Trampled Underfoot

We have taken it hard on the chin, here in old G’burg. It did warm up, but with it came lots of moisture and severe weather. It was in the high 80s in Louisville and in the 50s in Chicago. Here we were stuck in the middle of it all. It all started on Monday. It rained on and off at work but it cleared up long enough to get ball games in that evening. Luke began basketball camp at the elementary school after classes let out. Abby had a softball game that night. Luke was supposed to have a baseball game and we had drinks/ snacks. So there we were, lugging up all this gear with the sky, “Looking ominous” as Ann put it. Abby was back at catcher and did well in that position. She was perfect in on-base percentage but was officially o’fer, going 0-1 with a fielder’s choice again. The game was called early when the tornado sirens sounded and everyone was not only ordered off the fields but sent home to seek shelter. The winds and rain were pretty hard and although it got pretty nasty, it was merely a precursor of what was to come. Luke’s ball game was cancelled that night as well… Also included here are pictures from Allen and family after completing the Indy Mini Marathon, Megan during her trip with Keith & Rosie to Disney World and several from Rob & Sharon during Week 19 festivities at the Sand Pebble…looks great; sorry we missed it!

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Tuesday was a quiet day that only saw pop-up showers, but stayed mostly dry. It was warmer again, stretching up in to the mid eighties. Luke went to basketball camp again and the kids helped me to mow at Mom & Gigi’s house that evening. I was pooped and came home and crashed hard on the couch, not waking up until the early morning hours.
Wednesday started out even warmer. Luke had basketball camp but his baseball practice was cancelled that afternoon as we experienced two simultaneous tornado warnings, which was the first I could ever remember. After the initial wave had pushed through Columbus and was headed to Greensburg, Ann and I left work and headed for home, wary of what we might find. It was an eerie drive home – you could see the black skies up ahead in the distance, but it was sunny where we were driving. As we got closer and closer to home, the destruction got worse. The real turning point was where 3 and 46 split on the bypass. First there was an overturned semi, followed by a crumpled silo, then twisted and downed signs, five cars in the ditch, blown-in barn, a house leveled, trees down everywhere, including the park and baseball complex which was destroyed (including leveled dugouts, twisted fencing and of course trees knocked over). There must’ve been a hundred trees or major limbs down on the golf course. The same thing was true for the park, including the tree that Matt had nailed a few times over the years on the sled hill. The park is closed due to safety and all ball games are suspended until further notice…unsure if the seasons will be cancelled… The radio station was off the air and only had a tree or two still standing. I could see that all the fences along our back row (including ours and our neighbors) were all down. The power line poles were all leaning and there was no power. Besides heavy wind damage from the tornado, hail damage was also prevalent – as could be see from all the ruined siding (ours looked like the consistency of a golf ball – others looked like it had been peppered with machine gun fire). Christy & Terry’s house was a mess, as was ours – hell the whole neighborhood was in shambles. I checked in on Sandy and Ann went home to survey the damage. Sandy was doing fine and after getting her generator running, she was back on the air. After talking with her and giving an update to what I saw on my in on Park Rd (check out the first video below to see my drive in to town), I was off to check on Mom and the kids. As it turned out, everyone was safe as they had sought shelter in the basement. Mom’s house had bad siding damage from said hail and the old Maple tree in the front yard fell on Dee’s house, causing obvious roof damage. The hail was reportedly golf ball to baseball-sized during the storm and sounded like a jet going overhead. I gathered up the kids and headed home to join Ann in the clean-up effort taking place in Ryle. Every house we passed on Park Rd had damage of some sort – mostly roof and tree. In one of Luke’s friend’s homes, the trees had fallen on their car, smashing it. There were dozens of trees down and the debris was everywhere in the road and yards. It took us forever to get back home as the streets were packed with cars and the roads were barely passable as it was. The road was flooded badly, coming in to the edition. We weren’t able to get to the house as the neighbor’s 80’ spruce tree had fallen and was blocking the road. Ann was literally raking the road when we came around the corner. The two little kids were in tears, trying to grasp the magnitude of what had happened. I found that not only had our 8’ privacy fence been blown in, but our pool was badly damaged, the siding was a total loss (dented, twisted or missing), the whole roof was a total loss – including the entire roof and roof deck of the gable above the patio – and hundreds of shingles. The roof was found in two piles across the street – about 200 feet away, probably bouncing off Mr. Green’s truck. Three men, including myself, tried to lift and move it but were unable to budge it. I was amazed at the brute strength of winds involved in this storm. I consider ourselves lucky to have the simultaneous tornados rated at the F1 and F2 caliber. We had lots of other things damaged as well, such as trees losing limbs and nearly all their leaves, the soffit is missing completely in the back and a section or two in the front, ripped screens along the back and broken glass in the crawl space and the light pole. The patio furniture was thrown over the fence and smashed, the gas grill had the door broken off and is dented, including having a chair stuck in the back of it. We are starting to develop leaks in the house as well. We are SO thankful for our friends and family! I called JT to see what to do about the roof (we were down to bare wood in a few spots) with more storms and heavy rain predicted over the next few days – including one coming within the next hour…so we had to move fast. I called Kelly and took the next day off. She in turn called our friends (and my co-workers), Michelle & Philip, who came over to help. JT also came over as soon as he could get here. Both JT and Philip brought all the tools I could ever need. I did have to run to the hardware store to get 2 x 4’s and nails, but Gigi and Mr. Walters both gave me plenty of tarps to use to cover up the roof, temporarily. Amy had Rob come over to help and he brought his friend Mike. We all climbed up on the roof and got it covered up before it could do too much more damage. Ann continued to work with the neighbors to clear the streets and driveways to at least allow emergency vehicles entrance to our area. JT left just before dark and just before the 2nd wave began to roll in (which thankfully missed us). He was very gracious to loan us his generator to use as long as we needed (this is something Ann & I will be getting either later this year or at the start of next year!), which was very cool of him. This allowed us to save most of our refrigerator items (we did end up losing the freezer items in the garage fridge) and get other essential items up and running to at least allow the kids some sort of normalcy to this day after they had seen and been through so much. Michelle and Ann had a couple of Snickers martinis as Philip and I got the generator up and running and got things plugged in to it. They ended up leaving just before wave three came through – which did hit us and had some nasty winds. With the soffit off, the missing portions of the roof and the tarps nailed down, the house made some awful noises during the storm…in fact it moaned and groaned all night as the rain and winds continued through the night. It was so weird and dark overnight – nearly everywhere you looked was total darkness – almost the entire city and definitively this whole side of town.
I was only able to get maybe an hour or so of sleep as I was afraid of looters / scavengers – which I did chase off a couple of people who shouldn’t have been out here at 3 in the morning. Ann only got a couple hours of sleep herself before we were up and beginning the long, arduous process of cleaning up after the storm. The dogs were antsy to get out (they had to be penned in the kitchen all day and night yesterday), so we took them for a walk and checked out the neighborhood. I don’t think I could list one house where some sort of damage was NOT incurred – trees and hail damage prevailed everywhere I looked…we got the kids off to school and got to work. We started on getting our mess from the neighbor’s yard across the street, which included our patio roof and roof deck which was so heavy that three men, including myself, were unable to lift so Mr. Green (bless his heart) took a sledge hammer and axe to it and chopped it in to manageable pieces we could stack in our yard. It’s hard to imagine how much of our roof is actually missing. Look again at the pictures of the back of the house and then look again at these older pictures I dug up and noted the missing areas. …Incredible… We continued to work on it for a couple hours until we had cleaned up that yard and our own front yard. As Ann continued to clean up in and around our yard, I went to Topps to get materials for a temporary fence so we could get the dogs back outside. Ann and I knocked it out pretty fast and got it secured enough to keep the pooches safe. Next we cleaned up the back yard and started in helping to clear the neighbor’s yards…all told, we worked for about 16 hours before our bodies began to give up on us and we had to call it a night. Hat’s off to Sandy and her crew at WTRE, who were on the air for at least 36 straight hours, that I counted; great coverage, Gigi – thank you! Again, I can’t say enough how nice it was to see everyone pitching in around the neighborhood to help each other out – and to our friends who not only offered help but willingly came to help – it meant the world to Ann and I – thank you doesn’t seem to be adequate…how about, we will never forget this and hope we can come through for you as well. Power trucks were in the neighborhood all afternoon (about a dozen or so) and finally got the power restored at about 7 – about 26 hours after it went out. Mom & Sandy and Dee / Jamie got power back shortly before midnight.

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I went in to work for a few hours as Ann tried to get caught up on her sleep on Friday. I came home and we helped the neighbors take out trees, stopping only to grab some drive through. Later, we went to watch Luke’s basketball camp awards ceremony at the elementary school (he won the 1st place medal for 1-on-1 play!!). Afterwards, we picked up the kids at Mom’s and went out for supper at El Reparo. We then picked up Abby’s friend Kenzie who stayed the night and came home to play a 2 hr game of kickball (Matt and the girls vs. Luke & I) that ended with victory for the good guys, 24-23 until it got too dark to play.

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We were up early again the next day for more clean-up efforts all day on Saturday. We again helped the neighbors get trees cut up and hauled to the street for pick-up. Matt helped me take down the rest of the fence, which was a safety issue due to teetering in the wind. Kenzie stayed the night again. We had burgers on the grill and went to Dairy Point for ice cream cones. We finally heard back from State Farm as a Catastrophe Specialist came out to triage this area. We are supposed to have an adjuster by Monday or Tuesday, so we’ll see. In the meantime, we are to start gathering info (which we already have mostly done) as well as find a general contractor we want to use. We already have a short list of folks we’d like to utilize.
Sunday just didn’t seem like Race Day. Ann did try as we had biscuits and gravy for breakfast, but it wasn’t enough. I am a person who enjoys and respects traditions. This was the most untraditional Race Day I can ever remember. I found myself at one point outside by the pool, looking around and noticing how much it didn’t seem like Memorial Day weekend. Gone was the group of friends and family, normally gathered in the back yard. Gone was the grill full of food. Gone was the sound of kids screaming and running and splashing around the pool. Gone was our privacy. I felt so exposed – between the fence being gone and the trees knocked out – it felt like I was on display back there. I think we had the whole neighborhood of kids over to play kickball and just hang out. At one point there were at least 15 kids running around our front yard. They totally cleaned out our refrigerator of sodas, juice bags and Gatorades. The party didn’t break up until after 10 pm. Meanwhile, we continued to help clean up the neighbors’ yards. Ann took Abby and Kenzie up to Megan’s house to go swimming. Ann planned to drop her off and do some shopping before heading to some graduation parties in Columbus. However, Abby had a reaction to either the sun block they used or their salt water pool – either way the poor girl looked like a damn fish / cat / vampire due to the intense swelling around her eyes! Kenzie spent the night yet again and this time even Megan came over to stay. Luke pleaded with me to rent a hotel room for us to stay in!! LOL! Luke & I listened to the 500 on the radio, but it was all wrong. Granted, that Hot Wheels jump was pretty freakin’ cool (now I know what that was they were building up there a couple weeks ago!), but we were in the front yard (instead of the backyard) and no one was over – no beer, no burgers, no pool (I don’t know what blew in to that poor pool, but it went from blue with a few leaves to swamp-like in just a few days) – it was all wrong. We did make the best of it. In between helping Mr. Green load up brush from his and Mr. Dodds’ yard, we managed to fix Lukey’s go kart and “entered it” in the 500. 😛 We had pit stops and warmed up our tires. However, we wrecked in some debris on the “track” and were the first ones out of the race… The race had a very exciting ending on the radio and we looked forward to the replay on Monday. There were more kids in the front yard again playing kickball until way too late – some kids I hadn’t seen before. All the kids were pretty good and Abby did a decent job of cleaning up afterwards. Everyone was late getting to bed, but once there it didn’t take long for anyone to fall asleep.
Monday saw the girls outside playing again and eventually ended up down the street, going swimming. It was so hot again – up in the 90s like yesterday, with lots of humidity. We did our weekly chores and tried to take it easy. The boys were thrilled to watch the Star Wars marathon on Spike TV! The girls eventually went home (as did all boys chasing them this weekend) and things gradually settled back down as we prepared for a short work week and the final school week…

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Here are this week’s videos, including two home videos from this week:

Next let’s open up the Waybac machine and laugh at some old pictures of us, our friends and our family. Leading off, we have an old picture mixed in with all these “newer” ones. This one was from 1944 and is likely a picture of a truck that maybe Great Grandpa Morgan had on his farm. The only name on the picture was simply, “Hupp.” The next picture jumps all the way to the summer of ’87 for Rob and a (cousin?) friend at a fish fry at Aunt Marilou & Uncle Kenny’s house in Rossville. We wind up in 1990 – Bryan family Christmas with Aunt Dorothy, Uncle Kenny, Rob and Mom; and Christmas morning in our living room in LaPorte Dad, Rob & I.

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Next up we move to March of 1997 for Matt’s first birthday party in Columbus. Looks like Grandma B, Grandma O, Gigi and Ann are celebrating with Matthew. Then we move to August of ’97 for moving day (thanks for helping guys!). Then we see Grandma B with one-week-old Abigail in 1999. We also have a cute picture of my Bu sitting up in March of 2000 in our Main St living room.

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Our final section starts in 2000: Christmas Day on Main St. with Mom & Dad B, Mom O (both Grandmothers are being ornery and hiding in the group picture!!), Keith & Rosie, Chad, Dee & Grace as well as Matt, Abby, Ann & I. Then we have an awfully cute one of Abby not digging being on Santa’s lap with Gracie, Matt at the YMCA’s pre-school; Matt with chicken pox and finally Matt visiting Grandma Bryan in Rossville. The final four pictures are of Matthew doing his science fair experiment in the front yard with his lovely assistant, Abby.

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…well that does it for this week’s entry of the Scheu Family Blog. Thanks for keeping up with us this week and we’ll catch you up next time. Until then, have a good one.
Later, Scheu

3 comments to Trampled Underfoot

  • Mom

    All I can say is WOW!!! That was a very nasty storm!! Hopefully insurance will replace what you had damaged and you can go on with your life as before. I almost started crying when Bu was seeing things for the first time. Bless her heart. This truly will leave an impression upon the kids for the rest of their life. The main thing is that all of you are okay and alive. Congrats to Luke on his award. Way to go Lukey!!! The last week was also good Tom. I just didn’t have time to comment on all the pics and video’s. Very good narration on yours this week as you drove into your addition and saw all the devestation. May God bless you all. I think the little boy with Rob is Debby and Steve’s son Matt. It sure looks like him. I am not sure what the Hupp-mobile may be or whose it was. Sorry, but wish I had that car today. Love you lots and take care of yourself and enough of the storms!! XXXOOO’s

  • Uncle Robby

    I am with Mom…WOW! Our heart and prayers go out to all of you. If there is anything we can do or help with please let Sharon and I know. We love you guys. I hope in the coming weeks you can all return to a state of normalcy in your lives. We will talk to soon. All our love Rob and Sharon.

  • Aunt RoRo

    We are so glad you all are okay!!!!! I’m so sorry you all had to experience such a scary time. Hopefully, things are getting back to some state of normalcy.

    We love you all!!!!!!

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