Growing up in Kansas, tornadoes were just a part of life. They are fascinating, gorgeous, and amazing…till they reach down and cause disaster. It is easy to see why storm chasers are so obsessed with them, they are chaos in poetry from above. There are amazing things that happen when they pass by. Skies turn colors that seem impossibly green as if clouds are full of algae. Hail the size of softballs plummet from the sky and sometimes the rain goes up instead of down. Winds gust to speeds that cannot be physically possible…then…total peace and calm as everything swirls above. This is when you need to get downstairs. The quiet means it is about to hit.
Sunday night Kate, Max, Dodge and I hunkered down in the basement as a twister narrowly missed Wichita as it bound northeast across the state. It was the first major tornado in the area for the year so it got a lot of TV coverage causing my Facebook page to blow up with friends asking, “are you okay?” We were fine. We watched the news on the TV, Max drew with his crayons, Dodge napped, and Kate and I discussed how we needed to renovate the basement. After it passed we went upstairs, put the boys to bed, and went out on the patio to enjoy a cloudless evening with perfect temperatures. It was lovely out after the hail passed…and not a single cloud in the sky.
We have a small garage so Kate’s car gets parked outside and took direct hits from the golf ball sized hail that left our brand new little Kia looking like a golf ball itself with a plethora of dents and busted windshield. That was it. I haven’t looked at the new roof and siding yet…but I’m sure there is some damage. I told Kate how spooky this was that it was almost June and this was out first real tornado scare. This is another place where you can see global warming: Tornado season happens later every year and when it does happen…it is truncated and more intense than ever.
Then Monday happened. Moore, OK. It reminded me so much of Joplin it was spooky and watching the aftermath has been horrific. Immediately a number of friends organized a disaster relief idea which we invite anyone in the Wichita area to participate in. We are accepting non-perishable donations at Heroes Sports Bar & Grill tomorrow (Wednesday) from 6-9 PM to be trucked down to Moore through various organizations and groups we are coordinating with. This could have been my family. That could have been Max’s school. That could have been us. If you are in Wichita, please help us with the “Give Moore” program we are spearheading at Heroes and give what you can. The word is that there is a larger need for supplies than clothing so please, come to Heroes between 6-9 PM Wednesday and give what you can. Semi trucks will be taking goods down through Friday and every little piece helps. If you cannot come or would prefer to make a monetary donation please donate to the Red Cross. Items we suggest if you are unsure what to get are:
- Bottled Water
- Snack Bars
- Personal Hygiene Items
- Cleaning Supplies
- Work gloves
- New underwear/socks
- Insect repellent
- Pet Food
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