Manzkes escape worst of stormy weather

Susan Manzke
Only a bit of the corn was damaged by this fallen tree limb.

I know newspapers will have many photos and accounts of the storm damage across Wisconsin. In comparison, ours is minor. Still, I’ll write about what I know, that being how we survived the multiple storms last weekend.

Let’s start with Friday’s storm. It came in late in the day. I was watching the musical She Loves Me on PBS when the weather alert sounded. We then switched to a channel that had current weather reports about the coming storm and found out where the tornado was. Thank goodness it wasn’t heading our way, but straight-line winds were.

Sunny our dog didn’t react to the sound of our weather alert going off. It wasn’t until the storm was on our doorstep that he woke from his nap. Poor Sunny paced, squeezed behind the couch, walked behind Bob’s chair, and repeated this route. He didn’t react at all when the electricity blinked out a couple of times and then was out for good around 10:30 p.m.—Bob was happy he wasn’t stuck in his recliner. It was also good that our cuckoo clock was ticking the time as Bob takes medicine about eleven.

We lighted flashlights but continued to bumble around in the mostly dark house. Funny how a person gets used to nightlights on the stairs.

After reporting the outage, we went to bed. Sunny and our two cats were right on our heels, not as much for the storm, but in anticipation of their nightly treats.

Our electricity returned in about three hours—lucky us. (After the Saturday storm, our son Rob was without electricity for days).

There were trees down but none had hit our house. As planned, we went to Door County for a day out with family. We didn’t know until much later that a larger storm hit while we were gone.

Bob wonders how to get down the farm lane past fallen trees.

That afternoon, while we were finishing up lunch in Egg Harbor Bob’s sister called. She wanted to let us know that the house was okay except for some water in the kitchen and dining room—the force of the rain had been so wicked that it had come in around the edges of two windows. She said she moved my laptop away from the window and mopped up some of the water. “The floor might still be wet, so don’t slip when you get home,” she warned us.

The second storm had hit hard. Rob, who lives in Plover, had called to warn us what was heading our way. He didn’t know we weren’t home, so of course, he worried that we had blown away.

We found more damage when we got home. More trees, branches, and treetops were scattered about the yard. The two hanging birdfeeders were gone from the front porch. I eventually found them by the barn. Amazingly, they had missed hitting the windows they hang in front of.

Fortunately, the biggest trees that fell weren’t near the house. They went into cornfields.

At first, I had wished we hadn’t gone up to Door County. After thinking about it, I’m happy we weren’t home when the second storm hit. Except for being with our anxious dog, we couldn’t do anything about the storm if we were home except bite our nails. Nothing could be done until it was over.

Bob uses his trusty loader tractor to push branches onto brush pile.

We’re still in cleanup mode, with the help of family. Rebecca and Andy, who drove us to Door County, spent Sunday helping. More family will be here this coming weekend with chainsaws to take care of the big trees.

This weekend we will have our annual Camp Manzke in our backyard. While heavy tree trunks will be cut and moved, there will be a lot of fun, too.

It sure is a good thing that we moved the camp-out a week later than last year. I can imagine everyone here during the storms and all twenty of us huddled in our basement while tents blew into the next county.

We’re so sorry for those who suffered greater damage than us. Here’s wishing everyone better days and calmer weather.

Susan and Bob Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8636 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;