Friday, May 18, 2018

The Tornado This Week

On Tuesday a tornado touched down in Newburgh N.Y, where we live.  The devastation all over the city was breathtaking.  We had no damage to our house except a tree that split and didn’t touch the house. We had to look for a way to get home because the street was blocked with fallen overhead wires (which turn out to be Verizon), and downed trees. Pictures will follow. One of my cousins lost his deck. Another cousin lost a car, his generator, power, when a tree fell on them. And there’s no telling what he will find once all the trees are removed.  Luckily, no one in the family was injured but there were other people who were crushed by debris. 

Years ago when I was traveling through Kansas, there were reports of a tornado.  People don’t fool around with these warnings, they get to the storm cellar. (Like they did in Wizard of Oz). But we were East coasters staying in motel.  We made our way to the from office to find out if there was a shelter to which we would rush, and alas there was a tiny storm cellar, so the manager suggested we get into the bath tub.  To this day I don’t know how the bath tub would protect us, but  did it. Fortunately the tornado took another route, most likely to a trailer park which it seems they always get hit.  Why is that. Does mother nature hate trailer parks.  My niece lives in a level trailer park in Washington State, but I think she is safe.

Anyway, we have been trying to rebuild our city and it was working pretty well until the tornado ripped through the area that was being redeveloped and a street where the people new to the community as well as those who had been there for a while, gathered in one or another restaurants to make plans for the city in the future.  It was sad beyond words. We need to start over but there is little chance that any of those people had home and business insurance to help them.  We called friends and family to see what the damage had been but I just keep shaking my head in hope that it’s not as futile as I think it may be.

At my cousin’s house, the one with the trees that fell on the house and the car, my cousin Debbie, may she rest with the angels, had a deck outside her window.  On that deck was a little red chair (which weighed maybe two pounds)  and she would sit there, read,  and sun herself.  Whenever we rode by we would honk, or see her in the little  red chair.  It was like a symbol of how she spent some of her day. When the trees fell, they fell on her little porch, but nothing touched the little red chair. 

If you happen to be having a spiritual crisis and you don’t know if or what you believe in, then come over to Debbie’s. When you think of the devastation around it, it is impossible to imagine that the chair remains untouched.  Maybe it’s silly but I believe that Debbie was watching what was going on and she said, “no one is taking my chair— and don’t mess with me.”  It’s unclear what greater power she said it too, but the chair remains intact.

When I think about tornados, they are just not my reality.  As I said, Kansas or Oklahoma, perhaps, but Newburgh, New York —I think not. We were lucky, a tree split on the property but did not touch the house.  We lost power, hot water, phone, and the ability to use a computer.  It might take a few days for them to rid the streets of the tree and wires, and get the power back on but we are all safe. And it could have been much worse. It’s too bad the tornado didn’t touch down at the White House, and then they would have to clean up that really big mess.  We’re just sayin’… Iris