Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Too Close For Comfort

By now, most everyone has either seen the news or read about the tornadoes that ripped through Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee last night.

Kevin and I sat riveted to the television screen as the first killer tornado fired up in central Arkansas. We watched as it followed the road down the hill—really only about 3 miles away as the crow flies. We got our bug-out bags together and put them in the closet, along with his wallet and my purse and extra drinking water. We didn’t know how close this one was going to come. We watched the weather. Thankfully, Channel 4 (KARK) never went to regular programming and stayed with the weather until it was no longer a threat.

The rain poured from the sky and as darkness took over light, the sky lit up with shards of lightening. Thunder followed, but that was as bad as it got—here.

The tornado stayed on the ground and made its way into Clinton. Then continued to the next town and then the next. Over a hundred miles of devastation.

Next, came worrying about the kids. We have both a son and a daughter that live or work in the area. And then, there was Zayden - our precious grandson. I paced the floor for hours while waiting for word - finally we heard daughter dumpling and grandson were fine. Sigh of relief.

This morning, the news showed us how lucky we had been. The boat factory, where Kevin and I met, worked together and fell in love, is gone. What they showed on the news was nothing short of unbelievable. Yet, I know it’s true. Almost a dozen people tried to find shelter inside the offices, most escaped with cuts and bruises, some were more seriously injured and one young man lost his life.

On the news, I see across the road to where the dentist’s office once stood. A building made of solid stone; gone. As was the little clubhouse at the golf course where I used to occasionally walk across the road to buy lunch. Not a trace.

In the end, over seventy homes are damaged or destroyed and three people in the county have lost their lives.

Son child finally called this afternoon - he's okay too.

It all just serves to remind me how temporary we, on this earth, really are.

Today, before Kevin left for work, we walked outside. Our purpose—to decide where to build a storm shelter. We know the closet is no protection for something like this. It's time to get serious.

Then we took a walk around the property. We found shingles, we found metal, glass and wood shards; every bit debris from who knows where but, all signs of just how close that tornado came to us.

Today, we feel blessed.

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