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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Healing With Helping Hands


It's been a weird weather year in Oklahoma. We had chilly weather on and off for all of April. Between the chilly days, we had summer. Some nights we would use the heater and have to turn the air conditioner on by morning. I've lived here all my life, and it never fails to amaze me how the weather can turn in the twinkling of an eye. Much of May we had wearable weather. The humidity was so heavy it felt like you were wearing a mink coat soaked in hot water. May 20th, we had threat of severe weather and you could feel it in the air. Around 1:30 after lunch, several co-workers gathered on the sidewalk out front to watch the clouds coming our way. Yes, it's true, in Oklahoma when we are in a tornado watch, that's exactly what we do.... We go out and watch. Not far in the distance you could see the clouds swirling, occasionally making a funnel that would then be quickly sucked back into the clouds. I watched for a while, but decided to take my mind off all the commotion by doing some work. Tried as I may, the commotion could not be blocked, as
the mood was like an electrical current running through the building. The weather didn't affect my mood, but the excitement coupled with high pitched squeals and constant chatter sat my nerves on edge. With the forecast, I thought to myself "This is going to be a long spring." Back at my desk, my daughter called. She was locked inside JcPenney's. The store wouldn't let anyone leave until the threat had passed. As we were talking the electricity went at work ramping the mood up another notch. Thankfully, they sent us home where everyone uses their inside voices (peace and quiet does this body good). When I got home, my husband was out in the yard and we sat on the porch as the clouds swirled around us. Our electricity was out also so we had sandwiches for dinner (no cooking!!!) The electricity came back on around 8. We flipped on the TV to see what the weather was doing. Sadness wrapped our hearts. Moore Oklahoma had been devastated by a tornado that at times was 2 miles wide. It wiped out neighborhoods
as well at two elementary schools. 14 years earlier a tornado had taken almost exactly the same path. The debris flying through the air literally defoliated the bark from trees, grass from overpasses and left nothing but slab foundations where house after house had stood. But this time, the tornado had hit during the day, while the schools were still filled with children. I called both of my kids who live in the city to make sure they were safe. My brother lives in the Moore area and works for OU. I sent him a text to see if he was okay, but he never responded. Later my son texted me back to tell me his Uncle was okay, but headed to Moore with a crew and heavy equipment. The next day I learned his crew had helped locate the children who had not survived the storm. I could feel the heaviness in his voice. It was
a sad week for Oklahomans. Summer finally arrived in June with hot, but not unbearably hot days. July was a pleasant surprise with summer weather mixed with rain which we hadn't seen in about 3 years and usually never in July. August has started out the same... Hot, heavy and a surprise rain or two so far. Everyone is keeping their fingers crossed for a long beautiful fall. People are still putting their lives back together from the spring storms, but the good thing about Oklahoma is there are always helping hand close by to help with the healing.

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