The Blog Post After the Joplin Tornado

Several have asked for a link to the post I made after the Joplin tornado. Here’s the blog post

As my friend, Vicky, mentioned in a comment earlier, she called on my cell phone fairly late that night and I was shocked that the phone rang because I had no cell service. I asked her to call Vince and tell him I was safe. She called him, explained that she was my friend who lived in California (at the time) and that she had gotten through to me and I asked her to call him. She said they had a nice chat.  🙂

For those who were not reading my blog back then, this is one of the reasons why I love my blog readers and consider you all truly amazing friends. 

After the tornado, most readers knew that Joplin was where we went for medical care, where we went to shop and where we went to eat out. Readers from near and far began asking what they could do to help Joplin. I asked that those who wanted to help send checks to me made payable to The Red Cross and set a deadline for the first week in July. We were moving to Texas and I had to get everything wrapped up before I left town. Vince started the new job in Texas on May 1, 2011 and I was leaving August 15.

Readers ended up sending in a little over $11,000, which was all donated to The Red Cross. Is that amazing?

Chad was scheduled to have his tonsils out right after he graduated from college, which I think happened 2 weeks after the tornado but because Joplin had lost one of their two hospitals during the tornado and the medical area was hit hard, his surgery had to be rescheduled and we were pushing it to get him recovered before the movers arrived.

Joplin has rebuilt and seems even busier and more robust than it was before the tornado. All the major businesses are back, or at least the ones I recall being destroyed. Dillon’s not rebuild, I don’t think the quilt shop, Sew Neat, rebuilt. I’m not there enough to know what came back and what didn’t but I know Joplin now has crazy traffic and lots of restaurants!

My Storm Snack Food

Any time there’s bad weather, I always want brownies. I’m not a huge chocolate fan but I think it goes back to 1997 when Lake Charles, where it hardly ever even gets below freezing, had an ice storm. We went to bed that night knowing there was a chance of ice but during the middle of the night, I began to hear limbs breaking and that’s when I thought living in an all electric house might not be a good idea. At our house, we were without power for 7 days. Even though my parents were all electric too, they had a fireplace so at least we wouldn’t freeze to death. I think we made it at our house til about noon the next day and then we loaded up whatever we couldn’t live without for a few days and went to mom and dad’s.

The weather ended up getting warmer after a few days but there were so many lines down, that even with help from all over the country, it still took about 10 days to get all the power back on.

The folks in mom’s neighborhood were cleaning out their freezers and having big cookouts. It was kinda like a neighborhood buffet every night . . walk around and see who had what. One of mom’s neighbor’s built a solar oven out of aluminum foil and baked brownies and now, every time we’re snowed in (I should say WERE because that doesn’t happen much here in Texas) or we have ice or we have any kind of power outage, I want brownies and since my oven doesn’t work without electricity and half the time there’s not enough sun to use the solar oven, I just sit and want and do without.



Today . . I decided I’d get the upper hand and make brownies before we lose power so I did! After all, if the power goes out, there’s a lot of Blue Bell ice cream that will have to be consumed quickly and brownies are always good with ice cream.

Back during the ice storm of 1997, probably after the kids all had too much brownies, Chad and one of his cousins collided and Chad had a huge goose egg on his head. Another neighbor was a doctor and he came over and checked Chad out by using the headlights of his car to look into Chad’s eyes. By the way, that doctor is the guy whose wife Steel Magnolias was written about.

What a neighborhood, huh? A doctor who can check out a kid’s injuries by a car headlight and a lady who knew how to build a solar oven and baked brownies!

At least if a storm passes through here, I’ll have my brownies. I should probably eat them now because depending on the severity of the storm, I might not get a chance. Yep . . brownies and ice cream . . coming right up!  🙂

Weather Alert

When bad weather is predicted,  I never know what’s real and what’s hype so I figure I’ll just assume it’s real and be ready. I’ll never forget the night I spent in a cabin on the lake with the tornado in Joplin and I had no idea where I was (what county I was in) or which way the storm was headed. No cell phone service . . alone in that little cabin and I seriously thought my time was up. That night left me with a pretty hefty fear and appreciation for severe weather.

Texas Storm Chasers is where I go for severe weather updates. Apparently there are lots of us depending on them today as their sight has been down more than it’s been up due to heavy traffic. 

Oklahoma City to Wichita, KS looks like it’s going to get the worst of it so I hope everyone in those areas has a safe place to go.

We’ve taken down all the bird feeders and anything that could be blown through a window. The cars are pulled as far under the carport as we can get them. 

Grab & Go Bags

Grab & Go Bags

My bags are refreshed! A few changes of clothes, dry shoes, prescriptions, Kindle, a charger that can work off the solar charger, the car charger or electricity, dog food, dog leashes, dog pills, toiletries . . everything we need for a few days. It isn’t much but it would keep me going a couple of days til I could get something. Again I’m reminded of Joplin when so many people lost everything and the mall was shut down . . the entire city was shut down so what they escaped with was all they had til the Red Cross and other relief organizations arrived.

Please remember that it doesn’t take much for us to lose power here and without electricity, we have no internet, no home phone and no cell service so don’t worry if you don’t hear from me.  Even if the news isn’t reporting horrible weather in my area, we could still be without power.

We’ll be fine . . we may just be out of touch for a few days.