Moore, Oklahoma Tornado 2013

Needlepoint snowflake on a wooden background found in the debris of the 2013 Moore, Oklahoma tornado.

May 2013 Moore, Oklahoma Tornado

I live in Oklahoma.  Many of you have seen on the news the reports of last week’s devastating Moore, Oklahoma tornado (2013).  I have to drive about 25 miles or 30 minutes to get to Moore from my house — not too far. The day before the Moore tornado there was one that formed closer to our home, and did some damage just a little ways east of here.  We were hiding in our in-ground tornado shelter when the sirens went off here. That shelter was a Christmas present from us, to us this past year. As a result, this has been the most peaceful storm season EVER for me, and I’ve lived here for 25 years (however, my home has never been damaged by a tornado).

Tornadoes are a given here in Oklahoma. They happen every spring, and occasionally at other times of year as well. Many people would wonder why we stay here, given that.  I would have to say that it’s because of the people.  There are so many good, friendly, kind, generous people here in Oklahoma. Everyone I know that moves here from out of state tells me that the people here in Oklahoma are the nicest they’ve met anywhere. It also helps that this is home for me. I’ve been in the Oklahoma City metro area since I was in the 3rd grade. I love it here!

The day of the storm

Our family was headed out of town the morning of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado (2013). My husband was making a trip for work and for the first time, we took the whole family along. We were driving to a very small town in Texas called Sonora. We drove south on I-35 which took us through Moore and through Norman, the college town where Mr. AC and I met. It was sunny, and everything looked just fine there. It was later that afternoon that my Facebook newsfeed started telling me that things were not right back at home. I called my sister to have her explain to me what was happening.

It was a hard week to be away. Our hearts were aching to be home so that we could help and be a part of it all. Not that we wanted to feel sad, exactly, but we were sad, and we knew that others here at home would be feeling what we were feeling. Going home on Thursday we drove back through Moore and were amazed to see the change.

Moore, Oklahoma tornado clean-up efforts

This past Sunday I was helping clean up in Moore, along with many other members of our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and along with many other people from various organizations. I was sent to a city park in Moore to help pile up debris so that the city can more easily clean it up with various loaders and tractors, and such. I spent several hours that day cleaning debris out of a pond.

We were using metal rakes to pull the debris out of the water and then we would load it into sleds and haul it up the hill to dump onto a pile of debris.  Then trudge back down the hill and start over again. We were very blessed with a good enough wind to cool us off, and to help blow the debris to shore so that no one had to wade in to get it out.

Treasuring handmade items

While I was cleaning this debris I found two handmade items among the wood, broken plastic, dead fish, etc.  One of them was a crocheted potholder. Strangely, the final end was not woven in. Otherwise it was finished. I wondered if it was nearly finished when the tornado came and the maker did not get to weave in the end. I wondered if the tornado managed to rip the end out. The other handmade item I found was the half-completed needlepoint snowflake in the top picture.

Finding these things got me thinking about what handmade treasures I would lose if a tornado tore my home and life apart. It would be awful to lose the precious quilts made by my grandmother, mom, and mother-in-law.  What about all of the things I’ve made myself? My wedding gown which my mom made? Many things are replaceable, but those things are definitely not. So sad. I don’t think it’s likely that anyone reading this will know to whom this snowflake belongs, but if you do, please comment to let me know so that I can return it to its owner!

I am so proud to live in a great state of kind people. The response has been huge!  So many people are helping with the effort to clean up. Helpful, kind, loving people have also been pouring in from all over the country to assist. It is amazing how many ways people are finding to help, and how many people have traveled for hours to come lift spirits and clean up!

Hold on tightly to those you love!

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