Friday, November 22, 2013


Last Saturday Bubby G and I spent the day raking leaves.
It was a bit of a windy day which made it more difficult but watching Bubby G jumping into the leaves and having a blast made it all worth it.
There were times I would be raking the leaves and turn back around and see no sign of the lil guy and I'd start yelling his name.  He'd then pop his out from under the pile of leaves and say, "Here I am, Mama."
I only got about 1/4 of the yard done though because the wind kept getting stronger and stronger so I figured I'd finish it the next day.  I had no idea that the next day the storms would be so strong in our area that the leaves we raked would be all over the yard again.  I had no idea that the next day we would not only have storms....

But tornadoes.
Church had just let out and the tornado sirens went off.  People looked on their phones to see what the weather was like and if everyone was okay to travel or if we should go back inside the church and get in the basement.  It looked as if there were a couple tornadoes around the area including one near the town we were going but we figured by the time we got there it would be gone so we decided to go ahead and chance it and head toward my parents house to eat our Sunday meal.  You gotta understand that most of the time in Illinois when a tornado siren goes off nothing happens so we really believed we were going to be fine.  Although, the extremely warm temperatures that day did give you an eerie feeling.
We are driving along, my mom and dad were in the vehicle ahead of us and they said to just follow them.  In my car was my grandma and my two kiddos.  While we were driving I see off in the distance what looks like a big cloud of smoke on the ground but when I looked up in the sky I could see the clouds rotating in a circle above it.  I turned to my grandma and said, "I think a tornado is forming."  I called my dad to tell him but they had already saw it.  Not knowing which way the tornado was going to go we decided to keep driving straight.  I felt comfortable following my dad knowing he would make the right decision as far as where to drive, but then I started to notice that he didn't know what he was going to do.  He would slow down and put his turn signal on then continue going straight then slam the brakes on again and then go straight again.  By that time the bottom and top of the tornado had connected and was heading our way getting bigger and bigger and closer and closer.  I'm thinking in my mind that we are going to have to get out of the car and probably make a run for it to somebody's house so I have my grandma crawl back and unbuckle Bubby G.  I kept trying to figure out how I was going to get both of my kids out of the car quickly.  The winds were really picking up at this point and when I say that the tornado was basically right on top of us I am not exaggerating.  We get into the town of New Minden and my dad suddenly takes a turn towards the east.  The tornado was travel northeast.  Apparently, at this point my parents looked in their rearview mirror and saw our car and it looked as if we were IN the tornado.  At this point I get a phone call from Mr. G.  About 5 minutes prior to this I had called him to tell him to go to go straight home and get in the bathtub because tornadoes were popping up all over the place.  But when he called all I had time to say was, "We are in a tornado.  Please pray!"  And then I hung up.  At this point  our car was getting hit with debris but we were able to keep driving.  Once we were about a mile away from the tornado was when I was able to turn and through our back window take a picture of it.  We drove a bit farther and then stopped and watched the tornado pass by which was quickly followed by .....
A beautiful rainbow.  If felt as if another tornado could form at anytime so we stopped at an old farm house and asked the old woman living there if we could stay in her house till the storm passed.  The sweet lady had no idea what was going on and acted as if we were kind of crazy for being so shook up.  I call Mr. G back at this point and he was in tears.  Apparently, he had been driving home when he called me and after I told him we were in a tornado he pulled to the side of the road and started yelling at God to please not take his family away from him.  It turns out that the tornado that we were in was an F4 tornado and we were in route to meet up with the tornado at the intersection of New Minden where it tore apart several homes, a church, and a gas station, and killed two people.  Every day I still see pictures of that tornado in my head forming and coming right towards us.  I really hope that I never get that close to another tornado ever again.  The whole thing felt like I was in the movie Twister.  And I'm pretty sure I will never again watch that movie.
 Once the blue skies were out we headed on towards my parents house.  Along the way we saw where the tornado had directly hit and it was a terrible site.  Just 6 months ago or so a new modular home was put here and now it is completely gone. 
We went on to eat lunch but we were all still very shook up.  Our phones were also ringing off the hook as everyone was checking in to see if we were okay.  During the commotion we sat Sissy G in the highchair for the first time....but she wasn't a big fan of it.
Eventually we headed on home ourselves and the whole way home even though the skies were as blue as I'd ever seen them I was keeping my eyes peeled for another tornado.  I still feel so very thankful that we were able to make it through the tornado with no injuries.  It's one thing to be in a tornado but its a totally different thing when you are in a tornado with your kids.  My mother-bear instincts definitely kicked in and I was willing to do anything to keep my two precious kiddos out of harms way. It meant the world to me to be able to look in my rear view mirror and see the kids sleeping peacefully. 
To top it all off...when we got home we saw that Bubby G's tree didn't make it through the storm.
But if you know me very well at all you know that I am gonna have a hard time parting with that tree.  So if you come to our house a see a dead tree in our garage don't judge me.

Thank you, Lord, for Your safety during the storm.  Thank You for allowing us to get away from the tornado and not endure any injuries.  I pray for the families all around the midwest who have lost their homes or lost loved ones.  I can't imagine what they are going through and I pray that through it all they will find peace and comfort through You.  I also pray that You will show me and my family ways that we can help those in need.  I love You, Lord.  In Jesus name, Amen.

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