Updates, Lost Weeks and Tornadoes.
I have many things to share, but they have been trumped by the recent events in my life. Some of this is a little depressing and I apologize. I will have happy things to report this week too.
Getting into this week, on Friday after work Seth and I headed out to meet my family in Joplin Missouri to see my older sister, Krystie, and my nephew, Hunter. Hunter was supposed to be graduating but ended up unable to walk due to a technicality, but we went out anyway to see them. Seth and I stayed Friday night in Indianapolis. We used that night to celebrate our 4 year anniversary of dating, so we had a fancy dinner, then worked out in the hotel fitness center (romantic right?), before retiring to the room. Outside our window in the morning was this view... interesting...
|It says Official Pace Car on the side.|
The next day we headed out early to make the rest of the trip to Joplin. On the way we stopped at my favorite place along the way. It's a shop called the Driftstone Pueblo and they carry the coolest things. I will take pics of my purchases and add them to a soon to come awesome buys blog.
After this stop we drove on to Joplin and arrived at about 5 pm on Saturday. We had dinner with my mother, sister Traci and my Aunts Gayle and Cathy at Outback and then went back to our hotel to sleep. We got up on Sunday at 7 got dressed and ate breakfast, then loaded up our car and checked out to meet Krystie, Hunter, Krystie's boyfriend, Bo, and Hunter's girlfriend Infinity in the parking lot of our hotel around 10:30 am.
From there we all went for lunch at Golden Corral. We sat around for a couple of hours chatting, laughing and generally making a scene, until the restaurant started to pick up at which point we all decided to go to a park for a bit to sit and talk. This was at about 3 pm. We made a brief pitstop for drinks and a pair of sunglasses for me, then headed to Park Hill Park in Joplin Mo.
About 4pm Seth and I decided to head out because we had a reservation for another hotel that night in St. Louis and it was a 4 hour drive. We said our goodbyes and got on the road. About an hour away we stopped at the giant Bass Pro shop in Springfield (I will post separately on this later), and after a little awe and a little shopping we got back on our way.
At 5:55pm we received a text message from my mother which read: You guys in ok weather? We responded that we were, but then got no response. We didn't really think anything of it until I received a call at 6:06pm from my mother she told me that they had been in a tornado and the cell service was spotty but they were all fine. They didn't want me to hear on the news and worry, but she had to go and would call me back. Needless to say I was a bit freaked out, but I had no details and was driving so I just waited to hear from them again. An hour later I received another call from my mother. She said they had still been in the park when the sirens started so they sheltered in the public bathroom in the park. Everything around where they had been was destroyed, the park, the houses, everything. They had assisted in moving some of the wounded in the area and Bo, Hunter and Infinity had pulled a woman and her son from the rubble of her home. Her other son was missing, they found his body later. My aunts car, which had been parked next to the road, was move to a slab where a home had stood and all the windows were gone. Bo's truck was in a similar state. They were able to drive them out of the area though, clearing the way for emergency response teams.
|The former park|
|The former park|
I can not describe to you knowing how close I came to losing my whole family. The fact that they all came out physically unharmed is amazing. The bathroom they were in was the only untouched building in blocks. We are truly all blessed tonight. My family was able to get rental cars and are headed to their homes, some in Oklahoma and others coming back to Ohio, and I am so aware of how miraculous that is. If you would like to help the people of Joplin you can through the Red Cross.
I hate to end on such a somber note, but I needed to get this out. It's been a rough couple of days.