Saturday, September 4, 2010

Earl- Part 2: Starting to get scary

11:00am: I glance out the window to see the door to the hayloft waiving in the wind. The last thing I need is for five hundred fresh bales of hay to get soaked, and rot. I yank on my rain jacket and step out into Earl. I shouldn't have bothered with the jacket. It's just a short dash to the barn, but I'm already soaked from the horizontal rain.

The horses are no longer oblivious to the elements. Rain is pouring in through the cracks in their outside doors, and blowing into their open windows (I don't want to close them because it's very stuffy and humid right now).

I throw down the ladder to the hayloft, run up its steps, and climb across hundreds of bales of sweet-smelling hay to get to the loft door. The door is warped, and so is the metal loop that the sliding bolt is supposed to fit into. I have some strong ropes which I run from the door handle to the beams in the roof. I pull them tight and tie them, but there is still a gap, and the wind's ghost-like fingers won't stop trying to pry it open. I run back across the bales of hay, down the ladder, and into Dave's workshop. I scan the mess and find a set of pliers that I hope to use to fix the bolt.

As I'm about to scramble back up the stairs, I hear a crash, and the horses jump. Maggie's window swings shut and starts slamming against its frame. The wind has managed to rip the latch from the siding on the outside of the barn. I drop the pliers, run outside, and struggle to bolt the window closed.. Eventually, I get it. With rain dripping from my hair and clothes, I head back inside.

The pliers work and I manage to secure the bolt, though the wind still whistles through the small cracks, angry that I've managed to thwart its efforts. I'm just about to make my way down the ladder when everything goes dark, and the radio goes quiet. The power is out. Within 20 seconds or so, it's back on, but it's been flickering on and off ever since.

11:45 I really must have angered the wind, beacuse if I thought it was raging before, I was wrong. It's much worse now. The floor is vibrating and there's a deep, roaring sound each time the wind forces its way between the hurricane shutters and the picture window. I'm afraid that if this continues, the shutter will be ripped from the frame. I'm not sure what will happen then.

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