Blowing in the wind

Last week, the front range had some terrible winds to contend with, and they hit the house at about 2 a.m. Situated where I am, most wind blows over the top of the house, but the trees around the property take a real beating.

I listened for a while as the wind buffeted the house, and I noticed that the house doesn’t move in the wind. It doesn’t creak or make odd noises, although the exposed insulation in the living room pops and wiggles with each southwesterly gust. The house is proving it’s solidly made, it’s just the interior that blows with the wind.

The house in Highlands Ranch, my beautiful house, was a nightmare during high winds. The two-story structure had nothing that stood between it and the foothills and gale-force winds would pound the house into moving. That style of Richmond American homes was designed to move with the wind, something that will make your stomach turn if you’re not used to it. It was rare that winds wouldn’t move all the patio furniture to the far end of the Trex deck.

The house in north Denver on Joan Street had huge cottonwood trees in the front yard and when the wind blew hard, the trees were as loud as applause at a rock concert. I always worried about the trees coming down on the house, wrecking the cars or hurting someone. The largest tree, a 100-foot-tall cottonwood was finally chopped down by someone who bought the house after I sold it in 2002.

Here on Sandy Lane, I worry about the small lodgepole pines that may fall onto the propane tank. It’s really the only concern I have. I’ve been to the area around Mt. St. Helens where huge pine trees were flattened by the first wave of heat and ash on May 18, 1980. It’s why I’m glad I don’t live near a volcano anymore. Once less thing to worry about.

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