Saturday, May 10, 2008

An All-Around Interesting Day

I'm pretty freaked right now. My writing skills will suffer, I'm sure. Bear with me. We just drove through a tornado. No, that's not a joke. Not even a slight exaggeration. We could see it on the other side of the road. We had no place to stop or pull over. No ditches or low places, no culverts, no underpasses, nothing. We had baseball-sized hail smashing our windshield. We couldn't see with all the rain, hail, and blowing leaves. Alex was at home alone, while the rest of us were trying to get home. He had called and let us know the sirens were going off. We were going to stay where we were, but then Alex called back to say the sirens had stopped and everything seemed OK. It was getting stormy where we were, so we decided to start driving towards home, thinking we would be driving away from it. Big, big mistake. BIG. We drove right into it. Tucker was TERRIFIED and crying, asking if we're all going to die. I kept saying we wouldn't; that God would protect us. I must admit, though- I had my doubts. I was trying to stay calm and pray with the kids. It got so scary, that all I could think to say was, "God, please. Please, Jesus. Please." A side window in our van smashed in right behind Bri's head. As the wind and water started blowing in through the window and Bri started to join in the hysteria, Olivia put her hand over Bri's eyes, telling her to just close her eyes and everything will be alright. I've never been so proud of anyone in my life. She stayed totally calm, thinking only about her little sister. What a girl!!! We came up to a driveway and pulled in as our windshield and roof took one hit after another. Darrell got out and went up to the house, and took a major hit on his shoulder from a hailstone (which left a mark about 3 inches across). The elderly couple who lived there let us come in and go down to their basement. Thank God. Very few houses in and around our town have basements. Just the fact that we stopped at one that did is an answered prayer. God was definitely good to us. We're all fine. Shaking and ready to vomit, but fine.

When we got home, Alex was here and safe- another answered prayer. He had tried to get up town to the closest storm shelter, but it wasn't open. He turned around and drove back home right in the middle of this mess. His car was almost swept away in a flooded creek. Oy Vey. It makes my head spin to think what could have happened to him- and to the rest of us- but so, so grateful that we are safe. God heard us, no matter how pitiful and faithless our prayers were, and kept His hands on us. I know He did.

There's a lot of damage aound here and in towns around us. Cars were picked up off the road and flipped over. Roofs picked up off of houses. I'm hearing on the news right now that one death has been officially reported so far. We're hearing from friends that there are more deaths that have not been "officially" reported yet. I cannot believe we were in a van, with our children, right in the middle of it. To say it was scary is an understatement. All three vehicles' windshields are ruined, but who cares? Our house is fine. Most importantly, we are all OK and safe.

I snapped a few shots of our windshields when we got home, but they don't even begin to do justice to the way it really looks.

The missing window...One of the hailstones in our yard...Please pray for all the folks who didn't fare so well. We know people who have missing relatives, and some whose homes are completely destroyed. This is just horrible. We were so incredibly blessed.
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My post this evening was supposed to be about my daughter. Our oldest daughter, Kindra, received her Associate's Degree today. She's hoping to continue on and eventually get her 4 yr. degree, but she's a single, working mom and, as you single moms know, that's a hard, busy life. Throwing school into that mix is an additional strain. We are so proud of her, so I couldn't end this post without posting a pic or two...

Kindra and her proud dad...Darrell, with all nine of our kids and our grandson, Braden (Tucker and Braden did not appreciate the sun in their faces)...

6 comments:

char said...

Wow. That sounds like something out of a movie. I'm so happy to hear your whole family is safe and sound. Yes, God had His hand on you all today. (Actually, it's there all the time, but isn't it nice to see it so evidently?)

Michelle said...

AMEN to that!

Heather & David said...

I am sitting here, reading your blog with my mouth hanging open in crazy disbelief. I am soooo glad taht your entire family is safe. That must have been the scariest moment of your life. Prayers to your family and your neighborhood. And a BIG Congrats to your daughter. That is a HUGE accomplishment.

Miles' Mama said...

Oh my goodness, Michelle, I had tears welling up in my eyes reading your post I could hardly see to finish reading it! HOW SCARY! But wow, God was THERE and protecting you and your family. Amazing. Oh, and Happy Mother's Day to a wonderful mom!!!

Kelly said...

That is so so scary. I am so glad that you are all okay and have said a prayer for those less fortunate. It gives me chills just thinking about it.

Nicki said...

Ok that is just about the scariest thing I have heard of! I would have totally lost it. Your kids are amazing and I am so glad you are all safe, you really are so blessed! Congrats to your daughter!!!!!!!!!!!! An associates degree is something to be VERY proud of!!!