This article on last week's storm was submitted by Ensign reader Rhondda Boer.
It is just on dark, my husband is at work and the recent phone message is advising that power will probably not be restored until tomorrow morning at 8 am.
So, as I sit here surrounded by darkness and silence and dripping with the humidity, I have decided to recall the ferocious storm that visited us this afternoon.
Looking out the back window I was stunned to see a red dust storm rapidly reducing visibility to a few metres.
I turned my attention to the front window to see the quickly diminishing view over our front paddock.
By the time I had raced outside to view this phenomenon, the wind had become an angry raging monster, tearing at branches that were hanging on for dear life and swirling in all directions.
Almost immediately the power went off. Our big gum tree was the first to lose a giant branch, soon followed by many others.
Our dead pine tree, about 20m high, snapped in two with the top landing about 15 metres away propped up against our garage door, where our son often parks his car.
Fortunately he was at work.
Trees and branches snapped off all along our fence lines, but not one landed on our fence or on the 16 newly planted trees.
It was as if they deliberately dodged them as they fell. The wind blew in all directions ripping off branches all round our house.
Two heavy car tyres relocated themselves from the west side of the house to the east side, finishing neatly leaning against our friend’s caravan, which also miraculously avoided damage.
The big wooden tree guard in the paddock took off and flew over the fence only to be immediately buried under more branches from the big gum tree.
With the tree guard now gone, our sheep had a wonderful time munching on the leaves of the tree we had planted and nurtured so meticulously, so the sheep would have shade in summer.
After 15 minutes of wild winds, down came the rain with the fire siren wailing in the background as two fire trucks and an Elvis helicopter raced to put out a fires in Benalla and Violet Town.
Then as suddenly as it had started, it was all over.
Just an eerie stillness remained, the silence being mocked by the dismal sound of fire siren.
Snapped trees, broken branches, sticks and mess were everywhere, with the empty plastic bucket still sitting on the pool decking as if nothing had ever happened.