When we moved in to our house years ago there were 4 trees in the front yard. We cut one down because it was in an awkward spot; we lost one to an ice storm; one got diseased and was dying so we cut it down; and the May 20 tornado took our last one.
Today, we had a Chinese Pistachio tree planted in our front yard! It looks like they did a nice job firmly planting it. Of course, it’s dormant now but we look forward to seeing it mature.
Note the port-a-potty in our neighbor’s front yard. These were placed throughout our neighborhood after the May 20 tornado due to workers’ needs and continues to be a need.
You can see in the background that the houses are getting repaired and rebuilt. What few trees remain in the neighborhood are very broken from the winds.
Again you can see our in the background the new construction and notice our new street light. Our street lights were just recently installed in our neighborhood. I had forgotten how bright they are at night!
I’m pretty excited about seeing the beauty this tree brings to our yard.
As I walked by my front window I noticed the full, bright moon glowing over the neighborhood so I went outside to get a better view and feel of the evening. The sky was gorgeous although below is still a mess. Little did I know that only a few hours later and one of those houses would be fully torn down forever changing the look.
Tuesday evening Keith decided to use our grill now that he knows the damage it sustained was minor. Inside our fence things are looking much better. Seeing Keith at the grill in our green, manicured back yard sure looks ‘all american’ to me.
The weather was surprising for summer in Oklahoma this week. It rained and was in the 80′s. Interestingly, during the downpour on Monday one of our neighbors’ houses finally got some attention by having a group of folks pull debris out of the house (wearing masks undoubtedly due to the mold inside) and throwing the debris in to their front yard.
Finally one of our replacement windows was installed this week so now I can see out of the office window rather than looking at the black tarp. I only wish the neighbors’ homes were in better shape to enjoy the view more.
With the rain our lawn got much greener this week and the bunnies seemed to love the weather.
Cellular service at our lake place is minimal and my Dad bought a signal booster to improve our reception so we played with it and had just about decided where to install it when the temporary location of the antenna fell and busted the antenna. During our tests the signal strength easily doubled so it will be worth the effort and we have ordered a replacement antenna already.
Keith got our boat out of the shop Saturday afternoon and then a couple joined Keith, Dad and I to do some boating, tubing and skiing. They are from Russia where boating is not a common activity and they clearly enjoyed themselves experiencing many firsts. As is typical Keith let each of them drive the boat.
Since we got a late start on the lake we were out until dusk and the sunset was beautiful.
Our bedroom wall had minor damage as a result of the May 20 tornado. Now that the walls have been repaired, we selected a paint color (Seaside Sand) and Keith painted our room this weekend. We used the magic furniture sliders to easily move our very heavy furniture out of the way to paint. You can see that our window is still broken from the tornado. Thankfully, the glass was double paned and whatever crashed into it only made it completely through one pane. Soon the windows will be replaced.
I do love to rearrange furniture but our king size bed has been in the same place in our room since we moved into this house in 1992 and I never really liked it but Keith wasn’t willing to help me try out various arrangements. Once I realized how easily our furniture moved, I got graph paper and a tape measure out and began to figure out if we could arrange the room differently and still have adequate space to move around. After a few minutes, I was pretty sure I figured out a better arrangement and was glad the furniture sliders would help us just in case the paper version of the arrangement looked better than in reality.
Thankfully, I love it! Now, I need to get some artwork for the wall and maybe a chair so I can watch TV more comfortably in the room. Oh, and the curtains help hide the broken window for another week or so.
I’ve been taking a video of my drive from the entry of my neighborhood to my house each week so that I can see the progress being made in our tornado devastated area. Eventually, I’ll put them together into a time lapsed video. Sometimes I also take a photo, which was the case this week. Five weeks after the May 20 tornado here’s a view of my neighborhood.
Friday I flew to Chicago for the American Library Association’s annual convention. While waiting for the shuttle to take me from the convention center to my hotel I found a llama hand puppet and enjoyed bringing him along to the various functions. One evening a group of us were invited to a private event at the House of Blues and Mr. Llama posed next to someone’s ‘goose’.
That same evening there was a photographer snapping pictures of all the guests enjoying the performers. Diane and I had our picture taken with the Blues Brothers imitators and I thought it was ‘a trip’ that we were selected as the facebook profile picture for the company.
Our time in Las Vegas continued this week. It was odd timing for a vacation with us having to deal with all the damage from the tornado but the trip was already paid for and we didn’t really have much we could do at our home during those days.
The red, convertible Mustang added to the fun for the trip and I think Keith really enjoyed it! In a few days I’ll put some photos on flikr to share.
When we got back we visited with our neighbors about all the damage from the tornado. As we were walking around one neighbor’s house I felt eyes watching me and looked up to see their cat ,Lucky, who had found a place to survey all of his damaged domain. He seemed at ease and making the best of an unfortunate situation.
On Friday, May 31, there was another tornado, high winds, hail and flooding. The tornado sirens went off in Moore at least 4 times in that time period so we spent 2 1/2 hours in our storm shelter! It was pretty frightening especially on the heels of such a devastating tornado only 11 days earlier. Keith played silly games and made videos on his iPhone to pass the time, which was also entertaining to me. Thankfully, we didn’t have any significant additional damage and everyone in my family was unharmed.
Truly, the varied excitement we’ve had has been exhausting and I’m ready for less excitement.
May 20. That date, by itself, will be remembered for a long time to come around here. In Moore and southwest Oklahoma City a tornado paid an unwelcome visit and forever left us with scars. Lives were lost in my community.
The tornado came while we were still at work so only our Siamese cat was home. Our cat was completely unharmed. Our home was damaged but habitable and repairable. Our truck was totaled. Briarwood elementary school, where our kids attended kindergarten through 6th grade, was pretty much leveled. Neighbors’ homes are gone, condemned or need of repair.
Thankfully, we have family nearby and had a comfortable and safe place to stay.
The next day my husband and brother climbed on the roof to put tarp over the problems. It was raining and when my husband stepped on the tarp he slid down the roof and landed feet first on the patio concrete. He immediately rolled in hopes of minimizing the impact. As I was talking on the phone to a good friend, I watched him fall and all I could think about was hoping that he wouldn’t be injured too badly. To our surprise he didn’t break any bones!
Two days after the tornado, I walked my neighborhood and took photos. Here’s a link to photos of the sights I saw: 2013 Tornado
Feeling luck was on our side and knowing there was little we could do at our home for several days due to the utter devastation in our neighborhood, Keith and I opted to go ahead and leave Thursday for our already paid for vacation to Las Vegas. We started planning the trip back in February. The first thing we did when we arrived was rent a red, Mustang convertible. Then we spent the next few days driving the area seeing sights Keith remembered from when he lived there as a boy as well as new places.
What a lucky girl I am!