As another late night at the office was in the making, I heard a weather alert on the television. Thinking very little about Watches and Warnings, I grabbed my keys and walked out the door. I turned and said to my family, "See you later tonight!" Unconscience to nature's unyielding presence, I proceeded out of my home and heard something ominous.
As I unlocked my truck and opened the door, I stopped mid-way. Frozen by sounds of crashing cars, roaring rubber on asphalt, and screams in my neighborhood I tilted my head up for no reason. I saw a whirlwind of debris above my home.
It became silent. Then abruptly; rumbles, whirls, and howling hurt my ears. I ran back into the house screaming to my family to come downstairs into the small laundry room. It was too late, the destruction had started. While running to the safe place, I saw backyard possessions lifting as if a planetary vacuum was cleaning house. Fences were ripped from their posts and barbeque pits had no aim.
We started to pray a Hail Mary.
By the time we started another prayer, it was over. It was silent. I emerged from crouching family members not sure if it was safe. I immediately went to the front door and opened it. This time, I saw my neighborhood in ruins. The street was littered with debris. Pieces of homes, cars, backyard items, and fences were on the ground with no claim to their owners. Barking dogs were no longer, power and light had ceased, and we all were exposed by a massive whirlwind on Whirlwind Trail.
Much happened afterward. In the future, I might write about the heroism and quickness of neighbors. Similarly, the direct presence of first responders and police who protected and served our community is noteworthy.
But today, I am still dazed. Today, I write for myself. Therapy, I guess. I reflect through this blog on how my house, vehicles, and our lives were spared. As I walk around my neighborhood with camera in hand, I wonder. Was this natural selection or divine intervention? I know that my faith offers hope.
These photographs help me to contemplate why my family and I are here.