Where Do We Go From Here?

Mar 5, 2012 / Filed in Family, Life / 2 Comments

Last week, my hometown in IL was mowed down by a tornado with 170MPH winds. The house I grew up in, the house my parents lived in for 30 years, was busted to pieces. Thankfully my parents moved out a few years ago and now live in an area that was unaffected. The current owners got lucky and made it out alive with only seconds to spare before the roof came off and chimney collapsed where their 3 year old daughter had just been sleeping. If you look closely, you can see the pink bed in the picture.

A few days later, Daniel and I found ourselves surrounded by danger as dozens of tornadoes swept through our surrounding states. It bypassed our home in Nashville, leaving only minor wind damage to nearby towns.

Tornadoes are nothing new to this area of the country. But in the past 4 years, it’s become an annual event, getting more destructive each time. In 2009, a tornado came up the main road right by my house and struck 4 miles away, demolishing a community. I’ll never forget the terror of hiding in the closet underneath the stairs while the nightmare unfolded outside.

You can say a lot of negative things about where I live. We have homophobic politicians and deadly storms. But that’s not the whole picture. We also have thousands of open minded and forwarded thinking people who love and support us. We have the most beautiful seasons, the most wonderful scenery, and some of the most amazing food. There’s a reason Blanche Devereaux always spoke fondly of the south.

I feel torn and conflicted. I have for many years. My husband and I have built a life here. We own a house, we have jobs and friends and family nearby. Sure, it’s possible to move somewhere else and start over. We can make new friends, get new jobs. Maybe live somewhere with less bad weather and more equality. It’s certainly appealing and it’s certainly been discussed many times.

But then again… You can make all these changes, then walk outside and be hit by a car. It’s true.

I suppose we can never really escape problems. And there is no beginning or end to this rambling. I just felt like saying that I’m scared. I’m worried. Seeing the house I grew up in torn apart was a sobering reminder that we are never safe from harm, no matter where we live. I just wish we could at least have a little less dramatic weather to help us along the way.

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  • The folks in your hometown have been in my thoughts and prayers since I first heard the news about the tornado. And the photos and terrifying story about your childhood home have really shaken me.

    I totally understand your feelings about considering a new, non-tornado place to live. Since my first childhood experience of heading to the basement when the tornado sirens went off, I have fantasized about living in a “safe-weather” part of the country—-no tornadoes, hurricanes, extreme temps, floods, etc. But I could never figure out how to move all my family and friends with me!

    irisgirl (Mar 5, 2012)
  • My hometown in Iowa has been hit by tornados 4 times in my 42 year life. At age 5, the half the town was destroyed– and it left me petrified of storms until I was 17 or so.

    It was also hit minorly when I was a senior in high school. And then again while I was in college.

    The last time was a few years ago.

    Not a great town location evidently. Either that or a LOT of sinners!

    cb (Mar 11, 2012)

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I'm a happily married gay man, writing about my life as a new father and sharing our adventures with a side of snark.
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