Monday, March 05, 2007

With all the tornadoes that hit last week I started remembering our BIG experience when we lived in Lexington, Illinois in the year of 1969!! Lexington is just a small town in Illinois. We had not lived there long. Both of our children were very young then. Julie was about 2 and Jon would have been around5.
It is funny how well I can remember that night. We had just sat down to eat. I had got up to check the vegetables that were heating on the stove in a pan. The light over our table went out like it was struck by lightning!! It just popped!! That of course made us all jump up!! My hubby ran for the front door to look outside. We both headed for the front porch and looked over to the side of the house. What we saw was really, really amazing!! We saw the biggest, widest, meanest looking tornado coming straight at our little white house!! I grabbed Julie and hubby grabbed Jon. We did not have a basement to speak about but we lived right next door to a very nice nursing home.

We ran outside!! I was carrying Julie and hubby was carrying Jon. Hubby stopped to look at the HUGE tornado!! He was just in awe with looking at it!! I could tell that he wanted to stay right there and look. I yelled at him to give me Jon if he was going to stay there and stare. I grabbed Jon by the hand and off we three ran for the basement!! I guess my "mama bear syndrome" really kicked in about then.

I got the kids to the basement and tried to calm them and ME down!! I had no idea where hubby was but just hoped that he was using the good common sense that I knew he had!! We stayed there for as long as we couldmake ourselves (curiosity you know). Finally we made our way upstairs. I saw hubby. He told me that the tornado had turned from a direct hit on our little home.! WHEW! what a relief to know that our home was undamaged!!

The kids and I started back home. I looked to the left hand side of our house and there I saw another small and very thin tornado coming on that side of our house! I grabbed up both kids again and ran back into the nursing home and back into the basement. This time I had "no idea" where hubby went.

I stayed there with the kids AGAIN for what seemed like a long long time. We ventured out once again!! This time we heard the ALL CLEAR signal...That night there were some 8 tornadoes that had either hit or gone over Lexington. Some people said that they saw TWIN ones also. Hubby, both kids and myself started walking and looking at the damage. We saw houses with the fronts just ripped off. They looked like the old doll houses that we used to play with. The furniture was still standing but the front was just ripped off.

We saw churches with the belltowers pushed into the roofs. We also saw straw just pushed right into trees!! (what a sight)!! At one place there were these BIG semi trucks. You could tell that the driver had got out of the truck and sat his soda bottle on the ground. The tornado picked up the truck and left the soda bottle sitting very neatly on the ground right where the truck driver had placed it.

Tornadoes do some very weird things!! That night our small town was a mess. No one was allowed in or out!! WE had a time calling our family to let them know that we were all right. I do not remember that anyone was killed.

I have been in 2 other bad tornadoes in my life so I am very respectful of them!! You never know what they will do.

please pray for those that it did not !!!!


Susie said...

Sounds like a very scary experience!
I wouldn't want to live in a "tornado area" but then most people say they wouldn't want to live where I do (in an earthquake area!)

Jennifer said...

Ooooooooooh, Sandy....scary!! We live in a tornado-prone area, but I'm grateful that I've never seen one or had to experience any damage. An F4 hit about 20 miles from here several years ago and flattened a community...I was so relieved that it didn't come any closer!!
What an experience!!!!

Beckie said...

OH MY! Sandy, I can't imagine anything like that. We've had some pretty fierce winds and hurricanes through here, but nothing like that!

I'm glad you were spared!

Blessings to you.

Pamela said...

Sandy, enjoyed reading your suspense filled post about the tornadoes. So glad that your home wasn't damaged and that no one was killed. :)

Susan said...

Wow...Sandy...sounds like this was quite a miracle that spared your house. Storms and such are so frightening sometimes. I have never been that close to a tornado...but the hurricanes are a different story.

Thanks for sharing this memory.

I hope you all have a great week.

:-) Susan

Melli said...

Oh WOW! What an incredible story! I don't know WHAT I would have done in that situation! I'm VERY protective of my children -- but I am a severe weather enthusiast! Like Mr. FlipFlop I would really WANT to stand there and watch! And my hubby is like that too -- I fear our kids would have been in deep trouble! No... probably common sense would take over and I would have gotten the kids to safety! But that IS an amazing thing... I did see a few tornadoes when I lived in Minnesota. One evening I sat out on the balcony of my apartment and just watched one off in the distance. It didn't come my way so I stayed there and watched it go! They are sO devastating - but SO intriguing! God really had you and your home in his hand that night - huh?

Jane said...

We went through a tornado several years ago and it was very frightening. I am glad you all were safe. I may have to share my story in a future Monday Memory.