We knew the skies were getting dark that night but that is not unusual. We settled down to watch The Amazing Race. Ed Buckner, a local weatherman, broke in to the show and told us that folks in the ferndale area should take cover. Then we lost internet and power. We ran into the stairwell. Kaitlin grabbed two blankets and her shoes and I grabbed my purse (why? not sure).
The noise we heard was not a train but just a very strange noise. Folks asked us if our ears were popping and the answer is no but probably because Kaitlin and I were singing Be Thou My Vision. That is the only song that I could think of. It wasn't really a duet because neither one of us could sustain a verse because of our tears but together we got through most of the song. It was not lost on us that soon we might be in His vision.
We had charges our phones earlier in the day when we knew the weather could get bad. A very special thank you to all those who texted and called to check on us. Those calls were our lifeline.
When we ventured out of the stairs we noticed that our windows were covered with sticks, mud, pine straw and leaves. We had pine straw stuck in the wood siding on the outside of our house. We didn't have any limbs down that we could see and wondered what had happened. We live up on a ridge and when the trees are leafed out, we are in a tree house.
Then we heard ambulances and chain saws. We saw lots of red tail lights below us on hwy 10 as traffic was at a standstill. We didn't know why at that time.
Carl wanted us to leave right then because more bad weather was headed our way but Kaitlin and I felt the need to stay put. I think at that time we were in shock. With no power, we had a fitful night compounded by me getting a migraine and Kaitlin seeing a mouse in the house!
At 6 the next morning we talked to Carl and he had us a motel room. We grabbed a few things and left.
Nothing prepared us for what we were about to see.
Just below the ridge we are on is one spot the tornado touched as it made it's way through Arkansas. When Kaitlin and I saw the devastation we both burst into tears. We live in a rural area with lots of trees. On either side of the road about 150 trees were either up ended or just gone. The 'just gone' is what is so unnerving. There are 5 houses in the area that was hit. Three have/ had beautiful fences the enclosed their acreage. A small part of the fence was standing, some parts had trees smashed through, some is on the ground and some is just gone. The blue tarps were on roofs when we saw the houses. The houses were all still standing.
We arrived at our motel at 7am. We climbed into bed and turned on The Weather Channel. We dozed on and off all day and were asleep by 8 or maybe 7 that night. Again, a big thank you to all those that called and texted. JanR invited us for supper but we were already in our jammies by 5pm and in bed. Our power was back on about 4 pm.
We were up early and left the motel at 6am and headed home. We were better prepared as we saw the destruction this time.
My friend, Sandy, came over that morning. When she entered our house she was crying. She hugged us and through her tears she kept saying that it was so close, it was so close. Our tears began anew because it was so close. JeffR from church came over that morning too. He swept off our windows, moved downed limbs and with his blower he made the yard look more normal.
As friends call as they drive out our way, the text or the words are always the same- it was so close.
This year my verses to memorize are from Psalm 46- God is our refuge and strength,
a very present[b] help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
these verses take on a whole new meaning now. The only solid rock we have is God. Security in anything but Him is just an illusion.
Yesterday two very kind men from FEMA came by. They gave us their card and asked if we sustained any damage. We said that we hadn't. They commented on the damage so close to us. Yup, it was close!
Here are a few things we have been pondering since April 27-
God is sovereign.
What awesome power is contained in a tornado to do so much destruction.
When we help bring order to the chaos that the tornado brings we are a picture of Christ.
God is sovereign.
All tornado damage is not visible. We carry such minor damage on our insides and I pray for those who have major damage.
I pray for http://www.samaritanspurse.org/ as they minister to those who have lost more than houses and stuff and memories.
|ready to head home after a good nights sleep in our motel|
Bad weather is predicted in AR today. I would be lying if I didn't say that I have a sinking feeling in my tummy. I plan to sing hymns today as I wear my bicycle helmet around the house. The hymns help my insides and the helmet helps me with the illusion that I am safer wearing it. I will also set aside time to pray for those who lost things that can never be replaced and count my blessings.
You count yours too today because we never know...