The Spiral Grove

The place for creative updates!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Destiny Thwarts Disaster!

Well, its well past time for an update. On the creative front I have been taking a bit of a break from words and dabbling in paint instead. Having gessoed over a couple of previous efforts I am currently working on a night waterscape. It is coming along. Still much to do, but I am fairly happy with it so far, though I really wish I lived someplace where I could take some art classes and even just hang out with other people who have similar interests.

It has been a really wild couple of weeks on the daily life front. Our 14 year old son built a tree house and in the process managed a good fall and pierced his foot with a rusty nail. It happened on a Wednesday evening and we spent the night in the Emergency Room. He was pretty gimpy for a few days but he will be fine. His injury played a real role the next night when our place was visited by the fury of nature in the form of a Tornado. Living in tornado Alley as we do, I have seen my share of them, but this is the closest I have ever been to one physically. We got a call from a friend saying there was a report of a tornado on the ground in our vicinity and saying the news folks were urging people in the SlapOut area to take cover. So the boys ran to the storm shelter, I had to help Jackson along since he was limping. It was so windy I had to fight to get the door open and to wade through the air to the shelter. By the time I got there 3 boys were already down the steps. When I reached the top of the steps with Jack, Robby yelled "STOP!"

There was a four foot long rattlesnake on the second step of the shelter. The other boys had run right past it. I guess it startled the snake as much as them and it had coiled itself up in the corner of the step. That is when I looked over and saw the funnel. It was indeed on the ground and headed straight for our house. My oldest son used a 2x4 and bashed our reptile friend to death. I shoved Jackson and the baby down the steps and ran back into the house to get my 16 year old daughter who was holed up in her room "disbelieving" that a tornado was coming our way. In the ten years we have lived in Oklahoma we have spend many hours needlessly in storm shelters. Not because there was no tornado, but because it simply didn't hit our particular house. So she was being stubborn and I had to go get her. When we got back outside the Tornado was not touching the ground anymore, it was maybe 20 feet off the ground and quite a bit closer to our house. There was debri flying everywhere, I couldn't hear much for the roar of the storm. By the time I got the cellar door open the Tornado was doing a strange dance and I saw it shift direction, it began moving westward. We spent the next 2 hours in the shelter listening to the hail pounding on the metal door above.

The next morning there were trees down in the road and fields West and South of our house. There was debri all over the fields from the storage buildings and several windows including a window on one of our vehicles were smashed. In addition, the already damaged roof of our house is much worse and the resulting water damage caused part of the kitchen ceiling to fall in.

All in all, it was quite an experience. The power of the storm was very terrifying but it was beautiful too. There was also something almost spiritual that happened to me personally. When I put 5 of my kids in the cellar and saw the storm moving our way I knew there was a good chance it would reach the house before I could get in there and get Geri, but there was no question in my mind that I had to try. When I closed the door I saw my baby's eyes. The thought crossed my mind that I might never see her again and that if I didn't she probably wouldn't even remember me. But it didn't slow me down. I think I was in the house and out again in under a minute. By the grace of God the tornado turned and didn't actually hit the house and the only debri that hit us in transit were some tumbleweeds which, while they stung a bit, didn't do any serious damage.

An experience like this really makes me think about things. It was especially telling for me because about a week before I had had a dream in which my grandmother Louella (who always represents spirituality to me God fearing woman that she is) was warning me of a tornado. I saw it in the dream and the baby was in it's path and the other kids were too far away for me to warn them. In the dream I ran to the baby and put her in the shelter and it ended as I was trying to decide whether to join her in safety, or run for the other kids and risk my life trying to save them in vain. The dream plagued me for a week or so before the real life experience. Now that it is all over there is much to ponder and much to be thankful for. We are certainly very blessed both for our survival and also for the lessons to be learned from such an awe inspiring experience.


  • At 7:56 PM, Blogger Audrey Shaffer said…

    Girl, you HAVE been through it lately! Wow, maybe I should stop complaining about the weather here in Pennsylvania, and just be thankful that we don't get tornados.

    Have you thought that maybe your dream was a good thing? You thought about it for a week, so when it happened, you didn't hesitate. You shoved the kids to safety and ran for your daughter. If you hadn't been thinking "what would I do" for a week, would you have hesitated? And that hesitation could have caused a different outcome.

    I'm thankful that it all turned out ok in the end, and that you are all safe. :)


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