wine on the keyboard

Weather Thoughts

by Kay~Kacey on 9/27/2008

I’ve been totally enjoying our week of 80 degree weather and sunshine here in the midwest. A wonderful week. Lots of time spent just thinking out on my walks. I’ve been thinking weather thoughts, and what photo to use for our Photo of the Month contest this month. After we finally decided the theme was weather. Weather is funny. It can change lives in an instant. A hurricane can wipe out a town. An earthquake can tumble bridges and buildings and homes. A tornado can spring out of control, dancing through a town picking and choosing what buildings and lives it will destroy.

Back in April 2006 a tornado ripped through the town of Caruthersville, Missouri. The town my mom grew up in, and my grandmother lived in until she died at 96 years of age. Her home was such a constant in the years I was growing up. Lots of visits. Fried chicken, fried catfish, games of Rook or Canasta. Gathering up pecans from the trees in her backyard and bringing them in and using the nutcracker to split them, then pulling out the meat. When I was really young, cotton fields stretched out behind her house. I learned to sew there. Climbed into feather beds with chenille bedspreads and slept beneath the sloping roofs of the upstairs bedrooms. So many wonderful memories tied to that house, that home.

I find it so heartbreaking that this home is gone. A child should be laughing in the backyard, picking up those pecans, trudging up to bed to sleep under those wonderful slanted roofs. I feel a bit guilty feeling such sadness…how much more heartbreaking is it for whomever lived in it in April 2006?

In March of 2006 we were headed back from vacation in Gulf Shores and passed by the town. I wanted to stop and get a picture of all the boys in front of my grandmother’s house. I thought my mom would really enjoy that. But quite a few of the boys were sleeping, so I thought “next time.”

Though there won’t be a next time, because this is all that is left of my grandmother’s home, whoever lived in it in 2006.

caruthersville destruction

Shockingly bright blue skies mocking an empty lot. Mrs. Meredith’s house made it. See it there on the left? One story and brick. I’m glad that this happened long after my grandmother passed away. What if the tornado would have come through in her later years? Where she needed help to get around and use a walker? How much warning did they have to get to safety? She couldn’t have made it into her cellar. Couldn’t have climbed down the stairs. Would someone have come over and gotten her and carried her to safety?

I found this video on YouTube of scenes of the tornado and the destruction afterwards. Very, very sad. The first scenes of the actual tornado are frightening.

Weather is a strange thing. It can uplift our moods by bringing us a warm, sunshiny day. It can soothe us with gentle rain on a sleepy afternoon. But it can take away a life, a home, a whole town. Yes, weather is a freaky thing.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate September 27, 2008 at 5:56 am

Wow, Kacey. Despite the terrible destruction, I was totally enthralled by your words when you described your memories of your visits. You have those, and they have shaped who you are today. You are so lucky! Both of my grandmothers were nothing like this. I do not have happy and sweet memories of them. It’s unfortunate, I know. But you are blessed!

Gayle September 27, 2008 at 8:26 am

What beautiful memories you have of your visits to your grandmother. Thank you for sharing them with us. It is sad that her home is no longer there.

Amy September 27, 2008 at 8:56 am

You’re right: Weather can take away these earthly things we treasure. I live in an area that is hit by an occasional hurricane. We’ve been spared the big ones, but I know that we probably won’t always be so lucky.

Weather can’t take away your memories, though; and what beautiful ones you have! My mother’s family was hooked on Rook!

Several years ago a tornado hit the little town in which I grew up, and it severely damaged the school both my mother and I attended. It had to be demolished, and I had such a sick feeling the first time I returned there after the school was razed. There’s now a park and walking trail on the property, and when I walk there, I usually think such things as, “This is where my second grade class was,” … stuff like that.

A beautiful and thought-provoking post, Kacey!

Mental P Mama September 27, 2008 at 10:07 am

There is nothing I fear more than tornadoes. I am glad your grandmother wasn’t there, and glad you have those wonderful memories. :angel:

annbb/TSannie September 27, 2008 at 10:58 am

At least no tornado or anything else can destroy memories.

DesertHen September 27, 2008 at 12:18 pm

The memories you have of your Grandma are priceless……..her house sounded like a wonderful place to visit. It is so sad to see the destruction that a tornado can do…….it can rip apart lives, towns, homes and families…………so sad!!

I have lived through a major earthquake……it destroyed our down town area and changed the face of my home town forever……..it caused major, major damage to the home I grew up in…………..it was scary and changed my life forever!!!

The weather the day of the earthquake was “odd” …….very hot, but everthing was “still” there was an odd calm to things that day……….not even the birds were singing and this was several hours before the quake hit…………..so weather really can be a harbinger of things to come.

dlyn September 27, 2008 at 1:16 pm

Sad that the house is gone. We grew up next door to my Mom’s folks and both house, though no longer owned by family are still there, sheltering other families. A couple years ago, my hometown suffered a flood of historical proportions and driving down my old street, it was shocking to see piles of furniture, sheetrock, rugs and personal belongings piled in front of every house. I can imagine the impact would be even more if those house had been entirely destroyed. Great post Kacey – thought provoking.

Tori Lennox September 27, 2008 at 1:26 pm

An amazing post, Kacey. Especially since the tornado that hit Caruthersville hit our small town first on its wild way across the country.

Barb September 28, 2008 at 1:18 am

Kacy, that is so heartbreaking! I cannot imagine the pain the suffering of all who endure such tragedies! You’re right, it was freaky..that is as close to a tornado as I want to get!
I’m so sorry you weren’t able to get a photo with the boys at your Grandmothers house..Thank goodness you will always have the wonderful memories tucked away in your heart…of Gramma’s place…

Becky September 29, 2008 at 9:46 am

I understand. I was born and raised in Greensburg, KS. The town is being rebuilt, but where I grew up exists now only in my memory.

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