Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday and Tornado's

Some days are easier to get started than others. Today is not one of those. Today I would so love to go back to bed and snuggle down for another hour or two. Not happenin'! Today is a busy one and I must get going.

I was noticing yesterday, even though the wind was rather strong and apparently out of the N  for a bit....it really didn't matter. It was for the most part sunny and spring and somehow the spring fact alone makes everything seem all better. Even with the storms that happened over the weekend which caused a lot of damage from the hail....you really didn't hear people complain too much. I think it is because everyone has awaited spring so much and for what seems like so long, that they will take it in any form they can get it. If that means spring storms sprinkled with baseball size hail....then so be it!

Speaking of storms.....Saturday when I went to pick Z up from his music competition in Andover....I drove right past the trailer park which was destroyed in the April 26, 1991 tornado. I still remember that night and the day leading up to it like it was yesterday. Few days since have had the feeling in the air that day had. For an April day it was a mixture of a haze in the sky and hair drenching humidity. I went to get my hair done that day and before I even walked out of the salon, my hair was just  a big wet humid mess. I remember when driving it seemed like everyone was on edge and distracted as people would weave in and out and cut me off. Everyone was sweat wrapped and irritable to the point of excitability and I remember as I tried to do the things I needed to that day.....I had real difficulty staying focused.There was something in the air....something exciting and stirring, and later we would find out......extremely deadly.....and everyone seemed to be feeling it. 

That evening.....my then boyfriend and I had plans to go to Andover. He had friends out that way and we were going to visit. He, like me was on edge as we left. We knew there were storms all around, but he was not afraid of storms.....and at the time, I was in love enough with him....that I wasn't afraid of anything when I was with him. So off we went. As we drove towards Andover.....we listened to the weather. The storms were getting worse and then as we got closer....suddenly there was this wall of clouds traveling right next to us on our right. It was mesmerizing since I had never seen such a thing. It was gray and dust red and looked like a picture you might see in some 1950's biblical movie. I had no idea that what I was seeing was the wall cloud that was the tornado which would wipe out half a town and kill many. There is a lot to be said for being young and too stupid to be scared. Had I known then what I was actually seeing and what the potential would have been for that cloud to turn on us at any moment.....I would likely have freaked out, but as I said.....I was with someone who I felt protected with.....and I had no idea what I was looking at, nor the power that it held behind that wall.

When we finally got to Andover......the tornado had just bulldozed through. We were in the outlying area that was sprinkled with farm land and farm homes. What lay before our eyes was unbelievable. Debris was everywhere and there were washers, sinks, clothes, tools, and assorted other items just laying in the fields and on the road. One thing I will never forget was seeing a huge old tree with a blue blanket literally shoved through the trunk. It was like a threaded needle only the tree trunk was the needle eye and the blanket was the thread.

As we got to his friends house....the family was in obvious shock. No one knew what to do or say. They had a brand new steel barn on their property and an old rickety shed which sat about 100 feet from the new structure. The new barn lay in total rubble with steel being tossed about and even bent like it was nothing at all and yet the old shed still stood with not a board or nail touched. The house had also been spared but their neighbors across the road had not been so fortunate. Apparently much of the debris we had seen had been from their house.

We began trying to salvage stuff from the barn and for the neighbors when another storm had begun to build and turned the skies dark again. This one brought on an electrical extravaganza....the likes I had never seen before. All around us lightening hit the ground in huge streaks followed by earth moving growls of thunder. Then a deluge of rain hit. Our property retrieval ended and we took cover. Before long we got word that in the town of Andover there was devastation and they needed help badly. We drove in to town to see what we could do. What we saw was like something out of a disaster film. First of all it was dark and the after storms continued to rage on. There were no longer landmarks such as buildings or street signs. All that seemed to lay for miles was rubble. The darkness was illuminated by police, ambulance and fire lights. Huge spot lights had been set up to make searching easier and all the while the lightening flashed as if to say.....the storms may not be done with all of you yet. 

In the midst of the illuminated darkness.....you could hear voices. Some were commanding.....giving direction and orders. Other voices were muffled yells of people who were disoriented, in shock and who had no idea where loved ones, pets and even entire homes were. Finally there were the sounds of pain. Literal yells of distress and cries for  help from those who were either stuck in the rubble or those searching and finding victims in the mess that used to be stores, homes and various other buildings. It was a nightmare!

We did what we could that night. We helped to shuttle people from the disaster to a Red Cross shelter. We consoled some and cried with some, but no matter what we did....it just seemed like it could never possibly be enough. We were amongst devastation, loss and death and I for one had never seen any of that before. To this day.....that night stays embedded in my brain. And driving past that trailer park on Saturday brought it all back. Making it more real is the fact that we are just a few days from the 20th Anniversary of this life altering event which killed 24 people, injured many many more and wiped out business and homes and destroyed property all over Andover. My heart still breaks for those whose lives were damaged and destroyed that night and I pray that although spring is here with all its beauty that we don't end up seeing its dark and dangerous side this year. A little thunder and a little hail I can deal with....but spring.....please spare us your destruction.

Your Photo Here.............(Day 21)

Little Green!

Well, you have seen where the magic (my blogging of course) happens (my red recliner). Today you get to see what it happens on! This is my little green Dell laptop. Every morning.....this is what I share my first waking hour with. Just me and Little Green.

If not for some wonderful and generous friends of mine.....all this verbiage might not be up for your daily read. Last year my little pawn shop purchased Toshiba was on it's last leg. Due to age and I am sure previous ownership....it was starting to take it's last breaths of life. Even the various attempts at computer CPR were starting to be less and less effective, but I was going to hang on until my poor little machine had typed it's last letter.

Then miraculously and much to my surprise....a friend phoned me and asked me my favorite color and then told me to be watching for a surprise to be shipped to me. Low and behold....Little Green was that surprise. I am sure they had no idea just how much use I would get from this little guy or how often they were going to be inundated with blogs from him and I. J and E....I can never thank you enough for this computer and the hours of mental health it has given me. Thanks just really don't seem like enough....but it is all I have. That and lots and lots of blogs! Thank you!

And thank all of you who stopped by to share my daily droning. Hope Tuesday treats you well!

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