"Soon, it'll be just a memory. In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably think it's a tribute to this city, the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that's the sort of thing I'm always saying. But the truth is... I'm heartbroken."
~ Kathleen Kelley (Meg Ryan) in "You've Got Mail"
The landscape of where I've lived for 25 years, seems to be changing almost minute by minute. As a person that desperately hates change, and wants to live in 1954, most of it is disheartening to me.
We have long standing buildings burning, then being torn down:
But sometimes it's not man-made. It's nature made, and we all just have to sit back and "enjoy" the ride. That's what happened last Thursday night. Gene fortunately got home from work a couple hours early. We'd just finished dinner and was watching a bit of TV when I finally decided to pay attention to the weather bulletin at the bottom of the screen.
There were heavy storms northwest of here, and they were traveling southeast at 40 miles per hour. "Hey, that's us!"
Me: "The weather, baseball sized hail coming.... that's us"
Gene: "That says Shenandoah"
Me: "It says it's traveling southeast of Shenandoah. You know what's southeast of Shenandoah? US!"
Within minutes the sky went from cloudy to "nighttime". Tanner (fortunately) ran out and put the chickens in the coop, before he could even get back inside, it was pouring down rain. Then the wind.... then the hail!
But that wasn't all, once we made it through wave #1, a second wave came a couple hours later, and it was worse than the first! Reports are, that they reached 100mph winds (which is a level 2 hurricane). We should have left. We should have gone to the neighbors, but instead we sat on our couch waiting for our demise.
My house has never shook so hard. The interior walls were moving and you could hear the wind trying to pull the roof off of the house. In my fear, I started to text my friend Dan from Council Bluffs "how long will this last" as he'd just gone through it. "About a half hour" he returns.
a HALF HOUR?
Did I mention I was doing this in the dark, as we'd lost power?
Then, I couldn't even use my cell phone, and my connection to the outside world was pretty much lost. I could feel my blood pressure rising out of nervous fear, I had to get some advil even to relieve my impending headache.
Soon, it dwindled to nothing more than a heavy thunderstorm. With nothing else to do, and the worst of it being over, we went to bed around 10:30. Sometime in the night, the power came back on, and in the morning, our town looked like this:
The north side of most buildings had the crap beat out of them. Trees gone left and right, not to mention 100 year old barns and camper trailers here and there. Insurance companies had to call in disaster teams if that gives you an idea of the damage. We had quarter sized hail, some people north of us had baseball sized hail.
We were not unscathed. Like I said before, there's some upsides to living in the country in a bean field (the view is awesome, the quiet is deafening), but the down side is huge. We have almost no protection, so whatever we're given, we're required to just take it like a man.
- Part of our brand new roof is ripped up. I have a feeling the whole thing will need to be replaced.
- My windows are beat up, and my screens are gone.
- The chicken coop fence is blown half down, and the coop siding took a beating - my house siding took a bit of a beating, but it's not horrible.
- My AC unit looks like someone kicked it.
- My lawn furniture is bent to hell.
- Water came through 2 rooms in my house.
- My brand new gutters are all beat up! (extra grrr)
- My shutters are broken.
- And the pole my street light was on blew over.... which was a telephone pole, so that's SCARY! We didn't even hear it go down it was so loud!
The next day, even the clouds looked strange.
Even the grass was flat as a pancake!
The smell the next day, it was horrible! Cut grass is supposed to smell good, but beat up soybeans smells like cut grass times 1000.... too much!
Maryville, Missouri is safe. We're safe.
Go to hell hail.