Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tornado

We're safe! Just in case anyone was worried.

Huh? What's that you say? Were you in danger?

Yes, well maybe, kinda sorta. You see, we had a storm move through the area Friday evening (yes, Friday the 13th). There were 5 confirmed tornado's in the general area. The closest touched down about 20 miles from where I live and did quite a bit of damage.

But, we survived. We had golf ball sized hail, but it only lasted a few minutes. And, we haven't found any dings in our cars - yet.

So, what were we doing when the tornado sirens went off? Had we sought shelter in a downstairs inner room without any windows? No. We were standing in a line at a new Mexican restaurant waiting for our food. We had ordered it togo and were going to bring it back home to eat. But, when our food came, we looked out at the golf ball sized hail coming down and decided it might be better to eat in the restaurant and wait the storm out. By the time we finished eating, the worst of the storm had past and we were left with a gentle rain - so we drove back home.

BTW, the picture I included is an actual picture of one of the Tornado's Friday that somebody had uploaded and posted to the web site for our local newspaper.

So, does anyone want to move to Texas now? The thing is, natural disasters can occur no matter where you live. I grew up in California. Out there, it wasn't if, but when you would experience an earthquake. Here, the probability of experiencing a tornado is really quite small. The town I live in has only had one tornado - and that was 50 some odd years ago. The story is that it touched down on the lake and didn't do any property damage.

Although, I have experienced a Tornado in my life time. But, not in Texas. It was on my mission in Missouri. My companion and I were at the library in the church meetinghouse using the typewriter (I don't recall why). My companion was typing and I was standing at the window watching the rain. I recall there being some wind with the rain, but then the wind suddenly stopped and the rain was falling straight down. Then a fierce wind came up, ripped all of the leaves off of the trees and plastered them on the window so that you could no longer see out. I grabbed my companion and dragged him into the hallway (although, in retrospect, it was probably too late by then). Afterwards, we went outside of the church building and surveyed the damage. The church itself had only minor damage (I think it ripped off a few shingles). But, there was a house right across the street where it had lifted the roof off and then set it back down at an angle. The next few days we didn't do any proselyting, we rode around town on our bicycles looking for people we could help clean up debris.

The thing that amazes me with tornado's is how selective they can be. One house can be totally leveled and the house next door barely touched. On my mission, I recall seeing a house where it had ripped off the roof and two walls leaving the living room totally exposed. However, the furniture in the living room was still left just as it had been. There were even knickknacks sitting around untouched.

BTW, our Boy Scout troop was camping Friday night. And, yes, they stayed the whole night (from what I heard, the campground was a muddy mess from all of the rain), did all of the things on Saturday they had planned to do, and came home.

Are we just a bunch of dumb Texans that don't know when to stay out of the rain? Perhaps. But, I prefer to think that we aren't going to let other things that we have no control over dictate our lives for us.

That's how I like to think of my same sex attraction. I don't believe this was a choice; it's not something I have any control over. This is just part of who I am. I accept that now. But, I'm not going to let it run my life. I'm gay, and I am no longer ashamed. But it is not my defining characteristic. When I finish my mission here on earth, I hope my gayness is merely a footnote in the story of my life. And, oh, by the way, he was also gay.

8 comments:

Beck said...

You keep reminding us of the terrible things about living in Texas. If it's that terrible or stupid, why do you live there? There must be something redeeming quality of living in Texas (other than 70 degrees in January).

Or was my mother the smart one when she moved away before she got married and never went back?

Glad you're safe and well... I've always wanted to be in an earthquake, tornado, or hurricane - not to see carnage and death and destruction, but just to experience it and live through it! I missed the Oakland Bay Bridge collapse by 12 hours. I was driving there just the evening before! I still kick myself for having missed that one, though I'm not sure how fun it would have been to be smashed like a pancake when the freeway collapsed.

Nice tie-in with the "footnote" thing... but don't forget that part of life is living it, too.

Mormon Enigma said...

Texas really isn't that bad of a place to live. Yes, we do have occasional bad weather. But, Sunday was gorgeous. Except for the few areas hit by a Tornado, it was as if nothing had ever happened. And, it's not like other parts of the country are immune from occasional bad weather and other natural disasters.

A lot of people think of desert when they think of Texas. That may be a true image of the western half of Texas. But, Texas is a big state. I live closer to New Orleans, LA and Little Rock, AR than I do El Paso, TX. What do you envision when you think of Louisiana and Arkansas?

A big advantage of Texas is the cost of living. We don't have a state income tax, and property values tend to be lower here than in other parts of the country.

Loyalist (with defects) said...

believe me I've looked for the place with the greenest grass. i haven't found it. i have discovered that home is where the heart is. However i do have one caveat AZ is not the place. I cant stand the heat. :)

And I am glad to hear that you and your family/friends are safe.

Mormon Enigma said...

i have discovered that home is where the heart is

I've always felt that home is where your stuff is. :-)

However i do have one caveat, AZ is not the place. I cant stand the heat. :)

Well, you probably wouldn't like Texas - heat plus humidity. Although, I do tend to agree with you about Arizona. For me, it is just kind of ugly. At least I have a lawn - with grass. Although, I would take Arizona over Nevada or Utah any day. :-)

playasinmar said...

Does Arizona even have weather disasters? Or earthquakes? I can't remember ever hearing of one.

Mormon Enigma said...

Does Arizona even have weather disasters?

Flash floods. (my inlaws live in Arizona)

-L- said...

For some mysterious reason, the TV in the gym where I was working out was tuned to a local Texas station for the news. The anchor was one of the most annoying television personalities I have ever seen in my life (rambling about the impressive graphics under his face, the brownies someone in makeup had made... ridiculous). So, I got the play by play warnings throughout quite a bit of the tornado weather. I'm glad to hear that you made it through. And many condolences for your stupid TV reporters. ;-)

Mormon Enigma said...

The other thing that always gets me about Texas newscasts is that whenever something newsworthy happens elsewhere in the world, they always try to find someone in Texas who has some connection to the people involved, however remote. "And, now we have in the studio with us a man whose cousin twice removed has a friend who used to live next door to one of the ..."