When nature shows no mercy

Hubby and I used to live in “Tornado Alley” first in Oklahoma for a few years and then several more residing in the Midwest.

In both areas, tornado watches and warnings are common occurrences in the spring.  Middle daughter is still a little fearful of violent storms because of it.

So the recent rash of relentless twisters that ripped their way through the south brought those memories back to me today.  Our oldest daughter lives in one of the states hardest hit by a tornado resulting in much destruction and the loss of human life.

A twister touched down in her city a few miles from her.  Hubby and I were relieved to get her text message last evening announcing she and her roommate were safe and sound in their apartment, without power and for a while no cell phone service, but safe!

What a relief!  But yet this morning, I still felt the edge of anxiety and concern over her well-being and again was reassured when I spoke with her by phone at her place of work.

She had witnessed some debris raining from the sky into her apartment complex parking lot and she and roomie headed to the inside bathroom (the safest place in your home during a tornado if you have no basement or storm cellar) wearing their bike helmets. They are smart young women.

So many others were not as fortunate.  As hubby and I perused photos online of the devastation and read about the death toll, tears welled up in my eyes.   My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones and also to those who lost their homes and everything in it.

I can imagine their grief because I’ve witnessed first-hand the damage ferocious tornadoes wreak and those sights I saw are permanently etched into my mind – sights I will never forget as long as I live.

When hubby and I were a young married couple, we lived in Oklahoma where he served in the military.  There I actually experienced a twister’s fury.  Since then, I often can feel the air’s ripeness for a tornado.  There’s something about the air density, pressure and  stillness I sense just before a fierce funnel cloud twirls through.

I don’t know all the scientific data about that, but I can tell when a tornado watch is looming.   I often amazed friends in the Midwest when I would suddenly announce, “We’re going to have a tornado watch/warning today” and sure enough, the TV weatherman would verify what I felt.

But back to my Oklahoma story – I had no clue what a tornado’s fury was like back then.  That strange day in April, I drove home from work through a wild thunder/hail storm and my car radio warned me there were funnel clouds sighted and evidently touching down in the Texas town across the border.  And they were headed in our direction.

I scurried into our apartment, scared and worried because hubby was scheduled for all night duty at the military post and would not be home that night.   Turning on the TV, I  learned the funnel cloud definitely was heading towards our end of town.  Our apartment faced south – from where the tornado was coming!

I opened the windows a little because I had heard that windows implode inward on you from the force of the twister.   And when the TV person shouted to take cover immediately, I found sanctuary in my walk-in closet.  Our cat refused to stay with me,  instead she perched on the window sill facing south.

In a flash, she jumped off the sill and darted into the closet with me.  And that’s when I heard it – a deafening roar like I have never heard before.  The windows shook and I buried my head in a pile of laundry believing my life was coming to an end.  I prayed that God might spare me or if I died my body would be found quickly in the rubble and my husband and parents would be comforted.

And then there was silence.  I was afraid to move, so I just sat in the closet, clinging to my cat and waited.  How long I do not remember.  But I was safe and others were not.  TV news reported that three people lost their lives in our area, but the real devastation was in the Texas town where three funnel clouds joined together to form a monster tornado which cut a mile wide path many miles long.

I worked at a daily newspaper, not as a ‘hard news’ reporter but one of the ‘fluff’ people –reporting human interest type stories.   The next day at work, I was shocked when a tenant at my complex, who had been brave enough (or stupid) to take a picture of the twister, brought it to the paper in hopes of getting it printed.

The funnel cloud had sped across the wheat field adjacent to our apartment dropping debris as it went.  My home was in its direct path and that photo showed the tornado lifting up into the air over our apartment building (and over me).

Later, I traveled with my fellow news reporters and photographers to the Texas town demolished by the furious twister.  It looked like a war zone.  I cried the entire time in that car full of reporters who were shocked into silence as we drove through areas where emergency workers allowed us.

Where once tree-lined housing subdivisions had been, there was nothing left.  Nothing.  In some areas, a lonely toilet stood but absolutely nothing else.  In other areas, mangled, twisted hunks of unidentifiable materials – pieces of cars, trucks, buildings – were strewn everywhere.

I read hand written signs, fashioned out of a piece of wall or whatever was left and propped up where once a home stood, declaring, “We’re ok!”  “Lost everything, but alive!”  “Please call [number] if you’ve seen [person’s name].”

I have never, ever forgotten neither those sights nor the grief I felt that day for all those people who lost everything.

We take so much for granted and in one moment, it can all be blown away with the wind.  Today is Page 28, Chapter 4, in my book of Opportunity and I pray fervently for those who suffered such loss because of this violent weather system.  And I am full of gratitude that my loved one was kept safe from its fierce wrath.

P.S.  For those of you who would like to help tornado victims in need, I highly recommend donating to Samaritan’s Purse – http://www.samaritanspurse.org

© 2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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191 responses

    • I don’t know how people bear such devastation, but those of us who are blessed must help those who suffer. Oldest daughter says entire communities are gone and she realized the tornado hit about 6 or 7 miles from her.

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    • Thanks for reading, Mikalee. Keep praying for those affected by these killer twisters. I’m encouraging everyone to send donations to organizations that can help the victims – Samaritan’s Purse and Red Cross are two that come to my mind.

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  1. All the news of damage and loss of life has been breaking my heart too. Smart daughter of yours to wear a bike helmet! I wouldn’t have thought of that! I know what you mean about “feeling” when a tornado is coming… only I get that with earthquakes.

    I grew up in Southern California near the San Jacinto mountains where small earthquakes on the many faults in the area are frequent. My mom and I have always said that we can feel when its “earthquake weather”, and more often than not, when one of us gets that feeling a larger earthquake seems to show up. Not sure if we’re willing it to happen or if we’re actually sensing earthquake weather!

    Sending lots of positive thoughts eastward from Southern California.

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    • Guess I taught her “tornado safety” well! 😉 Actually, her roommate (who is a MD) thought of it. Oh, earthquakes….they are so very frightening too. When we lived in the Pacific Northwest, we had a slight one, which only lasted a few seconds but scared the ever loving daylights out of me, although our son slept through it! Glad to hear someone else can “feel” the strange weather looming.

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  2. I am not really used to these Tornado sirens/watches, since I am not originally from the US. However I now do live in GA, and the past few weeks have been very frightening. We had sirens two weeks ago, and even 2 days ago we had a huge thunderstorm. However, no damage to any houses or people nearby as far as I know. I really can’t imagine how do people here are so brave!

    I’m glad your family is safe. Congrats on FP!

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    • Sometimes the sirens scare you as much as the impending storm! I know that after living in “tornado alley” for so many years, people start to get a little complacent about the sirens, but I wouldn’t recommend that! Better safe than sorry is my motto. That’s why my kids remember many times when we headed to our basement when the sirens sounded. Thanks for stopping by and stay safe down there in the South!

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  3. Thank you so much for your post. I live in Tennessee, and the 98′ tornado that rolled thru downtown Nashville is still fresh in my memory. Out-of-towners don’t understand our massive weather coverage during these storms; but they definitely save lives. Congratulations on FP!

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    • Oh Ashley, I understand. The sights left behind from tornadoes are permanently etched in our minds. You’re so right, people who haven’t experienced the ferocity of these storms don’t understand. Aren’t we fortunate to have such a good National Weather Service? And thanks! Getting freshly pressed was a shock. (A nice one though!)

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  4. I really liked your post – we live in central Texas. We are subject to volitile storms but not many tornadoes – for some reason they skirt us. (Thank you God.) We live just south of Jarrell – which was almost wiped off the map some time ago and 27 people lost their lives to an F5 tornado. That afternoon – you could almost smell the evil in the air – you knew something bad was going to come – you just didn’t know when and where. I know that sounds a little odd…but I remember commenting to a co-worker. Something in the air “doesn’t smell right.” Prayers to those in need.

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    • Judy, how blessed your area is that tornadoes pass you by, especially in Texas! I know exactly what you mean when you say you can smell the evil in the air when a twister is coming through. You smell it, I can feel it. Keep praying! 🙂 And thanks for the comment. God bless!

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  5. It seems as though Mother Nature is turning on everyone these days! From tsnamis to hurricanes to tornados. We can only hope that things will settle and pray for those who are not as lucky. Lovely post.

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  6. My family has been avidly watching the news reports on all the tornadoes. We live in SE Michigan and are usually spared from the violent storms experienced to the south of us. We feel for everyone who has been touched by the devastation of these storm systems.God Bless and keep the faith.

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    • For awhile it seemed the South’s tornado devastation was overshadowed on the news by the Royal Wedding. So it encourages me to see that people are responding and that they care about our fellow Americans who are suffering from this overwhelming loss. Thanks, Kate!

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    • Yes, sir, I saw that on the news. Having lived in the Midwest for many years and having several friends there, your weather is always on my radar screen. Glad to hear you and your home were not affected. Stay safe out there!

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  7. I just want to thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so happy and thankful that your daughter and her friend are alive and well.

    I’m also thankful that the tornado by passed my home, but many other neighborhoods closer to mine weren’t as blessed as we were. I’m smack dab in the middle of it all. I live in Ensley, Alabama so close to Pratt City, Pleasant Groove, and the Hueytown Area.

    I think that this time is such a precious time in our lives; that we all need to pray harder and love even harder than before. You just never know when your time is up, and by then it will be too late to share you feelings and thoughts to your family and friends. Thanks again for Sharing and congrats on being FP 🙂

    With love,

    Nesha

    http://anubianqueen.wordpress.com

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    • Nesha, I am happy to hear that the tornado bypassed you and your home! It’s frightening to be in the midst of it, isn’t it? I know my daughter has been profoundly affected by seeing the destruction so near to her as well. You are absolutely right, the time to let others know how much you love them is now. Tomorrow may be too late. Thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts as well. May God bless you and all those you love!

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  8. I lived with my husband in Missouri last year and experienced the fear of wondering if a tornado would be touching down where I stood. It didn’t help that we lived on the third floor as well, so I have to admit, now that I am safely out of tornado alley, I didn’t pay much attention to the the devastation they were causing these past few days. I finally watched the news last night and couldn’t believe all that the people were going through. I am praying for all those effected by them.

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    • This particular string of storms was very potent. Even though I’ve seen the havoc twisters wreak, what I saw back then pales in comparison to this. Please continue to keep those who are suffering in your prayers. Thank you for reading and commenting too!

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  9. How crazy!!! I feel lucky to be from NY where twisters are not even a likely occurence. However, I do wish I could witness one so that I could marvel at the power of nature in the form of a twister.

    1Ldroppout.wordpress.com

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  10. Great read! I thought that was pretty emotional, personally. I was in North Carolina during the outbreak of tornadoes. I was kayaking to Wilmington from Raleigh trying to raise money for Duke Children’s Hospital when I saw the tornado coming over the tops of the trees. I had taken shelter under a bridge just before the storm had gotten real bad, but I found out later that bridges aren’t safe places to be in tornadoes. This thing came no more than 100 yards from me. It was the one that destroyed the Lowes in Sanford and went directly through downtown Raleigh. I can honestly say that I will never have a rush like that again!

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    • Wow! First let me say bless your heart for raising funds for Duke Children’s Hospital – such a worthy cause! Next, good grief! That was a really close call for you! And under a bridge (shakes head)….hopefully, there will never be a next time for you, but if there ever is, lie down in a ditch (the lowest point you can find), cover your head and pray. 🙂

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  11. Thank you. I am from Ireland. We do not get them here. But from your story it sounds like a most horrifying experience to have to go through. I will pray for those tonight who are troubled by such disasters and their loved ones.

    Slan agus go raibh maith agat ( irish for: Good bye and thank you very much. )

    Stephen

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  12. M.E.N.–I thought about your daughter when I was watching the Weather Channel all night. So thrilled to hear she’s okay. And how brilliant to wear helmets.

    We, too, lived in the midwest and it seems as if the air just turns–strange. A different strain of color and thickness, or something.

    God bless to you all!

    Love, Reeling

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    • Thanks for thinking of my daughter, my friend! I too thought about your son. Yep, that’s it exactly, there’s a weird feeling in the air when tornado season comes. I didn’t know you lived in the Midwest too! We’re going to have to explore this similarity soon!

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  13. I’m glad that your daughter was not effected by the tornadoes that swept through her area. As someone who’s lived their whole life in “Tornado Alley” (even if only the northern portion of it), I’ve seen the damage these storms can do, and almost ended up a fatality myself as a child. Folks who have not seen this, who’ve never been through a tornado, can never really grasp what they’re like. I personally get more than a little nervous when the announcement comes that my town is under a watch, and have never been able to fathom the thinking of the folks who drive around looking to get close to these killer storms. To me, the further I am away from them, the better! Thanks for posting the story and I hope your daughter soon has her power back.

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    • Thank you so much! I agree that many people do not grasp the power a tornado has and don’t have a healthy fear of its wrath. Tornadoes are not the norm here where I live now, but we have had them barrel their way through our area. We were actually under a tornado watch the same day the South was hit so hard. I’m with you, the further away they are, the better!

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  14. Beautiful post. So glad your daughter made it through and will join you in praying for those who are hurting so much right now.

    The idea of tornadoes has terrified me ever since I saw “The Wizard of Oz” when I was a kid. I’m a Californian–so no twisters here, but things do shake, rattle, and roll from time-to-time.

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    • Maureen, thank you for your kind thoughts. Funny story, even though my middle daughter has always been terrified of violent storms and tornadoes, she loved “The Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy was right though, “There’s no place like home,” even if it’s in tornado alley or earthquake central. 😉 At least with a tornado, there usually is some kind of warning, that shake, rattle and roll happens without warning. (Experienced a small quake while living in the Pacific Northwest.)

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  15. Amazing. I live in earthquake country, and tornadoes scare the living bejeezus out of ME. They are the sort of thing that, if you had never heard of them and didn’t know they existed, and I described one to you — “There’s this form of weather see, that’s maybe about fifty yards wide, drops out of the sky like a big hose, spins at 300 miles an hour, and eats your house” — you’d call me a liar.

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  16. I love your insights about the bathroom being the best place, yet you went into the closet…I wouldn’t go into the bathroom of my 2br house with no basement nor storm cellar(no way I’m doing the crawl space!); I would do the linen or coat/laundry closet too! I really FEEL your “tornadar”…great description, “density of the air, stillness, pressure…”
    We all live at the behest of “Mother” nature, and the more we screw it up/take it 4 granted, the fiercer these events become.
    I always joke, “if one comes to me, I’ll end up flying with Dorothy” (Wizard of Oz)
    Kudos on a timely freshly pressed achievement.

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    • Yeah, it sounds like I didn’t make sense by taking cover in the closet instead of the bathroom, but the bathroom had an outside wall and the closet was in the center of my apartment, so it seemed to be the safest place. Thanks for the kudos!

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    • I’m pleased I was able to give readers a realistic impression of what a tornado is like and the power it has, especially for those of you fortunate ones who don’t have to worry about experiencing one. So glad you stopped by my blog, thanks!

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  17. I grew up near Peoria IL. Had a tornado hit about a mile from our mobile home. Turned on the radio to hear them tell us to take cover. Would have been too late by then.
    Now live in the Chicago area not many bad storms but the farther away you get from the city they will mostly hit out there. The lake or the big city seem to keep them away. But the burbs are not immune.
    Congrats on being FP!

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  18. I’ve seen funnel clouds, but I’ve been in hurricanes and earthquakes–than anything else.

    Still, anything that rocks your house, shakes it furiously, or blows 75mph winds all around you…?

    SHOULD BE RESPECTED.

    Tornadoes? CHASED. :0)

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  19. I live in Ohio and we get tornado warnings frequently – lately, we have been getting tornado touchdowns. Yes, you are right that you can tell when the atmosphere is ripe for a tornado. The traffic lights even give off an eerie glow. There is a friction in the air. You just KNOW.

    I cried when I saw some of the footage from the tornadoes that hit the south and for the families that lost loved ones.

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    • Glad someone else understands what I mean by just ‘feeling’ a tornado is on its way. The pictures moved me to tears as well. It’s so easy to get immersed in our own problems, but when we see the suffering of others in this way, we realize our problems don’t even compare. Thank you for your comment.

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      • That night was terrifying. I had been watching the Weather Channel, and they started talking about rotation near Beckley, WV that was heading towards “Meadow Bridge” and all viewers in that viewing area need to take cover. My sister lives there. I was texting her back and forth with updates, but frozen with fear as I watched on the Weather Channel the rest of that storm head towards the WV mountains. They rarely get tornadoes there.

        And you are correct when you say there is an electricity in the air beforehand. I do enjoy what I jave read of your blog so far. I apologize that mine thus far is documenting a group of adults who are stalking me and others online and off. I am fearful of putting too much about my personal life out here because they sit around all day researching aka stalking.

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  20. I’ve never experienced or seen a tornado my whole life. I live in a condo in the city (Manila, Philippines) and my worst experiences of mother nature’s wrath were in the form of earthquake and flood. Both were extremely terrifying. The time the earthquake happened, I was asleep and my mom just woke me up to run downstairs (we had to run from the 29th floor all the way to the ground floor). That was the only time I have seen so many people rushing down the fire exit. I even remember someone having only a towel on. My experience with flood on the other hand was when typhoon ondoy (Ketsana) hit the country. My schoolmates and I were stranded in school for the night and even the day after the height of typhoon ketsana, a lot or streets and roads still weren’t passable. I guess, these experiences of mine just like yours really gives perspective on how powerless we are against nature.

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    • I am so sorry for the scary circumstances you’ve encountered but glad to hear you survived them! Going through these events gives us a new perspective on life here on earth though, doesn’t it? That’s why I place my faith in God. Thanks for sharing your story!

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  21. Thankful that you are safe and sound from these disasters. However, we have to also look at the other face of nature of its benevolence without asking for anything in return. Thanks for the nice post.

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  22. Pingback: Tornado Watch | Shantara Acres Farm

  23. The recent spread of the tornado’s brought back memories for me as a 1st Grader (and my military bratt days) huddled on the floor of the Elementary School hallway feeling the ground shake violently. I can’t say I miss Mobile, Alabama much for that reasons. It’s why I’m on heightened alert every time a strong storm comes.

    Nicely written and I am very glad your daughter is safe!

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  24. What a scary experience that makes you appreciate life and all that you have. Thanks for sharing. I live up in North Texas and we’ve had lots of tornado warnings/sirens go off since I moved here. I hope to never see a tornado! I have a friend in Alabama whose mom had her house collapse around her during that Birmingham tornado. Luckily she is alive with a few injuries. Her husband’s parents lost their house too.

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    • I hope you never see a tornado either, but you are in ‘tornado alley’ so stay safe every time you hear those sirens! I’m so very sorry to hear about your friends who lost their homes, but thankfully they survived! I hope this post touches many people who will respond to the need to send aid to the disaster victims. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  25. My heart goes out to all of the families who lost a love one. I hope that the country can come together to bring aid and assurance to the victims of this disater. I am also happy to hear that your daughter is safe, thank God!

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    • My prayer exactly, baggedemotions, is that the rest of us, who are unaffected and safe, can and will send tons of aid to them. And yes, I am so very thankful to God that my daughter (and her friends) are all safe. Thanks for stopping by!

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  26. Greetiigs kindred spirit,
    I stood in my yard a few days ago as funnel clouds toured by Baltimore and felt the familiar pull in my ears and release when I swallowed. They are so beautiful and so devastating.
    We lived in Minnesota for several years with 6 little ones and tornadoes were common.
    It is amazing what can become a normal part of your life. “Down to the cellar kids a tornado is coming.”It was an adventure.
    Few months ago driving to Harrisburg with little grandson I saw the familiar dirty ground to cloud mess moving to cross the highway ahead. I said to daughter Rose, also with me, damn if that isn’t a tornado we have to change direction. She said, “There aren’t any tornadoes in Maryland.” I pulled on to the median as the cloud crossed half a mile away buffeting the car and throwing dirt and garbage. I could only think, I wish I was alone in the car. I can’t run and carry the baby.
    The people in Alabama, people were lost but so many stories of survival coming out.God should just look after them all especially now in their hard times.

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    • Thank you for sharing your story! So many of us have tornado tales that should make us grateful for each day we are given. Even here in my home state, we have not been immune to tornado touchdowns and a weather phenomenon called micro bursts. For the South, I believe God has already been at work bringing His comfort and peace through those who respond to aid the suffering.

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  27. I was relieved to know about the safety of your family but some are not as lucky as you and your family were, Japan for example, i feel how small is our stature in front of nature-so untamed, so violent yet so beautiful.

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    • So true, we must not forget those in Japan who are still trying to recover. Even if we aren’t able to send monetary aid to disaster victims, we can still pray for them. I am constantly amazed at how small we human beings are and also how fragile compared to the majesties of God’s creation. Thanks for reminding me once again!

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  28. If we are learning anything from the The devastation that has invaded our world in the last while, it is this: We must be grateful for what we DO have. There will always be stressful days that require balancing acts and sacrifices. But at some point, you get through it. Somehow, you find the strength to break down the barriers and overcome certain daily frustrations and somehow when we look at the victims of such tragedy our “daily disaters” just don’t seem so important.

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  29. Dear “Moma”,
    Thank you for reminding me of the many ways I felt as a kiddo. I remember those “heavy” feeling days when you just knew something was coming. I’ve lived in the Midwest all my life. I know when rain is coming and know when it will have a bit more excitement than just rain. I often smell rain before anyone else. They think I’m nuts.
    Currently we live near St. Louis where tornadoes hit pretty good a week or so ago. We are fine but the reality of it all is close to home.
    Thank you for your desire to encourage from a Godly perspective. I too have a blog on wordpress. I’d love to have you visit. strength2rise.wordpress.com. I plan to link to yours, so that I can get your latest. Have a wonderful May Day Sunday!

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    • Dear Jan,
      Enjoyed reading your comment. 🙂 I’m glad to hear the recent tornadoes spared you. I’ve been through St. Louis more times than I can count; the Midwest always has a special place in my heart. No, you’re definitely not nuts. Some of us I think are just more affected by weather. I know I get headaches when the barometric pressure changes significantly. I’ll definitely check out your blog; thanks for visiting mine. And Happy May Day to you too! 🙂

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  30. The world is turning into quite a hostile place… mother nature must be having a bad year indeed. It’s hard to ignore all these massive natural disasters going on around the place. Glad your family is safe.

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  31. Thank you for sharing your story. It is very scary, never experienced a Tornado but I understand now that Tornado warnings should be taken seriously.

    I am glad that your daughter is safe, but its truly sad for so many families who have lost something and everything.

    -From Michigan.

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    • The impact the tornadoes made in the South is overwhelming. I’m still crying every time I see the footage of the destruction and hear the survivors’ stories. I hope my blog moves readers to consider sending help. Thanks for reading!

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  32. .,there are a lot of environmental disaster that we’ll sure be experiencing in the future so lets pray that it’ll never affect us that much to the extent that it’ll take lives of others….lets try to changed our ways in treating the environment..

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  33. “Why nature shows no mercy”. This is because the whole earth is under the rule of Satan and the devils.We imperfect humans cannot stop its fury. But God, Jehovah has promised through his word, the Bible that he is going to bring a paradise on this Earth. Satan will be tied up and his system of things will be put to an end.

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  34. Nature sometimes is good sometimes is bad. Why? You can give a scientific answer, and say that tornados belong to the nature of the earth, and that they always have happened. But Americans have always challenged Nature, often in no correctly ways, and recently they affirmed that there was no connections between Good and Nature. USA PresidentBush, wanted to introduce in school subjects the principle ot the “Intelligent design of nature”, bat it was refused in USA primary and high education. Why science and scientists, said no? Because success has gone to their heads? Now if we want to exclude this possibility of “Intelligent design” we have not to complain with anybody. Nature is good and bad, at the same time. In the other case if we want to bow down our heads, it is absolutely necessary to reconsider that President Bush proposal (The principle was expressed formerly by the famous scientist Albert Einstein) IT WAS RIGHT. USA people will reconsider this proposal and teach it in any degree of their schools?
    Paolo Campidori
    paolo.campidori@tin.it
    http://www.paolocampidori.eu
    http://www.culturamugellana.wordpress.com
    P.S. Excuse me my bad english I am Italian, from Fiesole (Florence)

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  35. Nice read. So glad that your daughter is safe and that you are as well. (Even from way back then… Scary) It sounds terrifying and I have watched clips of these tornadoes and I know that you can not comprehend what any of them are truly like. I am sorry for all the losses and all the damage. It is so scary. May we never know of such tragedy.

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

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    • Thank you for the compliment. I think it’s true that you can’t really comprehend the fury and power of destruction tornadoes have until you witness it first-hand. I continue to pray for those who lost everything. I can’t even imagine what they are going through.

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  36. I’ve never been in a tornado, I didn’t know they were so terrible. My friend saw what happened last week and said she had never seen anything like it either. I guess all we can do is seek God’s guidance in this kind of thing. Thanks for posting this and telling what it’s really like…(:

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  37. We literally just missed one of the tornadoes that devastated many parts of NC two weeks ago. My 10 year old son caught sight a funnel cloud in the distance as we were driving away in Holly Springs. He had nightmares for days following

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    • It’s good to hear you weren’t caught in the twister. I am sorry to hear that your son is having nightmares though. One of my daughters, now a grown adult, is still a little frightened by threatening weather from our days living in ‘tornado alley.’ Hopefully, your son’s nightmares go away soon! Thanks for sharing your story and stay safe!

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  38. Touched by your post. A few years living in Georgia taught me to “duck and cover,” but I never experienced a close call like yours.

    I am also thrilled to find another “empty nester” blog, especially one so well-written.

    Thank you.

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  39. The moral to all of this I was really able to understand and respect. Even though I don’t live in tornado alley where I’m from we also have our share of natural disasters and some of the stories you see on the local news really does show you how you should appreciate everything around you.

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    • Absolutely! If I’ve learned anything of importance over the years, it’s that life is so fragile and we must be thankful for each minute we’re given to live and love. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment for me.

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  40. I grew up in the South (AL, TN, GA) and most of my family on both sides (mom and dad) are still there. Tornadoes were as common as fried green tomatoes growing up and many times we were in the storm shelters or in a deep ditch running for cover. I suppose God chose me to leave my Southern home for over 40 years just a week ago to take a job in Oklahoma. We (my husband, myself and our oldest son) traveled just ahead of all the storms and didn’t hit bad weather until Arkansas a few days ago. I was faithful that God was taking care of my Southern families and He has. They are all without power still but at least the cell towers are coming back online. Facebook has been an awesome way for us all to stay in touch.

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    • Bless your heart! Thankful that God protected you and all of your family. I know how relieved you must be feeling to be able to keep in touch with them. Facebook’s good for something!! Hope you like your new home in Oklahoma.

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  41. It scares me…. it is true, when nature comes on it’s own, it doesn’t spare anyone. We humans think that we have control on everything but we forget that at the end of the end, we don’t. Sad but true.

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  42. I live in Tornado Alley, in Kansas. Yes, this is the season of fury. One of my sisters lives in Arkansas and just missed getting hit by a tornado a few days before the ones that hit Alabama and other nearby areas.
    I have lived with this every spring since I can remember. My daughter is just turning 20 and it is the anniversary of a big tornado that hit Andover, which is just a few miles from us. I have seen tornadoes forming, seen their destruction, but I’ve never actually seen one twirling around on the ground. I’m usually hiding somewhere. There have been a lot of close calls, though.
    I don’t like the scares we have. Especially lately with all I’ve seen on T.V. But this is where I grew up and where I have lived all my life. I’m sure glad your daughter is okay. She IS a smart girl to think to put a helmet on her head! And I pray that all those touched by the horrible destruction of their homes and loss of someone they know will make it through.
    Great post!

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    • I only lived in the Midwest for 8 years, but I remember springs there having the craziest weather! One of my daughter’s fear of thunderstorms and tornadoes came from that time. Other than the wacky weather, we loved our time there though. It’s a great place to live. Stay safe and thanks for the comment!

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  43. Pingback: When nature shows no mercy | ask4me987

  44. Hi. I’m new to your blog. I felt instantly sadness when reading this post. I myself, currently is living in Japan, where the magnitude 9.1 & tsunami struck in Miyagi & Fukushima. Some friends even lost their homes, but thankfully their family are safe. I was in Tokyo, where the earthquake barely reach a magnitude M6. Just, by watching all the destruction by mother nature made me think that our life on earth is just temporary. It can be taken anytime, anywhere.

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    • Hi to you in Japan! Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. I still pray for all those who suffered through the tsunami and earthquake there. Glad you are safe. And you are so very right, our lives on earth are temporary. As a Christian, I believe my home is in Heaven. This is just a sojourn and we must make the most of our time.

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  45. Never understood the damage a tornado can do not having lived in an area where they occur. Just yesterday we had a massive storm that brought down two huge trees just houses down from mine and electricity was affected for hours. Luckily not too much damage.
    I loved reading about you as a person..you sound very much like me and I am in my mid-fifties too.

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    • You’re not alone. Many people who have had no experience with twisters don’t understand how deadly they are. Oh, those huge trees can cause so much damage — we saw lots of that when we lived in the Pacific Northwest. Thank you for checking out my blog. Hope you come back again soon.

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  46. Pingback: When nature shows no mercy (via Mama’s Empty Nest) « dommylive

  47. Thank you for such a heartfelt post. I lived in Pennsylvania as a child. It wasn’t tornado alley, but we experienced our share of tornado watches and warnings each spring and summer. One in particular sticks out in my memory. It skipped over our town and leveled the town next to us. I remember driving with my parents through the devestation and seeing basements without houses and the horrible destruction you mentioned. I never forgot it. My prayers go out to those who have been affected by the recent tornadoes.

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  48. I can’t believe you survived that. An amazing story.

    We in the UK have such moderate weather that we can’t begin to imagine how you cope with such extremes.

    I’ve been horrified at the recent tornadoes and pray for all who have suffered.

    So glad your daughter and her friend were safe.

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  49. I grew up in Louisiana and have seen my fair share of twisters. I know what you mean about that “look” in the sky and the “feel” of the air. I am grown with grandchidren now and I am fine with turbulent weather, unless or until I get that “feel” or see that odd color…then it is a hear-pounding run for cover. Glad you survived it all and pray for those who’ve lost too much. And BTW, congrats on being fresh pressed!
    Cecelia

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  50. Well deserved for such a long run on Freshly Pressed!!! I have a friend in Connecticut and she is amazed that I react to tornado warnings so camly. But growing up in the area, you know the only thing you can do is go to the middle of the structure, cover up with as much blankets (helmet is a GREAT idea!!!!) Thank you for sharing the experience….we really do, even the most aware of us, take for granted that the house will be there when we go back home, the road will always be intact, etc. Wonderfully written! AmberLena

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  51. I’m in the midwest, SW Missouri, and am FAR too familiar with the tornado watches/warnings, flash flood warnings and severe thunderstorms. This time of year beginning with last month I pretty much live in my basement. Don’t think I could live in this part of the country in a home without a basement. I get more peace of mind down there than upstairs!

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    • Spent plenty of time in the basement too, so I know what you mean. I’m all for peace of mind! Although in Oklahoma, many people take refuge in storm cellars because they don’t have basements. And apartment dwellers are at the mercy of the storms.

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  52. In May, ’83, the two best oaks in the yard of our farm, the ones with the low hanging branches that held swings and ample shade, were taken out by a tornado. It happened around my daughter’s second birthday. Neighbors came out to cut the oaks up into firewood and my mother brought a birthday cake so we wouldn’t forget the most important event of that week in May. Thank goodness for friends and family who kept us on track. I cannot imagine how devastating it would be to lose everything.

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    • You were blessed to have family and friends come to your aid. I’m hopeful the recent victims are just as blessed. Losing all your material goods would be difficult, but losing loved ones to the storms, I can’t imagine that grief. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  53. I’m sorry for the losses. Tornado Valley is such beautiful country. However, Mother Earth has always been volatile, and now with the multiple planetary energies surrounding and within our planet earth; she is becoming as changeable as she was in the beginning.

    We are seeing climactic energy, now, where there once was none, or very little. And it is happening much more frequently. My children in North Carolina, only having been there for about three years, were hit all around them in three towns, but it spared them. God was his eye on them for me through our prayers. I feel for the multitudes that weren’t as fortunate. God bless us all! Who knows where and when the next one will strick and it isn’t even Tornado season yet!

    Respect,
    AJEM

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  54. Wow, it’s an amazing thing when you get to witness the power of God firsthand like that. My family and I are moving to Nebraska this summer. I’m already busy devising tornado drills for my little ones.
    Love your blog!
    🙂 TJR

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  55. I live in Bombay and have not experienced a tornado, but we have had some brutal floods and tragic earthquakes. Nature really shows no mercy sometimes, but I am always left in awe of human resilience at the end of it all. I am glad your family is safe. Sending you strength and peace.

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  56. I’m sure I speak for more than myself when i say Thank You for reminding us how precious life is – and to live in gratitude for the moments. It’s important to rememeber others in prayer, for their struggles and be grateful for our blessings.
    ❤ L

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    • I have to be reminded of this every day myself. We can get so immersed in our own problems, we forget to be thankful for the blessings. I’m hoping everyone remembers to pray for the tornado victims and also provides whatever aid they can. Thanks for your lovely comment. ❤ back to you!

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  57. We can’t stop the natural disasters even with the high-tech in advanced. But what lessons we can take from the nature is don’t playing with them. I mean, as human being we’re sometimes forget to protect the harmony of nature. We like to ‘avoid’ them. We are never really protecting them as it should be.
    Your posted was so nice. It warned people to think that we are not alone in this worlds. We don’t have any power to stopping the God’s creation. Thank for your posted again….

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  58. Good day mam,it’s so sad to hear or see that there are people who suffer from such tragedy, we are only lucky here in the Philippines because we don’t experience monster tornadoes, though we have floods and landslides that takes lives too. With the weather situation that we have this years, we can only hope and pray that every living thing will be spared when nature releases its fury.

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    • If I only impact one person with my writing, I would count it a success. I don’t claim to be the best writer around; there are so many more talented people than me. But I do believe God has given me a gift for writing and I must use it well to encourage and uplift others, not tear them down. Thank you for your comment, it touched me!

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  59. I’m in Georgia and we had to move all our hosptial patients into the hallways as the tornadoes came through our area. We were lucky in that the tornado that came through here was about 30 miles south, but it is such a horrible feeling, knowing that people close by are suffering or are going to lose everything and you can’t do anything about it. I remember visiting my grandmother as a child in N.C. mountains after a huge tornado cut a mile wide path over the mountain. It was terrifying looking at the destruction. And you never forget, for sure…

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    • Glad to hear your area was spared. I can only imagine how frightened the patients must have been! Bless you for the work you do in a hospital; you are one of our unsung heroes. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  60. I leave in southeast Asia particularly in the Philippines and have seen the worst of floods, typhoons and occasional volcanic activity. Tornadoes on the other hand pack a punch no other to a few people in a small amount of time. Glad your daughter is safe and you lived to tell a story..stay clear and safe!

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  61. Pingback: Fall surprises « Mama's Empty Nest

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  63. Pingback: Too close for comfort again | Mama's Empty Nest

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