Looking Broken

We have been having some pretty rough weather the last couple of weeks. We had a storm or three blow through that brought lashing winds and heavy rain. I have to admit that ever since a tornado caused a tree to fall on the house when I was maybe 4, I’ve been uneasy during thunderstorms and when tornado conditions were present. In fact I have a great deal of difficulty sleeping when the rain is pounding on the windows. Flashes of lightening bring me out of a deep sleep in an instant. And the thunder, well, it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble… Sparky on the other hand sleeps through nearly anything. I have had some recent nights that have left me anything but rested. When I get up after a bad storm I have a series of questions that I ask Sparky:
1. Is the basement dry?
2. Do we have any big branches or trees down?
3. Did any electronics get fried?

I usually don’t go searching myself. Sparky went out back to check on the wretched walnut trees. I headed to the front porch to make sure the next door neighbor’s humongous Tulip tree was still in one piece. For reference they used to have 3 trees but as they age they get brittle and tend to not bend in the wind thus break and fall on things – 2 were broken. One fell across their driveway missing everything. The other fell between our houses and missed everything. I’m seriously afraid that “third times the charm” and the remaining tree is going to crush one or both of our houses. As I stepped onto the porch I saw disaster.

This is what is left of my ceramic wind chime. This is the second one to bite the dust. One of the projects I did in my first ceramics class was to make a slab wind chime. I had pressed ivy leaves into the slab and cut out individual pieces with the leaf imprint and a crown to have them hang from. It lasted nearly 15 years until a violent storm with shear force winds destroyed it. This second one had only been up about 4 years. I had said I wouldn’t make another but after awhile I decided to go for it. A lovely cloud with a sun peeking out held the rectangular pieces with wild flowers pressed into them. It wasn’t as pretty as the ivy but I had “tuned” the pieces to make a more musical chime (less clank and more jingle). Now that it has taken a place in the trash I’m wondering if I should even bother with making another. Yes? No? What say you?

74 thoughts on “Looking Broken

  1. Well you got 4 years out of it. πŸ™‚ Here strings rot from sun and I no longer can re thread with fishing lines. Son’s big chime is just laying in a drawer in the garage.

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    1. Yes – 4 years. That seems like a drop in the bucket compared to the other one. Can you get someone to restring the one in the garage?? Seems a shame that it isn’t out and making music!

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  2. Here we use metal due to high winds. I want to make one out of garage sale silverware or horseshoes.

    I can’t sleep through storms. Wind and thunder wake me up. For it to rain during the night and not wake me up it’s a very light rain.

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  3. Your worries about a wet basement should be allayed somewhat by the new sump pump. If you haven’t already, plug your pricey electronics into surge protectors. The trees are a crapshoot. Sorry your beautiful wind chime got broken. I like MrsWranglers ideas for a metal one, or you could make another ceramic one and bring it in when storms threaten. My hubby wants fabric cushions for our lawn furniture–I said it would be his job to dash out and bring them in every time it rains. Who wants to sit on a damp or musty cushion?

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    1. Ha! The bringing in of the wind chimes just wouldn’t happen! I see lots of patio furniture with cloth cushions and I just shake my head. My inlaws had seat cushions for their patio table – now they have different chairs that are plastic. The old chair cushions would never dry completely and they got tired of sitting down and then looking like they’d wet themselves! We have everything plugged into surge protectors. With a computer science guy in the house we are not only protected against surges but we back up everything! The new sump pump is good but we’ve had issues with the basement window wells filling up and causing a little leakage.

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  4. Maybe buy another one. They are good warnings for wind, random squirrels and other noises or problems.
    I am a light sleeper as is the retired Marine couple who live behind our home. Sometimes I feel as if I only have to glance out the window to see other light sleepers.

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    1. I have a little metal one that was a gift from Sparky’s sister. It is nice but not very musical… Fortunately no one has ever said anything about the noise waking them up. Probably because the sound was so muted.

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  5. Is there any place outside your home where chimes would be somewhat protected from winds? I would love to have you make another one and show us a picture of it, but………………………………….

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    1. The studio is opening in August supposedly. We’ll see if I’m inspired. We only have the front porch as a place to hang anything. The patio doesn’t have a large enough over hang and the trees are not actually in the yard but just outside the fence…

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    1. I’d post something if I had anything to post! The studio shut down in March and hasn’t reopened – yet. Supposedly they will start having classes in August but with the surge in cases I’m not so sure it will happen. Rest assured as soon as I have some pieces back, I’ll be posting!

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        1. Same here. The governor let the order for face masks expire – then a week later reinstated it and has started enforcing the rule with fines for businesses that don’t comply. I have no idea what the parameters are for safety at the studio. I’m still waiting to see what they are going to propose. Then I’ll make my decision on whether I want to take the risk of working in the studio!

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          1. Our governor TODAY decreed that any county on the watch list cannot open school classrooms, and must teach on-line in the fall. That will solve the fact that LA and San Diego were planning on-line teaching, but Orange County, where I live, was planning to allow schools to open, with no masks or distancing! It’s a little crazy here! My thoughts will be with you on the ceramics — maybe the best will be to try to do it at home, as you suggested.

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            1. The whole school opening has most parents in a twist. On one hand the kids want to go back but the risk has not been mitigated to the point of making it safe to do so. No matter what Betsy DeVos has to say on the matter.

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  6. I think your CERAMIC wind chimes are or were miracles, to last as long as they did.
    imho πŸ˜‰
    Sorry about storms rattling your emotions. That would be tough.

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    1. I’m a storm wimp. Sparky and the boys like to go out and watch from the garage or the porch. I’m hunkered down in the basement with the “Storm Tracker” team from our local news on the TV and radio… I’ve got my candelabra and matches and flashlight ready. I was surprised that the first one lasted but it was kind of thick and clunky.

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  7. sorry those storms cause you so much grief … put point blank if that huge tree crashes across your house you may not be there to worry about it! Worse case scenario faced, try to get more sleep πŸ˜‰

    I’d make some more, third time round they will tinkle even better … and bring them in if there is a bad storm. Once they are safe know that you are too, might help you sleep …

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    1. Thanks Kate. If the tree falls on the house it will take out the front part (the computer room, one bedroom, the living room and the front porch). I doubt I would be physically injured but just the thought of losing some of my “things” makes me sad. I usually snuggle up to Sparky and pull the blankets over my head… As for another go making chimes – it will all depend on whether the studio ever opens. I’m contemplating seeing if I can get in to retrieve my materials and equipment so I can work on things from home.

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            1. They are allowing the studio to be available for “open studio” but to get in you have to register online ahead of time. They’ve already got all the slots booked through Aug 31st and won’t put the September calendar up for a couple more weeks. 😦

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  8. ohh Val i am so sorry the storm had caused you so much trouble… its been raining here too but at least minus the storm itself, but its still making me worry though as it could cause flooding anytime.

    as to your ceramic chime, I will make a new one again, besides it lasted 4 years. i would buy ceramic chimes back home and it would not even last a year.. but I still keep on buying though as I love the music and the sound it brings as the wind blows

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    1. I loved the sound but the breakage is disheartening. I think I’ll try again – if I can ever get back to the studio! We had lots of rain then nothing for a week and now we’ve got scorching temps and more rain! And other parts of the country is in a drought but we are soggy!

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    1. I suppose there are many who are uneasy during severe weather… I’m hoping to get back to the studio but the latest email confirmed that they are going to limit class size and currently the class has already filled. They are also short on instructors mostly because of age and health problems put most of them in a high risk category.

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  9. I am so sorry that the wind chime is gone. Love’s labor lost, kind of! But you can make another one. Thank God nothing precious was lost.
    I am sorry you have fear of storms and lightning and thunder. I can see why, when you went through a rough experience in your childhood. I love the rains, the thunder, the lightning, and the way the wind sounds and the branches sway in that wind. We have had these same storms here too last week and this week.
    Loved them. (Sorry!)

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    1. Thanks Zakiah! It is raining right now but only a little distant rumbling and a few weak flashes of lightening. So I’m not frazzled. It was a nice one and looked good but I’m hoping to improve on the design and maybe make one that will last longer!

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    1. Thanks Evelyn. I want to make another but it will mostly depend on whether I can get into the studio anytime soon. If I can get my clay then I can start to work on it. After that the firing becomes the next hurdle…

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  10. After big storms we always had to go clean up branches. They kept getting bigger and bigger until we realized the tree was dead. So we just had an arborist come take two of them down. Two oaks that were once beautiful but decided to die. By the way, they make wind chimes in nice twinkly metal.

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    1. I know. The really nice ones are so expensive! I was pricing them last summer and they were over $100 so that was not going to happen. We have to pick up sticks after the storms too. We are hoping the walnut trees don’t fall. But it is likely that if they do go, they will fall away from our house…

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      1. They are. We have some pretty big and bad storms here in West Tennessee. We’re just inside Tornado Alley and just 15 miles west of me is the MS. River and Arkansas. We have tornadoes and our thunderstorms have some pretty high winds.

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          1. Gotcha. There are a few storm shelters around here, but not everybody has one. I sure wish I had one. Because it does get scary sometimes. However, we haven’t had a twister in a while. We have a town twenty miles from us that seems to be a magnet for them.

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            1. It has been a noted phenomenon for ages – the First Nations would camp on the banks of the White River because it provided that safety along with water and food… at least that is what my grandmother told me.

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            2. Nope – my name is Valerie but many people call me murisopsis, muris for short – it means mouse vision. Anyway I always like to meet my blogging friends – so far my BFF I met online and I’ve met several others on WP (Gary Boivin – Righteous Bruin, Zakiah Ali – ZSA, saintvi, come to mind)

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