This weekend brought some severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings across the state of Iowa. Saturday was a cool and cloudy day until about 4 o'clock in the afternoon and it heated up to the low 80's in a hurry. A cool front and a warm front slamming together created a wild night of stormy weather that sparked off right around our city.
We were having a quiet evening for the most part. Our middle child, Rachel, was at the mall selling cookies with her Girl Scout troop. The youngest, Cameron, was getting ready for bed. I was sitting in the kitchen hemming a pair of pants (shocking, but true!) and Emily was sitting with me working on her scrap books. We had seen the sky darken and had been periodically checking the weather. I was finally getting the chance to watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding and was flipping to the weather during the commercials.
Suddenly Emily gets all wide-eyed and says "Was that the tornado siren?!?" We live a little over a mile out of town and it is difficult to hear them out here. I muted the TV and sure enough the sirens were going off. She grabs her stuff and hollers to her Dad and brother that we need to go to the basement. Then she sets her stuff down and says "What about Rachel? You have to go get Rachel!". At this point she is up and down like a cork bobbing on the sea. I can see that panic may be getting the best of her. "Uh, Em?", I respond, "You want me to go now while the tornado sirens are going off to get your sister at the mall?" (The mall which has a very well-built tornado shelter?). The cork sinks herself back into the chair for another millisecond. "NO! You need to stay here!!" To which we both cracked up laughing because she realized she was being slightly unreasonable and moderately hysterical.
I will admit I was none to pleased to have our family split up during severe weather, but no sense in stressing out about the things you have no control over. What did please me was realizing that no matter how much my children aim to annoy and pester each other, they do love each other. There was a brief lull between storms and Rachel was delivered safely home by her very brave troop leader. Rachel didn't much enjoy her time in the mall tornado shelter and was thankful to be home. After a family cuddle on the couch she promptly moved her bedding and her rabbits downstairs to sleep. Emily, refused to allow the four legged critters to sleep in her room, but did begrudgingly allow the sister to sleep there. All was well with our little world - all the bad stuff missed us and we were all safe and sound under one roof.
Not everyone in our community was so lucky. We didn't lose even a tree branch at our place, but the communities of Early and Mapleton, Iowa were hit hard by tornado activity. Even with all the damage in those towns, and others in the path of these dangerous storms, nary a soul was lost. Everything that was damaged is replaceable or repairable. It will be a long road for these small communities but folks are rallying around them to clean-up and rebuild. That is the beauty of small town living- neighbors still help neighbors, and it is a wonderful thing to see.
Storms can be frightening. Life is full of storms, not just storms brought on by weather, but by our choices, our finances, marriages, children, businesses, the economy and a myriad of other difficulties that blow through our lives for a day or for a season. Remember that God is in control, even if it feels like your life is totally out of control, hang in there. Trust in the One who created the heavens and the earth and you.
In His Peace -