Monday, August 10, 2009


Today, I hope you will all forgive that the short story will have to wait until later. I am sorry for that. But sometimes, Life happens. Yesterday at 10 a.m., life happened here. We were hit with a tornado in this little town of Eldora. A tornado that showed up quick and with only a few moments warning. We watched out the window as we raced downstairs as the things in our backyard turned like a twister and were sucked up into the air. We listened from the basement as window were shattered by baseball size hail. Every window in the house but two were destroyed. Our living room and dining room and kids room were covered in hail stones and glass and debris from trees outside. Glass was stuck in furniture and outside... it looked as if someone had come through our town with a Machine gun and shot the outside of every house in town.
To see the effects of a Tornado on T.V, to read about it, hear people talking is far different from coming up from your basement and seeing it all in your living room. The reality of what Nature can do leaves one in awe of God's almighty power. Neighbors checked on neighbors, friends on friends and strangers on strangers. Banks without windows, stores wide open from missing windows. Amazing to see that No One was trying to walk away with T.V.'s or food or whatever they could get their hands on for free. This little town of Eldora, with a heart as big as any Metropolis, had only thoughts of how to help one another. that in and of itself says something about the quality of people that we share this town with.
But I want to say this. The emotions that well up inside you when you step out of your basement and see the damage is over-whelming. I can not even dare to imagine what Parkersburg, a town 30 miles from us that was torn into shreds last year by a tornado, could have been feeling. They lost lives and houses and suffered a devastating loss. I sit here today, trying to look through the thick plastic that covers the gaping holes where a window was just 20 hours ago. I look at the floor and carpet and covered still in tiny shards of glass that we will vacuum and vacuum to make it safe for the kids again. I look at the tree branches and leaves that still cover our living room and thank God we are all alive and well.
I step out to my backyard and look at my dog again. My buddy, such a huge beautiful Lab, and wonder if his leg will heal. I feel the knot on his neck where hailstones as big as golf balls and baseballs struck him before he was in the safety off his house. A call to our Insurance company to have them replace our windshield on the Bravada and tail lights and back hatch and windows in the Explorer. Tree's that lay every-where and the next door neighbors house, a tree that 3 men could not wrap their arms around laying on their crushed roof are a common scene here today.
Tears fill my eyes as I think of how truly lucky we were. How blessed that we are safe today and that no one was killed. Someone bigger than you or I hand his hand on this town. A storm, a severe thunderstorm warning... A Tornado. Minutes to get to safety. A minute too slow and it would have been a different blog you were reading today. That is how long we had for a warning of this one. No words written can ever convey to you the feelings of seeing your town, your own house, a place you call safety, destroyed in a matter of 10 minutes. There really are no words.
Today, we will work again, as we did until midnight to clean the debris from the house. Power gone for 12 1/2 hours delayed much of the clean up through the night. And we will smile at our neighbors, friends, family and be thankful we are all alive. No one will be a stranger ever again as we have all shared in a moment that will stay with us forever. Today, as we clear our houses of whatever nature placed inside our homes, we will stop and give thanks for our lives and our homes. Windows are replaceable. Knick-knacs can be re-bought. Nothing lost is un-recoverable. We are here and here, we will stay. Bless each and everyone of you and thank you for your patience with the story. I promise you the ending is coming. ;)
Always, Darrel.

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