Thursday, July 4, 2013


Let me start by saying this....Photos and TV videos cannot accurately show the devastation a storm like this can bring.  When you look at the footage from Oklahoma, you are horrified by what you see but the totality of the destruction just can't be processed unless you are on the ground walking through it.

I now understand a whole lot more what those folks are going through, I have yet to watch much of the news coverage of Oklahoma's recent tornado.  I did see the video where the old woman's dog came crawling out of the wreckage of her home and knew a bit of her joy to see him because we'd just gone through that with our chickens.  I can't watch the rest of the coverage because it is just too soon after our own storm. 

The chickens were in their little red coop when the barn came down. 
Like the dog in Oklahoma, they survived!

Right after the storm had passed on Saturday night, friends were offering to come down in the morning to help us clean up.  I texted that although we couldn't see much yet, we knew "it was bad".  On Sunday morning as we walked around taking photographs, I was sharing some of them on Facebook.  I truly thought that my friends could see the extent of the damage. It wasn't until they arrived that I realized that what I was just writing about was the reality... the photos had not prepared our friends and family for what they would see.

The shock was visible on their faces.  We'd been more prepared because we'd had glimpses of it all the night before; we'd had hours to begin processing it.  Not that it was easy by any means.  Not only were we facing thousands of dollars of damage and months of cleaning up, but we had our daughter's wedding on the property in 13 days.  Shortly after returning from town and walking the whole property, I'd temporarily lost sight of David...but I could hear him. Totally overwhelmed by it all, he stood in the middle of the downed pecan tree yelling at the top of his lungs something I can't repeat in polite company~

What a blessing our friends Pat and Dale were to us that day.  Dale asked David and I where did we want to start.  We had no answer so Dale took charge and said "let's clear you a path to the Barn and out the back gate".  The chainsaws were fired up and going within minutes.  Our daughter (who arrived with coffee shortly after!) and Pat began hauling the pieces of our pecan and holly trees to the road.  Soon, Hunter's girlfriend and his best friend and that best friend's father showed up and began to clear the front and side yards.  My Mom arrived and began by clearing the front porch and setting things to rights from there to the front gate.

FPL trucks were everywhere trying to get our power back on.  Lines flowing to the station had been cut by flying debris from two directions.  Once they repaired those lines, they had to turn us back on one house and one barn at a time.  We heard that they had at least one fire during the process.  Before they got to us, they had to disconnect the power lines to the barn.  It would be 6 p.m. when the power returned.

The County would send trucks by the end of that day to haul away the tree limbs we stacked from driveway to driveway in a 4-5 foot stack (in fact, the County sent trucks out every day until Wednesday; I can't say enough good about how they handled it!).

By the end of the day, the front and side yards were cleared of debris; the front porch and patio were cleaned; and we had a path to the barn area. Power was on but our well system had been destroyed.  We headed to our daughter's house for dinner and showers.

12 days to our daughter's wedding.

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