Monday, May 12, 2008

A Heavy Dose of Reality

As you might have heard earlier this past weekend, Northeast Oklahoma was hit hard by two crazy big tornadoes.  Picher, OK took the brunt of the two twisters and pretty much decimated the small town of a 1,000 or so people.  And in case you're wondering where we are in relation to that, it's only about 4 miles.  4 very small miles that can change your perception on just how lucky you are.

It was almost 6pm when Rudy (our wrangler up here at Cave Springs) called me on the radio telling me to step outside and take a gander at what was heading our direction.  As I looked to the sky, I saw blackness and the remnants of 2 tornadoes that had just dissipated and went back up into the sky, effectively skipping right over the camp and saving us from utter destruction.  My first thoughts were, "dang, I didn't get to see it actually on the ground moving."  But those thoughts changed quickly when I imagined what might have been.  It's kind of weird because I think in reality, all of is would like to witness something like this because of the sheer magnitude and power of something we can't control or stop.  When I lived on the East Coast, it was the same way with hurricanes.  You always thought they were cool from a distance, but once they got close to you, you were scared and praying for mercy upon whatever the storm touched.
So after all that going through my head, my thoughts turned to who did take the hit of those 2 tornadoes, which the Meteorologists tagged with Class 4 classifications (the highest is 5).  In the next 10-20 minutes, people were calling us asking if we were okay and going through their own checklists of who they have called and heard from.  The lone person no one had heard from was Dana Kelly, our Director of Food Services at camp.
Moving forward a couple days to today, Rudy and I drove out to her house and witnessed the devastation of Picher.  Dana lived right in the path of the tornadoes and her house was hit hard.  Although, she didn't take nearly as much pounding as her neighbors.  Only about 100 yards behind her house, 6 people died in an area that was cluttered with empty places where houses once stood.  Where memories had been made by families that once lived there.  Just driving there, it was hard to take it all in and then comprehend the fact that I still have everything.  We drove past one house where a man was literally sitting there staring at this huge pile of rubble that I can only assume was once a place of security, happiness, and bliss.  But he was just sitting there staring at it.  And here I am driving through all this staring as well, but with no loss.  Well, I take that back.  A loss for words.  
We got Dana's things all packed up and luckily, all of her major appliances were still in working order.  Now she literally has to abandon her house so that insurance people and FEMA can come in and inspect.  I felt like a huge idiot when I asked her what her next move was.  She responded with, "I don't know" and it seemed to be sufficient.  How do you know in a time like this when in a matter of 10 minutes, everything is stripped from you?  Fortunately, she has a place to stay and is ready to move past this whole mess.
I'm sorry if this was a depressing post.  But it was something that hit me really hard and something I will never forget.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bedside Tables Poll

What the heck do I put in a Bedside Table?

I just recently bought some pretty nice furniture and thought I was all grown up until I came to this conundrum. I feel like an idiot with these nice matching tables and yet, I don't do anything with them.

If you know anything about me, I love to be efficient and everytime I see them, I hate myself for buying them because they don't do anything for me. All I use them for is setting my clock and phone on at night. In my ridiculous mindset, something has to be done about this. I thought about putting a Bible in there but then thought it was stupid because I felt like I was a Gideon trying to fill a hotel full of the Good Book.

So here's my idea: You tell me what to put in there.

I'll let whoever responds to this post figure out this dilemma. Now, let's be reasonable here kids. I'm not stuffing a gorilla or something stupid in there. But give me some suggestions here.

It's killing me.

Help a brotha out.