Forgive my silence this week. I haven't had a whole lot to say. While my family and our homes are all safe, I have friends who - while all safe and well - suffered a great deal of damage. I drove through one of the affected areas for the first time yesterday, and it tore at my heart.
I'll show you a little bit of what has been on my mind and in front of me both in person and on the tv and computer screens.
We hid in our bedroom when we knew the tornado was close, but Mr. Jones realized it was passing us, and called me out to look out our front door. This is what I saw from our front steps:
When the power came back on, these were the images others had captured:
The aftermath has put our city and state in a national spotlight. There is a pride and a sense of togetherness that is unlike anything I have ever seen.
It's still hard though. Help is pouring in, there is a (new) sense of normalcy returning across the community. We're all trying to help, to find ways to make life a little easier for one another.
I drove through an impacted area, one of our main intersections, on Wednesday for the first time. It broke my heart. I can't believe the death toll isn't higher. We've been lucky. But when this is what lucky looks like, sometimes it's hard to remember.
It's the little things now that jar you. I forgot my lunch and needed to grab something. Half of my favorite restaurants are gone, wiped off the map. Starbucks is closed. It was in a shopping center that was at the edge of the tornado. It will be closed for a month. (That's another post for another day... You all know how I love my Starbucks.) I guess we will get used to this new normal. I just don't like it very much.
If any of you are looking to help, let me know and I can give you specific information. I've been touched already at the number of friends who have reached out to help those in need. You guys are all one of a kind.
XOXO - and many blessings,