Tornado VS. Town

Tornado Vs. Town

A recount of how it feels when Mother Nature roars her ugly, windy head in the through the innocent streets of your small town.

Photo by Barbara J. Garland of BJG photo

I grew up in your typical small town America, or as a Californian once body referred to as, "the butt crack of America." Which in more wholesome words, means that my minuscule population of a town was less than extraordinary; this town was inherently boring, but also reliably safe.

I could probably count on one hand the number of dangerous incidents that happened in the eighteen years I lived there. While this town wasn't noteworthy, it was and still is, home. I grew up on the sidewalks, community pools, and local grocery stores and have known the same kids since I was in elementary school. Our town knew sunny days at the public park, as well as they knew church pews, even if they don't always act like it.

Being from the Midwest, large storms are common, and I mean - extremely common. They come in all sizes and strengths, but year after stormy year, these storms never produced a tornado.

Now don't get me wrong, I grew up three hours away from Joplin and Moore. Two towns who know tornado tragedy all too well, but my town never experienced a tornado. It was so rare that even when a tornado warning was issued in years past it was almost as interesting as walking into homeroom. By this I mean, it was common and familiar and guaranteed to disappoint every single time.

In my eighteen years, I am sure I heard more than twenty tornado warnings for my small town, and never once were we even slightly effected - until four days ago.

"I'm ok, but I don't know about our neighbors, house, or town"

That's the text I woke up to from my mom Sunday morning. My heart sunk as I opened Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and received pictures of my home, neighborhood, and town devastated by an F-2 tornado.

I can not express the heaviness that sinks in when you are miles away from most everyone you've ever known solemnly scrolling through social media seeing pictures of locations you know all too well crushed, altered, ripped apart, or buried under trees that were completely ripped from the ground by their roots.

No one passed or was injured, but that day shifted my town. Mother Nature proved she was stronger than any of us standing eagerly in a field to catch a glimpse of the dangerous winds. It wasn't a novelty anymore. Tornado damage wasn't going to be cleaned with thoughts and prayers.

As with most things in life, it never seems real or likely until it is extremely real and at your front door.

The best thing about tearing a community apart is how quickly they glue themselves together. As soon as sunlight hit neighbors, strangers, family, and friends slipped on their shoes and went to lend a hand wherever they could. It didn't matter how much damage had occurred, our community was determined to band together and help those in need.

I think with all things in life, the younger and more inexperienced you are, the more invincible you feel. I felt invincible to tornados for so many years, the weatherman could tell me a tornado was forming, but I just knew in my heart it would skip our town.

Saturday night it didn't skip, the tornado formed just on the edge of our town and blew through the entire town without any regard to the memories, buildings, and debris it carried along its destructive path. Our town wasn't invincible, at least not next to the unstoppable force of Mother Nature.

As the dust settles, the down trees are cleared, the buildings are rebuilt, and time passes the memory of that Saturday night will rest in everyone's heart a little heavier than other Memorial Day weekend memories. The fact is it could have been worse, we got lucky, and not every town lucks out like we did, but that makes the sun-filled days that much brighter.

Tomorrow is never promised, and sometimes Mother Nature needs to nudge us just a little to remind us of that humble fact.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Politics and Activism

4 Ways The Plan To Deport International Students Is Dumb, According To An Exchange Student

The whole policy isn't very stay-in-place, if you ask me.

Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, July 6, new federal guidelines were announced that do not allow international students to remain in the U.S. unless they are taking classes in person. Which, if you ask me, is stupid.

Keep Reading... Show less

Naya Rivera Is Missing, And She Deserves SO Much More Than Being Labeled 'Big Sean's' Ex'

We are all sending prayers to Naya Rivera hoping she finds them so we can find her.

I woke up this morning looking to find Naya Rivera's name trending No. 1 on Twitter. I was reading all of everyone's prayers wishing to find her so she can be reunited with her baby boy who is only 4 years old.

Naya's son's name is Lord and the entire collective is hoping the Lord is with him right now. I'm a firm believer in the Fear of God, I hope all of Naya's love is protecting Lord right now.

Keep Reading... Show less

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still surging in the United States, where we are averaging 50,000 cases daily, wearing a face mask has become even more important. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has stressed the importance of wearing a mask and is pleading Americans to take notice of the "disturbing" rise in cases. It would be common sense to listen to him, considering we are dealing with a virus that has a mortality rate higher than what we have seen with other viruses.

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Sex Toys You NEED To Turn Up The Heat This Summer

They say diamonds are a girl's best friend, but...

It's your fairy sex godmother back at it again and here to tell you that masturbating is an essential need, just like toilet paper.

It comes with so many benefits, besides cumming. According to the New York City Health Department, "you are your safest sex partner" during a pandemic, so why not use the best toys to get the job done? Shopping for the best fit can be tricky because there are a few factors to consider — whether it's the price point, experience, sound, and more.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 3 Smoothies Totally Cleared My Acne-Prone And Scarred Skin

How I drank my way to flawless skin.

With this summer being the first of its kind for most people to be in the midst of a global pandemic, almost everyone is beginning to have an overall focus on improving their health.

Keep Reading... Show less

Everyone remembers the first time they went to one of the Disney parks. Spinning in teacups and having Goofy wrap his arms around my 8-year-old self were some of my fondest childhood memories, and I'm surely not alone in that.

Keep Reading... Show less

These Superfood Beauty Products Show Kale And Matcha Work For SO Much More Than We Thought

Just another summer's day with a cold glass of kombucha on my face.

I've been vegan for about six years now, so a love for fresh vegetables and superfoods has now become a core part of my being. Don't get me wrong. I love my indulgent, creamy pastas and truffle fries more than anyone. But I keep most of my focus on eating clean and healthy so I can indulge guilt-free.

But I'd say about a large part of my diet has always, unknowingly, included superfoods. Being Indian, lentils, beetroot, garlic, ginger, and whole grains have been core essentials on the family dinner table since I could digest solid foods.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments