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.