Day 6 After the Tornado

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As word is getting out to people in town who were unaffected by the storm, or to distant friends as well, that we Carlsons were one of the home owners struck by trees and without power, and consequently for us, without water, since we’re on well water (think no toilets, showers, cleaning ANYthing, bodily or otherwise), people are asking what do we need? What can they do to help?

We are safe, and physically healthy. We are thankful (and amazed) that there were no injuries or deaths related to this storm. Just a few miles away at Fort Custer, Friends Carrie and Jim were camping over the weekend. They only had 15 mph winds there. It was a VERY strange storm.

As of this writing, we still do not have power or water.

But “first” off, THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONCERN FOR US. It means far more than anything we can think of (for you to do for us).

Thursday, Friend Dale, whom I’ve known since I was 11 years old – we call each other “cuz” ‘cuz we looked alike – she called from Mississippi to tell me they (in Mississippi) wanted to do something for us in Battle Creek, especially since people from our church went to help them after Hurricane Katrina. It was the first time I broke down and cried.

Friend Jan from here, came over on Tuesday and, knowing we didn’t have water, told me she wanted to wash our dirty laundry. Memorial Weekend was our 33rd wedding anniversary, so I’m afraid I procrastinated laundry enough to have four or more loads, including the plaster-covered clothes or towels used during immediate cleanup. Normally, I would have been embarrassed to allow someone else to handle our dirty clothes. Thank you, Jan. It wasn’t an emergency, but it sure was one big-ish thing we didn’t have to worry about doing (at a laundromat).  Whenever I smell Downy, I shall think of you and smile in gratitude.

“Secondly,” prayer works! Our regular Thursday Morning Prayer Meeting at church prayed especially for us, we were told. All day long yesterday, Jeff kept saying, “This has been a crazy day.” One example from the many things which happened: We’d been waiting since Monday morning for our tree removal people to come and get our tree. They finally called and said they’d be out Thursday afternoon. Our next door neighbors hired someone to clear our tree which fell on their house, and their guys were there Thursday morning. They’d stopped at the property line, and Jeff and I thought no more about it. We were in the basement with generator stuff, and when we came back up an hour later, their tree people had cut the tree off our house and down to the root ball. Uncertain at first what to do, Jeff finally went out and talked to them. They’ll come back and get the rest of the trees (not on our house) at some later date. BUT all this was in time for the electric company folk to come by and attach lines from the street to our house. SO, instead of weeks without power, we we’re supposed to get it “soon.” (I’m sending this from Friend Francie’s house.)


A neighbor wrote on FaceBook Sunday night, “Need bread,” and was inundated with loaves by Monday afternoon. It got me thinking what do WE need?

One, there are others in the area worse off than we are, some without insurance. They have needs far greater than our inconveniences of no power, light, or water. And, two, when you think of the millions of people in Third World places, or even here in America, who don’t have these, we absolutely have the four things people need to survive: food, water, shelter, love (like from caring folks like you).

Yes, it’s true that we have no water at our house, but Neighbors Mark and Cindy across the street have “city water,” and have graciously allowed us to use their outside spicket day or night. Mark calls me “Water Girl.” But “Water Man” (Jeff) helps carry, too. While we only have to walk across the street for clean water. Some people on this planet must walk miles for it.

Yes, it’s true that yesterday, we threw out all our stinking food from the refrigerators – and what a treasure to find a jar of unopened pickles in there — but we are former campers, and used to roughing it, just not in our own house. We find a lunch of peanut butter and crackers and V-8 and applesauce is quite satisfactory. There are also restaurants opened now near to us.

What do we need? The answer is fluid. On night one, tarps and nails. By night two, ibuprofen. A cell phone charger was vital for communicating with the many, many professionals needed – insurance, tree removal companies, roofers, building contractors, etc. (As I wrote this paragraph, the power came on. Hallelujah!!! The generator can be turned off.)

Although we have water (yea) we will only have partial power in our house because of broken walls and breakers turned off to that portion of the house, which only affects the den and master bedroom. But did I mention we have power?

We won’t have internet at home for a while, nor land line phones or tv, but those are SUCH luxuries, and only means a bit of inconvenience to do things we were used to. Life will come back better than before.

I’m posting some photos on my FB page, but thought a moment ago that before and after shots would show more dramatically the comparison of damage done.

Many, many thanks to you all for your care and concern during this time.

7 thoughts on “Day 6 After the Tornado

  1. Glad to hear you are getting partial power and have friends helping with things like water. You seem to be hanging in there incredibly well given the circumstances. My daughter and I are still a bit freaked out that we could have been in it and how bad it looked earlier that day before the tornado.

  2. Sounds like you have wonderful friends and neighbors. The power back on is a really great thing too. Praying for you all!

  3. Pingback: Day 6 After the Tornado « Sandy Carlson's Writing Blog (Michigan) | Tree Trimming Austin

  4. Whoa, Sandy. Wish we could do something physical to help, but at the very least we’ve been praying for you guys, too. My kids have been asking if you’re okay, too. SO GLAD that you have power and water!!!!! And wow, good luck with your missing house parts. I hope you get the wall fixed soon and that you can have the calm you need in the meantime.

  5. Sandy–your post on the net was the first I had heard of your tormado. Dear Lord, you must have been terrified. Is your house livable after the two trees crashed down on your roof? I’m glad you have power now, but, having experienced many days’long power outages in my life, I know it must have been frustrating to say the lease.

    And thank God for your boys. A good thing they weren’g there at the time, and really super of them to rush to your rescue with stuff you really needed.

    Bob and I are both praying for you Jeff. I know you are two strong people and can weather (excuse the pun) just about anything, but I hope the worst of your problems have been dealt with and you can be a little more liesurely abou the rest.. Does the church own your home? If not, I surely do hope you’re well insured!

    Blessings on you both, and hope you get your net up and running soon.

    Barb Yirka

    • Barb, I’m just taking time to catch up on emails and saw this one waiting, waiting, waiting for me to approve. THANK YOU for your concern and sweet words. Still without home internet, but still sneeking out of the whenever-will-things-get-clear-around-here house to get some on-line time. Funny thing about while it was happening: we were too stunned to be terrified. All this is GREAT writing fodder… for SOMEday. Love back to you, my friend.

  6. Thanks, Natalie, Sharon, and Rose. 🙂 It’s caring friends like YOU which carry me through this, even if you aren’t physically doing something. And prayer DOES work. Thank your kiddos for me, Rose. How SWEET of them to ask about me/us. Hugs.

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