Today I am reminded how lucky some people are. No, I don’t mean to win the lottery, or to have a fantastic job, or to have time in the day to themselves, but to be alive. I’m reminded of this today after an incredibly strange day yesterday and night last night.
Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Wingham, Ontario, in terms of the weather. (Today, not so much. Another blizzard. Quite common this winter. Blech.) It was sunny, it was about 10 degrees Celsius, and the snow was melting. Most people were out and about (I know, you said that with a “Canadian accent”, didn’t you?!), going for walks, and just enjoying being outside after spending as little time as possible outside these last few snowy and frigid months. My little family – hubby, son Zander, daughter Zoey, and I – had just been outside, taking advantage of the spring-like day, playing in the backyard and on the new deck (built last summer). It was about 30 minutes after we had come in that we heard a loud (and long) rumbling sound. It sounded the way you’d imagine an avalanche would sound. We all were in the kitchen – just off the deck – eating lunch, and when we heard it start we looked at each other quizzically. None of us was sure what it was. And then the snow started falling off the roof in huge chunks…and falling…and falling. It was more like crashing actually. There was a lot of it. The weight of the snow not only made that avalanche-type sound, but it pulled out the bolts on our (new) railing. And if any of us had been outside near that part of the house, we would have been dead. No kidding. Needless to say, our deck needs repair, but we are all safe and sound, thankfully. This is what the deck now looks like from one angle (there was NO snow on the deck 30 minutes before…none…):
Fast forward about eight hours: My husband and I were sitting downstairs, with the TV on, and he was playing a video game and I was on my phone. We heard someone pounding on our front door and windows. We both looked at each other, unsure if that was what we were hearing, or if it was one of our kids – who were supposed to be going to sleep – pounding on their walls or door. That’s not something they’d normally do, and so we were pretty sure that wasn’t it. The pounding continued. We both ran upstairs. It was our neighbour from across the street, and he was pretty frantic. Then we saw the fire. His snowmobile had backfired, and it was on fire on the street at the end of our driveway. He was frantic because it was full of gas and he was sure it was going to explode. He wanted to make sure we were all up and ready to go if it did and our house started on fire. Scared of that thought, we grabbed our kids from their bedrooms, which are on that side of the house, with windows facing the street, and took them downstairs. The fire department arrived shortly after and took care of the blaze. No explosion, but the snowmobile is DONE. Again, it could have been A LOT worse than it was. No one was hurt, including our neighbour, thank God. This is what’s left of the snowmobile:
And then I woke up this morning to a text from a friend: “Just so u know our garage collapsed tonight. We r all a little traumatized but otherwise we r fine. We cannot return home until they say the rest of the house is structurally sound…” This is how the garage looks today:
I think it was the weight of the snow that caused the garage to collapse. As you can see from the picture, there’s a large amount of snow on top of it. (Have I ever mentioned how much I hate winter and snow?!) My friend told me they heard a big crack and then a crash. It was the loudest sound she’s ever heard. They all ran because they thought it came from the young son’s room, which is to the right of the garage (in this picture). His room window is the one with the debris piled in front of it. Again, our friends were so incredibly fortunate that no one was hurt. If anyone had been near the garage, it would have been another story. And if part of the house had gone down with the garage, it would have been the son’s room. He was in bed at the time. I shudder to think of the outcome of that. Thankfully they’ve gotten the news that the rest of the house is structurally sound and they can return. Add these repairs to the list of things to do as they are in the middle of moving and trying to sell their house.
To those guardian angels up there who made sure three families were not harmed yesterday when these accidents happened, thank you.