Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tornado Alley

I live about 35 miles down the road from Joplin Missouri.

I have been pretty restless these last couple of days. The talk radio station that I listen to  regularly is covering tornado news non stop and I can't turn it off.  All of the stations under the umbrella of Zimmer Radio are reporting wall to wall on news, missing person reports, taking calls and answering questions of listeners, interviewing city and federal officials with reports and updates.

Heartbreaking calls.

Rangeline...driving south

Yesterday, I went with my friend Gerri to Joplin MO, with a carload of groceries and supplies to help a friend and her extended family. They have a set of elderly parents who were sent to  the hospital in Miami OK. They both have injuries and her Dad may have suffered a stroke. Rita's folks have lost their home, as did  her sister.  One son has lost the roof and a wall from his house.  Our friend is trying to hold on to her job and juggle all the relatives floating in and out for food and a place to sleep.

It felt good to bring these much needed supplies to feed almost 15 people for maybe a month, but as we were driving out of the city gaping at the damage, that help felt like such a drop in a bottomless bucket!

I felt guilty taking the few pictures that I snapped out the window.

126 people have died. Around 100 are still listed as missing.

More of Rangeline...

 When I make it back, I will try to take pictures of the people we saw helping. I was just too dumbfounded to think of it.

 People standing out on the curb holding signs that read :"Free Dinner" at Fellowship Baptist Church

 About 15 people  wearing t-shirts that read RUBICON - they all looked exhausted and were waiting for their table at  The Red Onion downtown.
 I don't know who RUBICON is, but I love them!

People grilling hot dogs and hamburgers in open parking lots...
a giant semi and tent...people fixing food and  serving the Mo Highway Patrol
 We did not drive into the residential areas that were hit, where countless people are slugging away at this mess. Search and rescue teams are still searching and rescuing in there.

It felt so strange to see our favorite places standing quiet and normal, and then BAM, nothing but the flat horizon and miles and miles of rubble. Even though we knew where we were, we caught ourselves asking
 " where are we?"  It really is disorienting!

South Main heading North...

Joplin is my go-to town for a day away from the mundane country life. When I need something special to wear, a craft supply, a nice meal out, a flea market fix, I head for Joplin.  On Tuesday I sewed blankets just to keep myself busy

Today I heard that the crazies from Topeka are planning to come down on Sunday during a Memorial service...I wish the main stream media had the wisdom to ignore this group, but it will not play out that way.
I want to stand on the road with a sign that reads

Kansas loves Joplin!
We're with you Joplin!
Keep Calm and Carry On Joplin!

As I was picking up sticks out in the front yard today, it just seemed so pointless. My house needs to be cleaned but I just can't get started on it.

How do you eat an elephant, Joplin?


Farther along south Main, heading north

If you are searching for someone, or if your church wants to help, or if you just want to leave an  encouraging word..KZRG 1310 AM has a Facebook Page and they are the go-to place for information.

Give blood.
Send money.

Thank You on behalf of Joplin, MO.


  1. Oh mom, you've got me crying over this. I've actually found a station here that has Good Morning America around 5 a.m. (and of course I'm up eating!) so I've been watching their coverage about Joplin on there-but it's always the broadcast from the day before. It's so unreal. So glad you and Gerri went to help Rita and company--was it Jeremy's house that got damaged? Saw Chris's comment on FB, so I was wondering if it was Jenni's house. . .

  2. This is so heartbreaking Marybeth, we are witnessing the real world, terrible disasters, unnecessary loss of lives it's too much for people to cope with. Please take care.

  3. In 1999, Hurricane Floyd devastated many parts of eastern NC; our little town included. We were rescued from our front lawn in a boat. Thankfully, water didn't come into our home, but our church and many surrounding homes were flooded. That sparked a year long struggle of rebuilding in our community, of which we were heavily (too heavily) involved. You're right... it is an unimaginable suffering, so hard to know where to begin. All recovery efforts, whether in the physical or recovery of the heart, begin with love. One seed at a time until hope is restored. Our tendency is to take it all on rather than the "single bite" in front of us. I commend you for doing your little; it's important to keep doing it for the long haul. How quickly we are lured into the next big tragedy without taking care of the one in front of us! I'm speaking from personal experience here...

    You're hands on in Joplin. I'll keep my hands busy in NC.

    Blessings for a beautiful day.


  4. You've hit it right - they'll have to take this one bite at a time. I have been heartened by the response of others to help - will surely continue to pray for these folks - God Bless,

  5. This devastating scene is so horrific. Praying for those involved. Thanks for including Cedar HIll Ranch in your blog list!! I am a new follower.


"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." Ralph Waldo Emerson

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