Being Miss Maumee Valley

Saturday, June 24, 2006

for the first time, I really can't think of a title...

For the past two days storms have ravaged northern Ohio, from a tornado and flooding just a mile from my boyfriend’s home in the Toledo area, to a tree going into the home of a Forensics teammate in Wooster! I was at my parent’s home through all of it and fortunately our injuries were emotional and not physical. This is currently the front yard of the home I grew up in:

Call me sappy (no pun intended), but it almost brings tears to my eyes that this beautiful evergreen, that we now know to be 38 feet tall, will no longer be there. Similarly, I was devastated when my Grandpa’s dairy barn burnt a few years ago; the old oak tree fell on what was left of the loafing shed during the storm Thursday, destroying most of what remained of the structure. The truck parked within it was simply known as the "big truck," the bed of which was a place for hours of childhood play, it will surely still run, as long as the frame was not too damaged.

Reports confirm that in addition to high winds, two tornados touched down in the Rockford/Willshire area causing damage. Below on the right is a large branch wedged into the slats of my Grandpa’s shed; on the left, the wind blew in the doors and a window of the barn that sits behind my parent's house. We do not own the barn, and it’s obviously not kept-up, so I always worry for the day the owner demolishes it, because it just wouldn’t be the same without it there; I hope nature hasn’t given them a reason to do so.

If you look closely above on the left, there is a pinecone lying between the glass and the screen of one of the windows of my parent’s home, a foot above it is a diagonal rip in the screen. The photo above on the right shows the clouds still swirling nearly an hour after the storm had passed. (Click to enlarge all the smaller photos.)

For me, the participants in the event were really ironic…

My four year old niece and seventeen year old nephew were both at my parents house all week for bible school; my mom had other obligations midweek and asked me to come down to help out and transport the grandkids. When the storm hit, it was just us ‘kids’ at home. It came suddenly and immediately the electric went out; we stood in the kitchen for a moment watching the gray wind and rain swirl horizontally out the window. I remember thinking ‘are we in the tornado right now?’ We cleared the trapdoor to the basement and lit some candles down there, but honestly we were probably standing in the kitchen and looking for the candles during the worst of it! It’s ironic because when I was my niece’s age I was home alone with my brother and his friend, when he was about his son’s age now, during a tornado. We stood in the kitchen then, too, listening to the 100+ year old house shake, while a quarter mile away a barn was toppled by a tornado.

I remember that night only vaguely, but I still tell the story of the night I was in a tornado with my big brother… As I looked at my frightened four year old niece, I wondered if she’ll remember, or if she knew how much potential danger we were in… I wonder if I knew when I went through the same thing some twenty years ago…

On a lighter note, it was great to spend some time with both my brothers’ children and I saw quite a bit of family Wednesday for my Grandma’s 85th birthday!

My niece especially likes playing with my crowns; on the left she crowned her baby doll, and the crown on the right is full of flowers that she kept putting in it! People always ask if she’s going to do pageants like me… I say not until she is much, much older and only if it is her decision and desire to do so.


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