What really matters...
A week ago Ross came home from a long day at work with the plan of playing with Isaiah for a couple of hours before packing up to head to Pittsburgh for a couple of days. About twenty minutes after we got Isaiah in bed we heard the alarm on our weather radio going off (when Isaiah hears it he says "are we all done with the beep-beep?"). Severe thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado were headed our way.
We switched gears from packing for Ross' trip to grabbing our most valuable items (Taya's scrapbooks), along with some bottled water, a bible, flashlight, and our trusty weather radio and we quickly converted our bathroom into a makeshift Tornado shelter. We grabbed Isaiah, surrounded ourselves with blankets and pillows, and spent the next several hours huddled in the bathtub with Isaiah's mattress over our heads, being serenaded by a combination of the wailing Tornado sirens, booming thunder, and crashing lightning.
It was so good for us. When the storm is raging all around, you quickly realize that your furniture and wardrobe are useless, your 401k and retirment savings are meaningless, and your plans for a nice vacation next summer are not really all that important. It completely refocused our perspective. To have our loving family huddled together in the bathtub singing "God is so good...God calms the storms...He's all I need", was such a good reminder of all that's really important. We are so blessed.
Several tornadoes did end up ripping right past our community, but never got close enough to damage to our house. We put Isaiah back to bed around 1:00am and then returned to packing for Ross' trip (not knowing if he would actually be able to get out of town). 3 hours later Ross was out the door for Pittsburgh where he had a quick but productive trip to meet with new volunteers for Western PA. Since he's returned, Isaiah has been sick twice, we've been hard at work getting ready for our trip to the Northwest next week, and we added a few more tornado warnings yesterday just for the fun of it. Now we can say it's been a whirlwind week, in more ways than one!
Here are a few pictures of the tornado damage just down the road from our house. Of course there are mobile homes, but also a mini-storage and car dealership. We couldn't get too close to the damage because the National Guard had it blocked off from all camera-toting lookie-loo's: