Battle Creek Tornado, Post #2

Literature Blogs

On Sunday, I wrote four pages of observations on notebook paper before deciding to write tonado-related things in my pen and ink journal, including important phone numbers, notes, priorities, and even scattered half-phrased thoughts. I’m now on my 25th tornado page in that journal. I figure, as a writer, someday I’ll return to those pages for future stories/articles. For now, it’s simply a central location for stuff my brain is too shaky to retain.

Five points to today’s post:

1) We still are without power and water. Yesterday, there were still 31,000 people without power, with the plan to have everyone restored by 11 pm tonight. Even so, our wires are pulled away from our house and under a large oak, so unsure of when this applies to us.

2) Son John had his own tragedy happen a week before ours. A drug-crazed stranger threw a 50-pound boulder through his car window, then proceeded to rip apart the dashboard before threatening John’s life. Far away carless John is in his own survival mode, but wishes he could help as well. There will be stuff for him to do later. No worries.

Monday, Jeff called Son Peter, who lives 5 hours away. As soon as he found out the extent of the devastation, he drove here with a chain saw, lots of bottled water, tarps, and nails. We had a list of three major things he could help us with during his overnight stay. They were all accomplished two hours after he arrived. It was like Jeff and I were taking baby steps in shock, while Peter comes in as a triathlon athlete (which he is, actually). He whipped through a project, then said, “What next?” His time was not only a physical boost to us, but definitely an emotional boost.

3) Our yard went from 90% shade a week ago to 90% sun this week. Sunlight comes through windows which hasn’t seen sun in our seven years here.

Related to that: With downed trees all about, it took Peter four attempts to get to our house. Even so, the neighborhood looks so different, he started to drive past our house when he saw us out front. Yesterday, Friend Francie, who was out-of-town during our storm, drove down our little street (a whopping 20 or so houses), and became confused when she realized she’d reached the end of the street and had to of have passed our house.

4) People keep asking what we need. This morning I broke down for the first time and cried with “Cuz” Dale called from Mississippi, saying how she touched she/they were when members of my church and I went to help with Katrina clean up, and asked “If there is anything at all I can do–” I answered, “Dale, you already have.” It’s the care and concern and compassion, and being a friend — that is the BEST thing anyone can do for us. Just be our friend. Thank you.

5) Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to work on some photos at home to post on FB tomorrow. Hopefully. It’s hard to plan things more than a few minutes ahead of time.

Love to you all. We sure feel it coming at us from you.

6 thoughts on “Battle Creek Tornado, Post #2

  1. Ooh, I hope you have power now! It’s probably easier for them to just cut the wires under the tree and string new ones to your house. I know about power companies and promises, though. Sometimes nature is just stronger. Still–when we had our ice storm and had no power for a week, I felt like kissing that power truck from Louisiana when it drove up our street!

    If your bedroom is smashed, is the rest of your house livable? I hope you aren’t one of the people in a shelter. 😦 (I hope the people in shelters can go home soon, too.) Some of the photos from the news look rather drastic. Thinking of you, my friend.

  2. Hi Sandy, I saw your post on the Children’s Writer loop that led me here. First, thank you for posting. I grew up in Battle Creek. My mom and brother are still there. I had no idea about the tornado. It wasn’t on the news where I live. So your post also served as a public service. Thankfully, they have power back and are unhurt.

    Second, I’m so very sorry to hear you’re going through this. I remember a similar storm that went through back in the summer of 1980. So not fun.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and the rest of BC.


    • Hi Cheryl. Sorry it’s taken so long to respond, or even to “find” your comment buried in my email comment-approval. The first I heard this was a tornado was from a Canadian friend. But now they are calling it 100 mph straight winds, even though there is video of funnel clouds over our neighborhood. Tomato – Tomahto. I’m assuming your mother and brother were/are safe, and with power by now. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. ~Sandy

  3. Hi Sandy. Ruth posted your blog link to MichKids to let us know about the tornado. My husband manages an apartment complex in Battle Creek and they had an entire courtyard of large trees uprooted and smashed on top of a car. No one was injured. Glad to hear you are safe. We’ll be thinking of you during the clean-up and challenges ahead. Take care.

  4. Thanks, Rose. John is fine. He is young and tough and probably thinks the experience is “cool”… well, I’m sure not really, but something to tell his friends at parties, anyway. Two rooms of our house are without power indefinately: our “master bedroom” (which is only about 2′ larger than the guest bedroom where we’ve moved into), and the den, which is Jeff’s home office, and my work area when he’s not using it. BUT we used a LONG extension chord for the den to use the computer, etc. NOW, if only Comcast would hook up our internet service. It’s been over a week. I’m using Jeff’s WORD office to get on line now while he’s at a meeting. Thanks for your concern. Seriously.

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