Text Box: April 1st thru 4th, 2012 - Mother Nature almost “April Fool”ed us!

The weather was a little bit on the stormy side the first week in April.  Last year, we were having a fly-in that weekend.  I’m glad that I didn’t schedule another “April Foolin” fly-in this year or we would have been fooled!

Early on April 2nd, I headed out to the airport to continue wiring outlets and lighting.  It was a beautiful morning - even though the weatherman was calling for some serious storms.  I arrived and chatted with Walt for a minute or two before we looked out to the west.  An ominous storm system had developed out to the west and was rapidly moving into the area.  I knew that it was time to head back to town when some of my clients started calling me on my cell phone and telling me about the tornadoes that were over the Rockwall area.  About that time, the bottom fell out and it started pouring on Walt and I.  We stood inside the house for a few minutes, listening to the rain.  We went into the trailer, turned on the tv and watched the weatherman talk about a tornado that was on the ground and moving straight at my other home.  I hopped in the car and headed back to Rockwall in the face of the torrent.  Walt L. headed back to his house.

I barely made it to downtown Quinlan (4 miles away) before the rain turned to hail and started beating down on my car.  Fearful that I was going to suffer broken windows and substantial hail damage, I pulled under a tree and waited out the hail.  The storm was still unleashing its fury when the hail subsided and I hightailed it back to the airport to wait it out.

About 45 minutes later, the first wave passed through and I was able to make it back to the house before the second wave of storms hit.  More tornadoes were spotted on the ground and I watched as one passed out to the east of the house.

We were very lucky.  The tornadoes passed almost directly halfway between my two homes.  They did tremendous damage, but I was able to come through without a scratch (well… maybe just a few small hail dings).

On the 4th, I flew around the area and took a few photos of the damage caused by the tornadoes that day.  I pass it every day on Hwy. 276 when I drive between my two properties.
Text Box: On April 5th, I was finally able to get back out there and do some more wiring and outlet work.  Here’s the finished bedroom/closet wiring.

April 14th - Time for some Gumbo!

 

One of my new clients and good friends showed up while on their way from Kansas to Killeen, TX.  They stayed with me over the weekend.  Ron P. and his wife hopped on the tractor and mowed quite a bit of the place while Walt L. and I attended to other chores on the land.

 

I decided that I would FINALLY make that gumbo that I’d been threatening to make.  I made an announcement on a couple of aviation sites and then started to get my ingredients ready.

 

Again, Mother Nature decided to work against me.  The skies were clear, but there was a 20 mph wind most of the day.  We didn’t have anyone fly in, but I had quite a few friends drive in to get some of my “slap yo’ momma good” gumbo.

 

The front line passed through and left us with some perfect weather.  On the 16th, I hopped in the powered parachute for the first time this year and went flying.  I snapped a couple of shots of the runway.  It’s starting to shape up!

The rest of April - Some SIGNIFICANT Progress was made!

 

One of the things that I’d been aching to do was to get electrical service out to the house.  For our electric power needs, we’d been using the generator that I’d purchased for backup power. So on Monday the 16th, Walt L. drove over to U-Rent-It and rented a small excavator for the week.  I had purchased some 4-4-2 cable a while back and it had been sitting there for a while, waiting for us to put it to use.

 

One of the things that I’d been advised was to bury the cable deep so that the cool earth would provide some insulation and keep the cable cool.  Walt L. set to work and dug a trench that was more than 4 1/2 feet along the south side of the property.

 

While he dug the trench, I continued putting in the electric fixtures.  I finished installing the ceiling fans and set the rest of the lights.

 

After the trench was finished, Walt went back to work on the inside.  I came in one afternoon to find that he’d set the tile in the utility room.  Over the next day or so, he also put in the hardwood flooring in the bedroom and closet.  We also dug another trench for the water line from the tank out to the house.  It was a VERY busy two weeks.  The weather stayed nice to us and gave us nice cool days in which to work.  We used that little excavator as much as we could.  We even set a drain pipe across the road from the house so that one area of standing water could be drained away from the house.

 

By the end of the month, we’d run the lines for the electricity and water out to the airport house.  All we needed to do was connect it all together!