We even ended up spending a little time in the basement as we listened to reports that a strong storm system was headed our way. Our power went out, but fortunately we had someone watching out for us and texting me with the latest storm updates! As soon as the lightening and wind calmed a bit we switched our generator on and were back to normal. The worst of the storm ended up going to our South and we only had some branches blown from some of our trees.
Not everyone was so lucky. Two of the tiny towns to our South had a lot of damage (though, thankfully, no fatalities). The next morning when the Farm Kids heard about the trouble our neighbors to the South were having they immediately wanted to go help. With buildings down, metal grain bins shredded, and power lines down everywhere, it wasn't a situation where small children could really be in the yards and streets working on clean up. But there's always a way to help and it's so important to me that the Farm Kids know that. So we decided that since it's hot and humid out there we would pack up our wagon and buy a load of water, sports drinks, and juice boxes and head into the towns to hand out cold drinks to everyone working on the repair and clean up. We parked in the middle of town where it would be easy to go back to our SUV to reload the wagon as needed, and then headed out to walk through the town.
The damage was significant.
These piles of metal were grain bins like the ones standing behind them.
These were not run down buildings, this is all damage from this storm.
The vast majority of homes looked like this. This is damage from baseball size hail and very strong winds. The storm seemed to come from all directions and most houses have damage like this on all sides as well as many broken out windows.
This tree was in the front yard of one of my favorite people we met today, a very lovely 82 year old lady who already had nearly her whole yard cleaned up (by herself!) as she had been out working on it since early morning! She was hauling loads of brush into her big pickup truck and hauling them away, had already boarded up her 11 missing windows, and was getting ready to start cleaning out the remains of her many flower beds. She showed us where each of her treasured bushes and flowers had been (nothing remained) but then happily showed us a planter of bright pink flowers that had been safely in her garage when the storm hit. They are now the only bright and colorful spot in sight! She was happy and optimistic, telling us that she was just fine, her insurance would cover the windows and she was just glad her house hadn't blown away with her in it! We will definitely always remember her and her wonderful outlook!
By the way, we don't know where the top of this big tree went, it was nowhere to be found!
While we were out handing out our (very appreciated!) drinks, we saw others come to help as well, some of them just walking up to strangers and saying "What do you need? We can help."
It's always upsetting to see this kind of damage that people have to deal with, especially knowing that many of these folks don't have much money to work with. But it is also so uplifting and inspiring to see that every single person we encountered was smiling, telling us how happy they are to have their families safe and their homes (if maybe not their garages and barns!) still standing. They know they can find a way to fix the damage and are just thankful to live in a place where they know they can count on their community to be there to help them.
I am so very thankful to be a part of this community and to have the chance to watch my children learn from these wonderful people.
Are you having a stormy Spring? As I write this we are in another severe thunderstorm warning!
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