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Monday, September 24, 2007

September 20th

I know wacky weather is always cliche topic of conversation, but we have really had some around here lately. Last week, we had several days where it just RAINED. I know for those of us up north, that is the status quo, but here in sunny FL, we get wicked afternoon thunderstorms that blind anyone out on the roadways, wash all the moss out of the trees, and inevitably involve so much lightening that my husband will forever have a job, at least in fixing people's fried computers, but we just don't ever get rainy DAYS. And yet, we've had almost a week of them. We've had so many that the kids have actually stopped begging to go play in the rain (something you can't do in our normal thunderstorms for fear of your life) so until this past week they held a lot of novelty.

For those of you who ever in the past frequented EPCOT's The Living Seas, it was the real life version of, "and it rained....and rained....and rained....THE DELUGE."

Noah's neighbors and kids would have had no qualms about the ark building last week.

Anyway, Thursday, there were some really bad storms coming in around dinner, and we actually kept TJ home from soccer for that reason. We went on to church though, and even though we unloaded under the overhang, I still was drenched as the wind was blowing the rain horizontally. In fact, my jeans were still wet at the bottom 3 hours later! But we were all fine at church, and as we had planned, I left there with an extra boy J, and minus my daughter Mimi.

When we got home, I was busy doing something (can't remember what now), and my husband let the boys play computer for a brief while so they could get on each other's "buddy list" or something like that, and he turned on the TV. Psyche! No reruns or reality TV to be found, all the major channels were covering the weather with their Super Doppler 1 Million, or whatever they each call it. Seems there were big storms coming! We chased the boys off to bed, shut off the computer, and my husband sat fixated on the approaching mass of reddish purple (the worst colors you can see on doppler) accompanied by rotational arrows for some parts of the storm. It seems that after the storms moved across a large lake south of us, they spawned at least one tornado. But all the focus was on a town just to our south (by 5 miles), although we could clearly see it would be passing right over us too. But I tend to not over-react so I was still bellowing at the boys to go to sleep (J was already out, it was my boys who were awake since their daddy had admonished them to be quiet so he could here the weather since it looked like we were all going to DIE, or something nice and calming like that). Only later did I find out that at the same time I was sending my kids to their room, all our other, more sensible friends, were dragging theirs OUT of their rooms and into some safe closet/bathroom/pantry, etc. File THAT away for future reference...maybe a little reactionary attitude is good since it ended up that a TORNADO went through our fine town literally HALF A MILE from our house!

I know my pastor and his wife were praying, and that was probably what spared my children from their mother's ignorance to the seriousness of the situation. It could have gone very differently, and I KNOW the morning headlines would have read, "Family of 5 and one friend died tragically overnight in killer tornado while sitting directly above a 1200 square foot BOMB SHELTER that went unused in the storm." Yep, that's why I'm a MENSA candidate, and not a MENSA member, LOL. We have our county's first, and most likely biggest bomb shelter, and we never even gave it a second glance that night. You can be sure it will be different next time.

See, over 116 houses were hit by that tornado. 7 totally destroyed, almost 30 more condemned. And all that was literally less than a mile from our house. It is VERY humbling. Below is a tree exactly 1/2 mile up the street from us, and a local business taking a blast from a rain storm days later, but even in the rain you can see the tree ripped in half behind it, and the damage to the roof of the business itself. That is .6 mile from us.

We know so many families who were affected, but miraculously, NO ONE was killed, or even seriously injured. The most grave injury came when a man threw himself on Grandma to keep her from harm and somehow ended up gashing her head open in the process! Seriously, look at those numbers again of homes damaged and destroyed and ask yourself HOW no one was hurt or killed. I know how. God had His mighty hand on our little town that night. If the folks affected by and those who know about the tornado didn't believe in Him before, I hope they have taken a serious look at the events of that night and realized there is only ONE way it went down the way it did, and that was because HE is a strong tower, a shield, and our protector in times of trouble. He is sovereign, and He protected our town that night. I'm thankful for that, and so much more.
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JessnBekahsmom said...

I was just doing a search to see who else likes the movie Real Genius and found you on the list! It seems we have some things in common (LOVE God, homeschooling my six year old daughter) and some not (no vaccines here!). But it is nice to read about others viewpoints as well. Glad you all survived that storm and I know it was His will!

Have been to Florida a few times (Teen Missions in Merritt Island and to Tampa for work). Beautiful area. I will have to visit your blog again when I have more time.

Have a great day!

JessnBekahsmom said...

Umm, suppressing a giggle here. I poked around your blog a little more. My name is Amy...and my hubby's name is Scott. Nice to meet you!

Tiffany said...

I can't believe you didn't take advantage of your opportunity to use your bomb shelter!!!

oneblessedmamma said...

HI Amy. I obviously visited YOUR blog...and then followed the link for the counter, which is WAY cool, although I think it counts ME twice everytime I visit my page even though I clicked on the button for it not to count me. Oh well, it's still cool. Too funny about Real Genius and The Princess Bride. Real Genius seems to be one of those movies NO one else even remembers!