Our car ride home in the good ol’ Prius (thank you Big D & Malia for being generous with your gas-loving car!) was seeming to be like most journeys up and down the I-45 on our return trip from celebrating Jenny’s birthday. (Insert a BIG Happy Birthday to you, dear sister Jenny, we love you!!). There was laughter, sleeping (not just abi mind you!), Starbucks, and various home improvement discussions, and of course silly weather. It is not uncommon to have heavy rain, beautiful sky, warm temperatures, cold temperatures, etc. Because it’s Texas, right? However we did experience something on this day that is entirely unlike anything I have ever experienced before. As we were nearing Corsicana (spf. passing through Rice, Texas) we noticed an unusual cloud – donald was the one who brought it to all of our attention. “Is that a tornado cloud?” Surely not, I mean, my goodness, what are the odds of that? We continued to watch for the next few minutes – and sure enough, it was a large, amazing, powerful cloud that began to drop the illustrious funnels.
(Pardon the pictures, taken through the car window) This was the 2nd funnel cloud that we saw drop.
I really do gain an appreciation for the iphone on at least a weekly basis. Donald was able to see the estimated pattern of the tornado (NE at 35 mph) and to do a quick search of what the national weather service recommends for you to do if you’re in your car and you are very near a tornado (GET OUT!). We drove for about another minute to a safe place to park on the side of the road – you would have thought there were fireworks, I-45 was lined with vehicles- and I tried to stay calm for Abi. I had the craziest range of emotions. Part of me was completely and totally mesmerized. What an amazing thing I was being able to witness with my own eyes! The power of nature is really indescribable. And the other part of me was really beginning to be quite fearful. I had such an overwhelming rush of how small I am. How NOT in control I am. I am able to write this with calmness now, but I really did have a feeling of understanding that it is truly the Lord who numbers our days, we are just called to live them fully and purposefully. It was a worshipful experience in the midst of chaos.
Once we parked, got out of our car, we saw the tornado pass over I-45, and then begin to diminish. Here’s what the phone caught.
We then decided to continue our drive home, and less than a mile were greeted with the horrific scene of what occurs when a tornado reeks havoc on the landscape. A huge semi was on its side, and underneath the truck was a crossover SUV with its roof smashed in. There was a car completely thrown upside down. Debris everywhere. As we passed the school, it was surreal to see how the children’s playground was kept perfectly intact, and just on the other side of the high school, the football bleachers were turned around and upside down. I could just stare. Our precious abi. This is where she really began to be concerned and noticed that something wasn’t quite right. Her little heart was so concerned for the truck driver, “the truck flipped over” kept coming out of her sweet mouth and then would follow with “But it’s OK now?” We just kept emphasizing to her (and to ourselves) that we were thankful for our safety and we prayed that the truck driver and the other car drivers were able to see a doctor quickly and would be healthy again soon. The sweet mind of a child. She really is a teacher!
We are filled with thankfulness, and amazed at the power of nature.