Friday, June 10, 2011

Counting Our Blessings

This wasn't the post I planned for our first day back from vacation, but there are times when you see something that touches you and you must collect your thoughts on it.


On Wednesday, June 1st, Western Massachusetts was hit by severe storms that included thunder and lightning, rain, hail, and several tornado touch downs. We lost power for two days, and we spent the night before flying out to Disney at my in-laws' house, whose community was amazingly untouched by the tornadoes that led Governor Deval Patrick to declare a State of Emergency. It wasn't a great start to our vacation, but it was more of an annoyance for us than to the many people throughout Western Massachusetts who still have not been able to return to their homes.

That night, I found myself dismally unprepared for such an unexpected event. My husband called from his office to say he could see the funnel from his window. Within minutes, we had lost electricity at the house and I scrambled to find batteries to work even one of our radios. I started bottling water and prayed.


As the girls and I listened to updated reports on a radio that literally fit in the palm of my hand, I could only imagine what it looked like out there beyond the view from my house. I heard of roofs being torn off buildings, people trapped in cars, and some being forced to seek shelter when they couldn't get home. We had no electricity, no phone, and cell phone service was so sporadic that for a span of several hours, we were totally cut off from the outside world. In between this mess, my husband thankfully made it home safely.

When all was said and done, four people died and dozens were injured. On the drive home from the airport yesterday, we had a chance to view some of the damage from last week's tornadoes. It left me speechless. Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed. Once familiar landscapes have been forever changed. Thousands of majestic trees have been uprooted and many that remain had their tops sheered right off.



Our local schools, utility companies, police and fire personnel, and numerous volunteers are working together to clean up from this horrific event that caused home owners to file insurance claims totalling $90 million, according to this Boston Herald article.

I hope you'll keep everyone affected by the recent storms in your thoughts and prayers. Right now we're definitely counting our blessings.

18 comments:

Nicole weaver said...

Cheryl,

I am very blessed you and your family are not harmed. I will definitely keep those who have been displaced in my prayers. thanks for sharing.

Nicole weaver

Kai said...

Cheryl, those pictures are astounding! I'm glad your family wasn't affected, and I will certainly pray for those who were. Welcome home. Hope the vacation was enjoyable.

lifeinreviewblog said...

I'm so glad you all weren't hurt by that! I'm orginally from Missouri and we have family in Southern MO so the Joplin tornado hurt my heart. I did not have anyone that I knew affected by it, but I did know the area very well. The tornadoes have been so bad this season!

Blessings
Michelle V

terri.forehand said...

The storms have hit almost everywhere it seems, even here in Indiana. Blessings for all those going through clean up. It is a devastating loss to some homeowners, but a good reminder that our hope is not in material things.
Prayers for those dealing with this spring season of storms.

Rebecca Camarena said...

I didn't know that tornadoes happened up that high in the states. Glad you had a good time on your vacation.

Janet Ann Collins said...

I'm so glad you and your family are okay. The disasters, which we've had more than enough of lately, mean more when you know somebody personally in the area.

Cheryl said...

Thanks everyone. This is highly unusual for us. My nine-year-old still hasn't stopped talking about how I told her things like this rarely happen here. Honestly, I've lived here for 43 years and nothing like this has occurred. Between the freaky winter and it's record snowfalls to this horrible stormy season, I feel like we're in Oz.

Admin said...

Bless your heart...I can't imagine walking up to a neighborhood that was there yesterday not there today. I just can't imagine. Thank God you and your family are safe!

Tribute Books said...

Hearing about the sighting of a cyclone funnel in Massachusetts just isn't right - my prayers go out to all who suffered through these tornadoes this spring.

Karen Cioffi said...

Cheryl,

Thankfully you and your family were kept safe. My prayers are with those who weren't as fortunate.

The pictures are amazing. What devastation.

Soren Petrek said...

Thank God you and yours are safe. So many people have and are suffering from the incredible number of natural disasters this year along with so many financial problems, it reminds one to count your blessings and keep moving forward.

Soren Paul Petrek

kathy stemke said...

Thank God you and your loved ones escaped that devastation. The photos are incredible! Life is indeed fleeting. My prayers go out to all those effected by this storm.

Alexander said...

Whew! Glad you were safe!!

J. Aday Kennedy's Brain Fart Explosion said...

I'm thankful you were spared.
Aday

BarbaraB said...

The pictures of the devastation are horrfying. My heart goes out to those affected by the storm. I'm glad you and your family are okay.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for all your kind words and prayers, everyone. They are greatly appreciated.

Cheryl

NancyCL said...

Ohmigoodness, Cheryl...what a horror to come home to! MA is NOT supposed to have tornadoes, but thank God you're all okay and didn't suffer any personal damage. Hope you had a wonderful vacation. We just got back too! Take care and "talk" soon. Hugs.

V.R. Leavitt said...

I'm so glad you all are ok, and my heart definitely goes out to the people who suffered major losses. How awful.
-Vanessa