Guess My Little Projects Can Wait

Harrisburg just named the seventh victim who after a week in the hospital has just died of his injuries.  The loss of lives is just so sad.  Henryville, Indiana, and the surrounding communities have been on my heart as well.  Forty people have been counted dead.  Little Angel’s story perhaps the saddest of all:  Mom, Dad, three children.

The video by the young man in Henryville was just scary.  I can’t imagine the energy from not one but at least two big tornadoes.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Raw Video by Danny O’Shea, posted with vodpod

getting ready to rebuild

So my home improvement projects seem rather trivial in the face of this kind of devastation.  One of the carpenters from our area was only gone about an hour or so to give the estimates on the repair for several homes.  When asked why he was back so quickly, he stated “they don’t need carpenters; they need bulldozers.”

They are starting from scratch while I am just scratching at my surface to give it the attention it needs.  Attention that can sit on the back burner until those who have no home can spare a carpenter.

This is Our America

Since the tornado in the early morning hours of February 29, it seems I just haven’t had the inclination to think about much of anything else except the ones who were killed, their families, the destruction, the coming together of community, the pouring in of disaster relief workers and monies and food and …

It’s amazing to hear the stories.

Jaylynn, 22, was such a believer that even though her parents couldn’t find her, they knew that no matter where she was, Jaylynn was with God.  Even in her death she glorified the name of Jesus.

carrying the school color

To combat a threat by the church that protests at funerals, can’t bring myself to even acknowledge their name, hundreds of people lined the sidewalks to shield the families.  Thankfully, the threat was an empty one, but the sight of all those people in the community coming together to support the families was powerful.

A man walked into the Methodist Church, the hub in the community for serving disaster teams and volunteers, said he was from Chicago and had driven down to help.  He handed over $1,000.

Another person walked into the clinic to ask where the $7,000 check should go.

Truckloads upon truckloads of necessities.

People from all walks of life, all over the country, working to saw trees away from homes, pick up debris, anything that needs done.

Catholic Church before the Leap Year Tornado

Catholic Church after the tornado

People giving and giving and giving and helping and helping and helping.  This is America.  The true America.  The real America.


Right In My Back Door

This past week two small towns in my vicinity were hit by devastating tornadoes.  One small town, Ridgway, is only ten or so miles away; the other town, Harrisburg, is twenty miles away.  Six people died in Harrisburg.  For more information about them, here is the site to one of the local tv channels:

My heart is heavy for the town of Harrisburg.  They have lost some good people.  And my heart is even heavier for the families of these good people.

My facebook friends have been posting pictures.  Here are some of them.

Harrisburg Tornado Rt 45 and 34 junction

homes demolished

path of the tornado

there just aren't words to convey the sadness

just unbelievable


Brady Apt by Stephanie Tyrpak

the strip mall that had several stores

These are just a few of the many devastating pictures.  Piles of rubble that used to be a lovely brick church or the Golden Circle.  Homes with the roofs blown off.  Huge trees uprooted.  Semis to cars turned on their sides.

Thankfully no one in Ridgway was killed, but they lost a  most beautiful church, approximately 150 years old, and businesses and homes were destroyed or damaged.  Here are some of the photos of that area.

This beautiful, old church was destroyed when the roof fell in -- all but the altar, that is.

The altar still stands

One of the main businesses in Ridgway

So many wonderful people immediately stepped up to the plate and started swinging, bringing in water, setting up a food trailer for the rescue workers and volunteers, donating money, whatever was needed.

These are the things I am going to remember on those days when the bad news far exceeds the good news.  These good people, their good hearts and helping hands; their strong backs and arms as they hold the chain saws to cut homes and businesses out of fallen trees; their tired, aching bodies from searching through rubble for someone alive.