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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Storybook Cottage Versus A Tornado

This past Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning a tornado touched down where we live.

The after effects were a bit messy but I am SO thankful to say that our beloved Storybook Cottage came through, although she’s a bit battered and bruised. Our guardian angels were truly working overtime.


As I left work early Tuesday evening I had remarked to a Kristine, my internship mentor, that “It feels like tornado weather.” Once home, the evening challenges of getting dinner on the table, homework, packing lunches, etc. erased such thoughts from my brain. I didn’t even prepare our safety closet and fell into bed exhausted knowing that the next day would be even busier. #famouslastwords

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Sheds at our local Home Depot

The tornado came on so swift and sudden that the emergency activation devices on our phones failed to go off. It was my daughter, who lives in the second story of our cottage, who came into my room announcing “Mom, there has to be a tornado going on.’' At that same moment the first siren went off. I was out of bed like a shot, running to the closet, taking out the hamper and making sure there was nothing else that could injure us if things got really crazy. I pushed her in, shut the door and ran to Sweet Guy’s room.

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A local church steeple.

To say Sweet Guy is a bit of a heavy sleeper is an understatement. I didn’t want to alarm him so I began by calmly saying “You need to wake up. We need to move to the safety closet. There is a tornado.” all while gently rubbing his back. No response. By now the wind outside was so forceful I was beginning to understand the oft used phrase “A tornado sounds like a freight train running straight through your house.” Gentle rubbing turned into frantic tugging. I had pulled the covers off and was preparing to drag that boy, who now outweighs me by many pounds, if I had to. He woke up angry but quickly shifted gears hearing the pure fear in my voice.

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Other local homes.

Once inside the closet the emergency activation alarm went off on my phone. Gee thanks. By now the storm was upon us full force. Our sturdy brick house, in the pitch blackness, began to shake. I would recount later to my neighbors, Jim and Darlene, that at that moment “I was praying so hard I could have rivaled a large cloister of nuns.”

The storm finally passed but I did not go back to sleep that night and just grabbed a quick 50 minute power nap at 6 am so I could function for what I knew was going to be a VERY busy work day.

To see the aftermath of the storm in the early morning hours was sobering and left me shaky once more.

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Trees had been stripped of their branches and leaves and snapped in two like toothpicks.

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We believe that the storm approached our home diagonally.

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First encountering the solid brick wall fence.

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Storm debris is now embedded into the right side corner of our garage and both levels on the side of our house.

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We have a shared driveway with our neighbors and huge tree branches came crashing down. They could not even open their garage.

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Mother Nature is indeed powerful.

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Our section in the neighborhood seems to have had primarily roof shingle and tree loss.

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We also had portions of our wooden fence come crashing down.

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Now the real work begins.

We have another storm coming in this weekend so Mr. Decor has been up on the roof making temporary repairs. The damage is considerable.

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We feel incredibly blessed and thank all of those who contacted us with their caring thoughts and warm wishes. We ask only for prayers for those who lost their homes.

We praise Jesus for keeping us safe.

Laura aka Dorothy

“We live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all gods. This I declare, that He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting Him. For He rescues you from every trap and protects you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with his wings! They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor. Now you don’t need to be afraid of the dark anymore, nor fear the dangers of the day;” ~ Psalm 91: 1~5


GSGreatEscaper said...

I am so glad that you and yours are safe. I did worry when I heard of the tornadoes, and I am sorry that your home was damaged. You are a strong family of caring and competent people and I pray that you will weather the next storm better even than you did this one.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh my word Laura, that is so scary. I am so happy you are all ok, but I am so sorry for all the damage you suffered. What a mess.

Manu said...

Oh no, I've never seen something like that, where I live there are no tornado.
Happy you're ok.

Linda said...

Dearest Laura and family,
This is so terrifying and so real to me having been dangerously close to the same so many times in my life, that it brings me to tears to read your words and see the photos. I don't like to use the word but I 'hate' tornadoes and seriously wish they didn't exist. All of these storm chaser people are so into them when all I see when I watch footage of a tornado is the dark force of evil at work. As you believe, I too, there but the grace of God go I and I'm so very, VERY thankful that you and your family are safe and that your neighborhood while experiencing damage, at least didn't receive the full brunt of the storm. Praying for your strength and comfort in the days ahead. ♥
Love, Linda said...

Glad your cottage made it through without severe damage. My brother's family in Dallas had no damage, just a sleepless night. The power of the wind is amazing. Yikes. Sorry for those who had a lot of damage. Spring in Texas is so Jekyll and Hyde! Stay safe!

Catherine Holman said...

Praise the Lord you home wasn't severly damaged! So glad to hear you and your family are safe!

Debra Oliver said...

Living in SW Missouri, I know exactly what this is like. The scariest thing to go through. I'm so glad you and your family and home are good. IMO Speaking (claiming) scripture over our family is the key to all of this; claiming our place of security from God's Word. God showed me Mark 4:35-41. I believe in "the Believer's Authority" and speak to the storm. I know this sounds crazy to a lot of people, even a lot of Christians, but it has gotten me through many "storms". sending prayers for all of you. xoxo

Vicki said...

I grew up in the Kansas suburbs of Kansas City and when I was in 4th grade a tornado struck a neighborhood near ours. The damage was catastrophic and some of my classmates lost their homes. It had a profound effect on me. I am so thankful that your family is safe and your home is not seriously damaged. As for the alert system on the phone... hmmm, sounds like it needs some updating, ya think! What can we say - technology - can's live with it, can't live without it! haha

Organized and Simplified said...

So very glad you're ok. Love and prayers!

Mrs. Kelley Dibble said...




Prayers for all impacted by this disaster!


Christine said...

Stay safe and prepare for this weekend/

Miz Helen said...

So happy to know that you and your family are safe.It is so sad that you lost such beautiful trees and had some damage to your property, what a scare that must have been. We were very fortunate here and missed the large hail and we had no damage. Looks like we have another wave coming this weekend, buckle up, it spring in Texas! Thanks for sharing your post with us.
Miz Helen

Marilyn said...

We made it through unscathed, but it all looks so familiar to me having gone through it both in Texas and Oklahoma.

It really puts into prospective the force of nature, doesn't it? :-(

One suggestion, if you haven't done so already, is call the fire department and have them spread blue tarps over the weaknesses in your roof to prevent any potential leakage into your home over this weekend. I'm really hoping that the forecasted storm does not hit this area.

I'm happy to hear that the damage was confined to structural things and that your family is safe and healthy. In the scheme of things trees, roofs etc. are so easily replaced, but not so the health of your family.

Praying for blue, sunny skies and dry weather!!

Marilyn (in Dallas)

Barbara H. said...

Oh wow! I'm so glad your family is all right and the damage wasn't worse, though the damage you have sustained will of course affect you all for a while. I hope the predicted storm for the weekend isn't bad. I love the verses you shared at the end - what a comfort.

Michele said...

Oh my word, Laura- how frieghtening!

We too had tornado sightins around us but not AT us - it was scary for my daughters who both live south of us where they were sighted. They spent a great deal of time in their basements.

I was rivaling a cloister of nuns too.

I am so thankful you were unhurt. And I am so sorry for all the damage to you and yours neighbors properties. : - (

Eilis said...

Wow - So sorry that you had this happen. Good thing your talented hubby can secure the roof. I bet the roofers will be pretty busy for a while. Sending a big hug from Rockwall.

Auntie Em said...

So thankful you and your family are all safe. A few branches and a wooden fence are replaceable. We deal with blizzards and snowdrifts but nothing compared to the destruction of a tornado. Stay safe and let us hope and pray there are no more headed your way. {{{hugs}}} said...

Wow...I know nothing of tornadoes...your story was riveting...I love that you have a tornado plan for safety and it worked...stay safe for any and all that blow your way.

The Boston Lady said...

Was Mr Decor away? So glad your home did so well. I well remember our tornado which spun off from hurricane Charley. The dense woods behind us were obliterated and I always felt they saved us by taking the brunt of the damage. Silver lining was I finally could grow grass in the backyard. I remember the shock of the next morning as we all saw the destruction and debris. I hope FEMA will get that debris away from your homes quickly as it can be dangerous with future storms. Our insurance said in 2004 our roof could simply be patched. It was never the same. In 2011 I petitioned again and got them to finally replace it. Take pictures and keep records of everything. Big hugs! Ann

bobbie said...

I am SO thankful you all came through relatively safely ~ and my heart goes out to those who weren't so lucky ~
Hugs ~

Mary Sorensen said...

So very glad all of you are okay. Will pray for the upcoming weekend and that nothing happens again! Mary S.

Louise said...

Oh my goodness. Wow. So happy you are all ok

Blondie's Journal said...

Thank goodness you and your family are okay. I have seen and heard of tornadoes in areas I never thought could be affected. I've been through so many, or at least just missed getting hit. A good twenty years ago my sister's children were at a caregiver's home when a tornado came through and sucked up the entire home (as well as a dozen in the neighborhood). Her 4 year old was taken by helicopter to a hospital for surgery...he was found over 100 feet away from the home. 2 children sitting next to him at a table in the kitchen having a snack at the the time didn't live. He's was fine after several weeks recuperating.

I think you were very smart with your kids. I suggest you keep a weather app on your phone to keep track of storms. I also keep flashlights handy as well as candles. Never stay on the second story of your home...go to your basement and if you don't have one, go in a bathroom inside the tub or in a room without windows on the main level. Try to keep a good charge on your cell phone when you know bad weather is coming.

I know you said your hectic schedule had your attention and boy, I know what you mean. Tornado season starts in May here in the Midwest so I get ready.

Love and hugs to you, Laura. I'm so relieved to hear you are okay. Hope this wasn't too preachy. ;-D

Jane xxxxxxxx

Jeanie said...

Oh Laura, I am so very glad you are safe. The damage looks terrible but compared to some I think you came out on the lucky end in many ways. I'm grateful to know you were able to get your family to the safety closet (and would be very interested in knowing what a safety closet is -- is it in the basement? metal reinforced? We don't have those here).

The damage in your community looks significant but I know how resilient we can be when pushed to it. I send love and wishes for speedy repairs and great gratitude for your safety.

Carol Stebner said...

I am so thankful you, your family and your home were spared....well, almost. When aerial views are shown of a tornado's destructive path, it is so eerie how one structure is completely destroyed, while something right next door is spared. I actually remember seeing one as a very young child growing up in Louisiana. It was in the far distance and moving away from where we lived, but it is an image I will never forget.

You and your family are in my prayers for safekeeping this weekend.
Hugs, Carol

Bonnie said...

Those are sobering pictures, Laura. I am so glad your family is ok. Certainly am sorry for your damage. Thanking the Lord you are all safe and damage wasn't as bad as it could have been.
We are on our way back to Alabama after a nice week in Texas. Still want to meet on one of our trips.

Theresa Ball said...

So glad you and family members are safe. It is a scary ordeal when you experience your first tornado when moving as you did from the Phoenix area. There are some good hints given by others about insurance, photos etc. It's a royal pain to go through.
One hint, just my personal to-do when tornadoes are forecast, - ahead of time - I put my purse, checkbook, iPhone, jewelry (and IRS tax return as it was in progress) and insurance papers in my safe closet. There could be other items someone might choose, but it's just something I do.
Theresa (from Prosper TX)