(Zawierucha is pronounced “Zaveruha.”)
It was 3 a.m., and we were awakened by a major wind. Yep, it blew. The wind was so strong the trees were rocking, and it seemed certain they would fall on our house. Momma Bear called what was happening a zawierucha.
Now for those of you who do not know what a zawierucha is, it is Polish for a gale or tremendous wind storm. It can also mean turmoil. Momma Bear kept saying it over and over, and we did not know what she meant until we asked. This is a funny word to me–zawierucha.
Then at 3:30 a.m., I woke again to the sound of a loud crash on our house. I was thinking, “Oh no, it happened. A tree fell on our house!” My heart jumped and thumped and bumped. I ran out the door and down the hall, checking the house and yelling to my family, “Is everyone OK?” Mom and our house guest were fine, and a wide-awake Steve was fine, too. He slept through the whole thing and only awakened after I yelled. Then we all ran into Mom’s bed because that seemed to make the most sense.
Shortly thereafter, we heard a big noise in the front yard, and my guest and I went outside to see what it was. At first, we could not see anything. We knew the noise had something to do with the front yard because when we looked out the windows and front door there was a big dark thing obstructing our view. It took us a bit to figure out what exactly we were looking at. It was the roof! My first thought was, “Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Who knows? We shall see.”
We could not go into the front yard to look because the winds were too dangerous, so the next thing we did was look up the storm watch for the lower mainland. We saw that the winds would average 110 km/hr between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., and by 5 a.m. it was to get far worse.
OK, now what were we going to do? How would we make it with no roof? What if it rained? Then what would we do? This is when I realized that I now had the opportunity to practice all the things I have shared about conversing with the weather. OK then, that is what I would do; otherwise, we were finished. We could not just go out and drive. It was too dangerous, and we had no idea where to go. So I focused all my energy on the storm and called on Anastasia to help me out. I also recalled Paul Coelho’s book, The Alchemist. It had a part about conversing with the wind as well.
It was such intense work. I astral traveled to find the spirit of the storm while making a bubble around our house and car, assigning angels to every corner of the house. I also put some angels to protect the trees so they would be able to hold their ground. I knew this is what I needed to do to. I wanted to befriend the storm to learn its language. I remembered the lyrics in Jewel’s song “Circle Song (With You I Will Always Be)” where she says, “If you see me speak without words–Know that I am speaking of the wind–And if you see my words like wind–Know that soft tongues cut through stone.” This is a good ability to attain. This is our birthright that we some how misplaced.
The next day, I awakened early to find my bed was wet. No, I did not wet the bed. There was water leaking from my light fixture, and in further exploring I found water in the hallway, bathroom, kitchen, attic, and everyone’s bedroom–everywhere. OK, how much water was on our roof, and what could we do about it? We set out some pots to collect the water, and as I did this I played Tiny Tim’s song “Living in the Sunlight” in the background. You can view Tiny Tim singing this song on YouTube. We all stayed in good spirits, laughing and joking away. With all these things going on, you just have to laugh and just surf the wave of life. I write about this attitude in my poem Surf’s Up, Ride It Out.
We went out to the front yard to take pictures and video the damage, which was crazy. Our whole roof was down in the front of the house. This was a type of hot molded asphalt roof with glass bits. It was heavy and had sharp edges. Our water pipes and even our chimney were on the ground, too, as well as a satellite dish that we never used. The miracle was that our car was inches away from being totally destroyed. Our gazebo also got trashed. Were it not for the gazebo, we would have lost our power and our phone. We might even have had a fire from a sparking live wire.
I will post the pictures and video soon. The video is pretty funny. Now our house guest knows what it means to stay at the Schab house. It’s a constant adventure. People who have been here can vouch for that.
We were not sure how much water we had on our ceiling. If there was a thin plastic barrier above us, then we could have thousands of pounds of water above us that could collapse the roof. We called our landlord, and he came over. He turned white when he saw the house. Then he told us that we had to vacate the premises ASAP because it was not safe. This was not true the house was safe this was just a ploy for him to lock us out of our house. He told us to take what we could but be prepared to lose our stuff we did not take. In the meantime, he called some roofers to come over and look at the damage.
With this news, we tried to think about what we could put in storage right away and what we could pack to take with us for a few days. The first things I packed were my Anastasia books and the clothing given to me by my friends on facebook, which I will soon photograph and post online.
The roofers said our place was the worst they ever saw, and though they had many people on their list, they made our house first priority. They went to work pronto, removing the hanging roof carefully so as not to hit our car. I told the roofers that if they needed a break to feel free to jump and play on our trampoline and have a pool noodle battle.
We did not have to pay for our roof. This was the landlord’s responsibility. It seems that our place was not insured, and maybe that is why the zawierucha chose our place! The roofers asked us if our landlord was a cool guy, and we said not really. Then they said, That is OK, because this job will cost him a pretty penny. It also seems our landlord did not insure our place, so it all had to come out of his pocket.
To rent out a property not insured is illegal, and if that gets out, he would be in major trouble. Our landlord said that if we needed anything, just let him know. We are thinking about going to him and saying, “Yes, we would like as much time as we like to move.” We are not going to do what he did, which was giving us a choice that was not really a choice. It was more like “do this or else!”
Why else might the landlord have been so eager to get us out? Could it also be because of the Olympics? A lot of rental prices are going sky high because of this event. The Olympics end in late February, and we are to be out at the end of February. So could Olympics-related greed be the reason? Well, it could be because even though the Olympics will soon be done, a majority of the people will stay put for three months. Places are going for $1,000 and up. Mom learned this after trying to change her flight ticket.
Meanwhile, there were many facebook friends who offered to help in any way they could, like finding us a motel to stay for a few days until we could find something else more long-term. You guys are just instant action and you work fast, too. Also, thank-you everyone who offered their place, even though you live as far away as Florida! I did not ask anyone for money help. I just wanted to let everyone know what was going on and explore our options. I thought maybe some local friends that I had not yet met might know something or have some lead.
I was so pleased when new local facebook friends came to our house to help in any way they could, which turned into a lovely visit and instant friendship, even for my mom. While they were here, we lost all power and could do nothing but have a lovely visit in the candlelight. They offered to help us with our move in any way they could. Wow, they were just such awesome people. Do we really have some community and friends locally now? Too cool! Thank you zawierucha! I love you, too. I guess this is the universe giving us another wonderful angelic boot in the butt to find another place to live. It is good to be fluent in the language of life.
Back to our housing situation, our roof got fixed in a few hours. The contractors will be returning in the next few days to do more work. They put up a really good tarp, and they removed most of the water and saved our ceilings so we did not have to leave after all. We were lucky and everything happened so fast. The zawierucha blew the rain away from our house, so not that much got in the ceiling but just enough to leak through all light fixtures. It is all good. I think things turned out so well because of everyone’s prayers and well wishes.
But in the next few days there will be serious repairs on our roof so it can withstand another zawierucha. We will not be able to use our fireplace for a few days, so I will be wearing my winter muumuu. Well that is what I thought, but now our landlord is being so nice to us now because he is so scared; however, he can become mean very quickly, so we have to be very careful and hold our ground. He said that we could use his heaters and he would reimburse us. Good thing or bad thing? We shall see.
Everything turned out well, and now upon updating everyone I can get some sleep and then continue looking for a place to call home.
Here is an interesting note. Our local newspaper, the Delta Optimist, did not have any stories about the storm! There was no serious damage to any other place that I saw. Only our house was singled out for some reason. But Vancouver had some trees and power lines down. I think I may have the weather and Mother Nature on my side, like in Avatar where even the animals help the for the sake of their world. Although I do not believe in karma, I do believe if there is anyone you want to be allies with or have a friend who is in high places, it would be Mother Nature, the creator.
Here is another interesting thing to ponder. There is a fairy tale, the Three Little Pigs, about a big bad wolf that would blow down houses. Well, this time the wind blew the house down onto the big bad divine wolf, our landlord! If you think about it, if it were not for the wolf, then the pigs would not be all living in a nice, secure, and comfortable brick house. Did our landlord do this for us, too?
Love, love, love, love to all of you and to Haiti! What happened to us is nothing compared to the earthquake in Haiti, which can really humble us in whatever we are going through.
Until the next Schab adventure,