Even though we've had a relatively mild winter as far as snowfall, the wind has made itself known. We've heard and felt it on several days. Nights make it seem even more intense when everything else is quiet and we hear every pounding drop of rain on the window with whistling and creaking as it finds every crevice in and around the house. Such was the case nearly two weeks ago on Jan. 17 when the high wind warning forecast came true. Driving home out in the hills on the outskirts of town just before dark, we saw the ominous clouds gathered en masse and moving quickly our way. Just as we entered the garage, it all let loose with "there she blows" as no exaggeration with wind gusts near 70 miles per hour.
During times like these, everyone is glad to be safe and snug in their homes. There's a roof over our head and the house protects us from the outside elements. The other night however, some may have thought about what was going on outside with winds that sounded like a train or tornado. Trees may come down, the house may be damaged in some way, and power may be lost. It's only in the light of the next day that we can assess damage. Surviving the night earlier this month, no real damage was expected, that is until a glance in the yard alarmingly revealed that the large and heavy duck house was not normal. The doors were now the roof.
First thoughts were of the ducks. Did the large bale of hay crush them? Was there shattered glass? For those with super memories, it is known that these are not just regular ducks, but the somewhat famous Lloyd and Seymour who were introduced one year ago in this column entitled "Just ducky."
The saga of Lloyd and Seymour continues with the conundrum of a winter storm.
Even though Lloyd and Seymour can at times require work and never seem to appreciate their food or our efforts with their skittish and suspicious reactions in our presence, they are also endearing with their quacking on the pond throughout the summer. They are picturesque, inseparable and make a daily trek right up to the backdoor for a scoop of grain. Always refusing to go into their specially built house at night during the summer, we find eggs from "Lloyd" in random places and often judge them fresh enough to eat. They have survived three summers from the protection of the pond and the winters from the shelter of their house, but only after concerted yet humorous efforts are made to trick them into it. All of these thoughts naturally ran through our heads as we approached the topsy-turvy house.
With a ladder in hand, it was a relief to hear some quacking coming from inside the house as we called their names. Opening the doors upward rather than the usual outward when in its upright position, the ducks were indeed okay even though they were walking on the windows. Considering the house was delivered on a truck and weighs several hundred pounds, the next dilemma resulting from the windstorm was how to reposition the house. It was a task that we certainly couldn't do alone. Like times of yesteryear, many of us can still count on good friends, often from our church families, who will change their personal schedules and lend a helping hand. It was several helping hands and some physics know-how that the house was carefully righted with nothing more than a broken window from the fall of the night before. For a second time, Lloyd and Seymour were tossed around a bit in their house, but no worse for the wear. Hay and such had to be cleaned off the sides and spread on the original floor, but once again, the ducks seemed to just want us out, despite our most sincere efforts devoted to their care. Maybe someone needs to spend more time with them in their house and sing songs like "rubber ducky."
As time goes by, "Todays" become "Yesterday" memories, even in the midst of awful storms as that night in January when something clearly went "afowl" with intense wind gusts. Thankfully, the beehives that are near the duck house, but a bit more protected by brush and a lower area were not affected by the wind. Although insects, they are also part of "the family." After taking care of Lloyd and Seymour, some of the crew went inside to warm up and enjoy some milk and "quackers."
Make it a good week and thanks for reading, Mary and Rosamond