The Answer, My Friend, is Blowing in the Wind
The air was thick with the acrid smell of burning wood and…something else I didn’t recognize. The trees were crowned with twisted rolls of silver. There was a thick foggy drizzle falling and there was a made bed, sitting there in the middle of the field, as though someone had just spent a cozy night, sleeping under the stars.
This is the view that greeted us a few Friday mornings ago, when we drove to check on our friends after the tornado raged through our area. We are accustomed to driving behind Amish buggies, but this morning the driving was even slower than normal. Everywhere we turned, there were buggies, barns, pieces of what used to be homes and pieces of RV parts strewn about the road.
The devastation simply took my breath away – the National Guard was in the middle of town, trying to keep people from looting. (At a time like this??!! What is WRONG with them?)
An RV plant that Jeff used to work for was literally in pieces, with the RVs tossed about like popcorn across a field that is nearly 4 football fields in size. The seating area in the local Taco Bell had a bathtub tossed through one window and a mattress set through another and part of a boat through the main doors.
We passed houses that looked normal from the front, but had the entire back half ripped off. There were homes where the entire top floor was missing….or perhaps there was one central wall that remained, but nothing else.
Watching this little town recover has been very interesting. Seeing the differences between the Amish response and the English response has been of particular note. Suffice it to say, right now, we’re done being able to offer assistance (the immediate need has passed) – we have consistent internet access again – and the visible affects of the tornado are “off” our lives. And yet I know there is much to be gleaned from all this, once I have time to but stop and ponder it.
Has anyone else been through the incredible devastation of a tornado? Do you feel wiser, being on the other side? What lessons did you find blowing in the wind?
(Because of the depth of the pain we saw in the lives of those affected, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to take photos – but NOAA got a few – this link will show you the path and a few pics of the devastation. The yellow house under picture number 15 is where we helped empty their garage – look safe to you? 😀 The first three pics under 18 are small glimpses of the huge field of RV debris. We found pieces of that debris up to 18 miles from this site.)