I received a number of emails today regarding the tornado (and now we have learned it was two tornadoes) that hit our area in the middle of the night on Sunday morning. Thanks for your concern! We're okay, and by God's grace there were no deaths and only 3 minor injuries as a result of the weather. The two tornadoes were literally unpredictable and the sirens in our area of town did not go off until several minutes after we'd been in the basement and the storm was already past us.
The roar of a tornado that we've now learned was within a few hundred feet of our home had us running to our children to get them into the basement. We are pretty sure that we did not get in the basement before the storm was past us, which is scary enough, but thankfully not something we have to regret because there is literally not one shingle missing off our home. And we do not have trees, otherwise we'd be cleaning up some major limbs. Our neighbors across the street were not as lucky -- there is roof damage on more homes around us than we initially thought, and our 20+ year old neighborhood will certainly not look the same without the trees that we've lost. Nearly every family in the neighborhood lost at least 1 tree. It was devastating, but could have been SO much worse.
When we lived in the country, I was always terrified that I would not have enough warning to get the kids in the basement because we ALWAYS lost power during storms. And I just knew it would happen during the night. It is so ironic that exactly what I always feared there has happened in a highly populated area, and we once again lost power and had absolutely no warning.
I've learned one thing...and maybe learned isn't the right word. This is something that I've believed for all of my life, and this storm has just confirmed my intuition. As a child, I used to ask my parents if I could sleep in the basement when severe weather was coming. Sometimes they gave in, but usually they said I didn't need to worry. Who can blame them? I said that last night to my daughter (and she has every right to be terrified). And there were times when we lived in the country that, because of our situation (our kids slept on the 2nd floor, and the master bedroom was on the main floor, and my husband was gone 100 nights a year), I would put our children to sleep in sleeping bags in the basement or in bed with me so they were close. My entire life, I have believed that you cannot count on others to warn you when a storm is coming. It's your responsibility to pay attention and be aware. There is no law that states that you must wait for a tornado warning to head for cover. We were not in a tornado warning until the tornadoes were over. I will ALWAYS follow my gut feeling in the future and not worry about what others think of my choices. My family is my responsibility, and I will never put them in harms way simply because everyone else thinks that it is silly to be aware that severe weather is on the way. We have a saying in Nebraska...."If you don't like the weather, wait a minute and it will change." It is true true true.
Okay -- I'm off my soap box. Thank you so much for the concerned emails. We are so blessed, and just feel like God must have surrounded our home (and the homes of our family members) with a bubble of safety. Please please PLEASE pray for the members of our community whose homes are uninhabitable, and who have so much loss facing them. And with the recent rash of severe weather has come torrential rain. Flooding is a major problem in parts of our state, as well as in Iowa (where I have many family members) and other states in the Midwest. Please keep these people in your prayers.
I've been busy working on lots of projects, and hope to get them posted this week!