Friday, May 17, 2013

and yet, again...

Texas has received a wicked blow of bad luck…

Preface:

When My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I built our home thirteen years ago, we wanted a “Tornado/Safe Room.” MSH ordered plans for one from Texas Tech University. (BTW: Our builder was not exactly thrilled. It’s a tidbit of a hassle to construct a Tornado Room the way they recommend.) Lubbock, where the University is located, is plagued with tornados. In fact, Lubbock is located in what is called “Tornado Alley”an area that includes the Panhandle of Texas and several other states. Tech’s Scientists have studied tornadoes for many decades. They came up with a way to provide protection for you and your family if your home is under seige and being attacked by a tornado.  A requirement for this protection, however, is this: one must be actually and physically be IN said room. Hmmm...

This past Wednesday evening, MSH and I were watching a storm from our front porch. (Hence, we weren’t in the Safe Room. Sigh.) Most of Texas is still in a horrific draught. We cherish cloudy skies. It’s just so true. In the midst of this storm, we had golfball-sized hail. Something MSH and I have not had since we moved to our place thirteen years ago. Actually, something we've never even actually seen. Listening to the sound of those stones on our metal roof? Daunting. Frightening. Downright disturbing. And yet, there we stayed. Outside. On the porch.

From our frontporch...
the horizon is 30 miles away.
I think seeing the rainbow somehow
made MSH and I forget there
was still potential danger...and the
white "funnel" looking cloud?
We wonder if that was a tornado...

There were other hailstones
as big as this golfball,
but we'd have had to walk further out
into the rain to get them...

As we watched the swirling, yet amazing, clouds, taking pictures and marveling at the sheer power of Mother Nature, MSH commented: “There it goes. Right to Granbury.” TLC and I have talked about Granbury in the pastAs the crow flies, MSH and I are about 25 miles from the western outskirts of this charming town.

Here is the last picture I took from the porch (it's looking south/southeast):

From the guest room side of our front porch..
The contrast of the gorgeous blue sky
with the huge white, ominous cloud
makes the evening's upcoming events even more gut-wrenching...

Eventually, we went back in to park ourselves on the couch. The TV was calling.  (And Teddy Buddy Boo Bear was almost catatonic. He's extremely afraid of bad weather. Bless his heart.) MSH perched his iPad on his lap—to monitor several weather radar sites. He fancies himself an amateur weatherperson.  I was in constant touch with TLC—by text messages—as the weather for all of North Central Texas was getting more serious by the minute.

I don’t know the exact time the tornado hit Granbury—approximately 7:20ish?—but it did. In a vicious and evil way. It killed six people. Injured dozens. Caused pets to be separated from their owners. Hundreds of pets. Destroyed hundreds of homes. I’m not sure if it was the same tornado that hit the town of Cleburne, Texas, because we’ve been told there were twelve separate tornadoes that touched down that evening. The Cleburne tornado was a mile wide. A MILE. No one was even seriously hurt—but the damage was incredible.

And here’s something that struck me Wednesday night during all the confusion and fear: Autumn, who grew up in West, Texas, lives in Granbury (as you know from another previous post). As I checked with her to make certain they were safe, she told me they had baseball-sized hail. BASEBALL. Wwwhhhhaaaaatttttt? She, Clooney and Princess Kate were fine (her Hubby was out of town but on his way home). I think she'll gladly pass on any future trauma. For the first time in my 59 years on this Earth, I heard a weatherman talk about bowlingball-sized hail. Please say it ain’t so. For us, pea-sized is entirely too big. BOWLING BALL? Shiver. Shudder. Shake. I'll leave off the last "Sh" word that comes to my mind. I know you know what it is. Say it LOUDLY and with conviction.

As I type this, I get teary. Again. I can’t imagine the pain and suffering the families, who have lost loved ones and/or their pets and/or their homes and vehicles, are experiencing. I can’t imagine losing every single thing you’ve ever had—everything—in a matter of minutes. Gone. Forever. Over and over and over, on the news, these shattered folks tell us how grateful they are to be alive. I have no doubt they mean this. Still...

And, once again, I would ask anyone reading this post to please say a prayer for the people of Granbury, Cleburne and Texas. I promise you, they will appreciate it.

It’s been a rough year. It’s just May.

Thank you…

Have a SAFE weekend wherever in the World you are, Friends…

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