees behind the master bedroom make small but fairly constant noises. I spent a lot of that night awake. My sleep patterns have been altered significantly since Michelle’s been gone, anyway. She’s not there, Spice the cat has abandoned me for Aly’s bed (thank goodness), so I’m sleeping differently anyway.
The storm brought low temperatures. A high around 15° has pushed the wind chill below -20. I wish Michelle were here, but, then again, I’m glad she’s not!