After two days and nights of steady rain, the storm moved out of our area and the wind picked up. I go for a walk most afternoons at work. It gets me out of the office and clears the cobwebs from my brain. I do my best thinking when I am walking and, more times than not, return to my desk with a fresh perspective or a problem solved. It also burns calories. Today the red, gold and brown leaves blew around my feet and across the road, like flocks of small birds flying low. My scarf whipped around my shoulders and my hair blew in my eyes and mouth. The squirrels I usually see running up the oak trees with acorns held tightly in their teeth were nowhere to be seen. Only crazy humans were out walking in the wind; most of us in business attire and tennis shoes, in groups or alone.
Back at my desk, Brett called to tell me the dogs got out. Sedona is doing well with her pain meds and, other than sleeping a lot, seems like her old self. One of our neighbors came over to visit Brett and drove in the main gate instead of parking outside and using the pedestrian gate. Brett had asked him to not drive in because we didn't want the dogs out roaming the neighborhood. The dogs were up by the barn when the gate opened and they ran, full speed, to the end of the driveway; slipping through before the gate shut (and we have it set to close fast). The neighbor called to the dogs but they just laughed and kept going. Brett drove up and down the road but couldn't find them. He left the pedestrian gate open so they could get back in and waited.
Half an hour later, my cell phone vibrated on my desk. The dogs have my cell phone number on their collars. A neighbor had come out of her house when she saw Kersey and Sedona chasing her chickens. One of the dogs (I'm guessing Sedona) had a chicken in her mouth. The neighbor yelled and Sedona dropped the chicken. She put them both on leashes and called me. We didn't know this neighbor and she didn't know us so she got confused on giving me directions to her house. I called Brett and sent him the wrong direction, walking up the steep hill towards the wineries. He called me from the end of the road and said he couldn't find them. He was frustrated and angry and tired. I called back the neighbor who realized she lived in the other direction...
The wind continued to pick up and by the time I left work, it was blowing hard. The wind buffeted my little car on the freeway and blew me into the grocery store where I picked up a few things for dinner. The last ten miles of my commute are on a country road lined with oak, pine and maple trees. As I drove, the leaves blowing in the wind were joined by twigs and then by branches. I gripped the wheel and flinched every time a branch hit the car. Our driveway was littered with leaves and acorns, the cat was hiding in the garage and a big camping cooler went tumbling past me as I hurried into the house with the groceries.
After changing out of my work clothes and telling Brett about the branches flying everywhere, we decided to bring Flash and Jackson in from the oak pasture. Fortunately, there was a lull between wind gusts while we led them from the pasture to the barn. Both Flash and Jackson are limping a bit, most likely from running around in the wind. Winston and Mufasa are in a pasture with no trees so they should be fine.
...and the power just went out.
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