Nature’s Fury and a Giveaway

Every so often Mother Nature has to throw a fit. That’s just the way it is and the havoc can come in the form of floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados and many other disasters. Sometimes these weather occurrences make their way into our stories.

Living in Tornado Alley, I’m most familiar with tornados. I survived an enormous North Texas twister on April 10, 1979 that took 52 lives when three vortexes merged into one. Meteorologists still refer to that day as Terrible Tuesday because of the immense devastation and the sheer numbers. There were 59 reported tornados on the ground in the area on that Tuesday. The F-5 monster that hit Wichita Falls left a path of destruction 8 miles wide and 47 miles long.

Pretty unbelievable and so frightening.

The impact it made on my life remains 42 years later and to this day get very emotional when I talk about it. The sirens had been going off all day so I didn’t pay any mind to the last one that went off a little before 6:00 pm. I was cooking supper and the kids were playing as normal. It was my first husband and my wedding anniversary and we’d planned to go out to celebrate.

Our kids were 7, 5, and 8 months old—much too young to learn about life and death and the kind of terror that freezes the screams in a person’s throat.

My husband went out to look at the sky and saw the massive thing coming. It resembled a hungry beast gobbling up everything in its path. The rumble was one of the most terrifying sounds I’d ever heard before or since. We had no time to pull mattresses off the beds or blankets over us. We rushed the kids to a narrow hallway that ran the length of the three bedrooms and laid down on top of them. My baby daughter laid under me so very still. I had my eyes clenched shut, praying. I didn’t know of anyone who’d lived through something like that with minimal protection. Here are some pictures. The camera wasn’t very good.


It tore right through our house, our neighborhood where we’d felt so safe. I heard when the roof went and boards and debris reined down on top of us. I never felt anything though and thought that was odd. I was just too terrified and in shock. I’m sure that’s probably the way soldiers are in war. You just never think anything like that will happen to you.

Time moved in slow motion and seemed to take hours for the tornado to pass on when in reality it only lasted a few minutes. Then hail the size of golf balls pounded us as we climbed out from under the pile of debris on top of us. We checked the kids and the only injury was a minor cut on top of the baby’s head. So miraculous, especially when we got the first look at our flattened neighborhood. In each direction we stared, it looked like a bomb had gone off and a pungent, sickening smell hung in the air. The smell lasted for months afterward. So did the roofing tar embedded in our scalps. This picture is of me in bell bottom pants with Baby Girl. 

But then, we didn’t know what to do next. Did we hang around and wait for someone to come tell us something? But if we left, where did we go? Our car was sitting on top of a tree, besides we had no close relatives. It was getting dark and the baby was hungry.

We started to set off walking, then realized the older children were barefoot. The tornado had sucked the shoes off their feet. My husband carried our 5-year-old and our son had to pick his way very carefully. Trees and power lines were down everywhere. Thankfully, a man with a carload of others like us stopped and picked us up. We went to a woman I worked with and spent the night with her.

People have asked over the years why I’ve never written my account, but the truth is I couldn’t relive that horror. Or the year of homelessness after that. It had stolen far too much of me. It took everything we owned.  

However, I did insert a tornado scene in Once Upon a Mail Order Bride. But, the only way I was able to do it was by putting Ridge and Addie in open country, somewhere totally different from my experience. They had to run for their lives and leap into a ravine to beat death. But the horrendous sounds, smells, heart pounding fear that rose in their throats, strangling them came from what I remembered and felt.

Have you ever had something happen so powerful that it left a lasting effect on you and maybe altered the course of your life? Or have you read about a big weather event in a book? I know Sharon Sala has written about Hurricane Katrina. I’m giving away a copy of Once Upon a Mail Order Bride to someone who comments. I wish I had room for the excerpt of that scene but this post is getting really long.

Website | + posts

Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!

64 thoughts on “Nature’s Fury and a Giveaway”

    • Good morning, Denise. Thank you for coming. Due to rolling blackouts, I’m just now able to answer comments. So much of what’s happening now reminds me of the aftermath of the tornado. I pray this ends soon. Stay warm and dry. Much love.

  1. I have been through, earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards/white out conditions, mini tornado, floods and am scared to death of tornados, fire and floods. I hope to never experience what you went through. I am very glad you and your family survived that tornado.

    • Good morning, Veda! It’s great to see you. You’ve lived through a great many natural disasters. Wow! Now I know where you get your toughness from. Things like this do add a lot of starch to your backbone. I hope I never have to go through another tornado. They’re very scary. Love you, lady.

  2. Because I’m 68 I have seen quite a lot of “almost catastrophes” and I have survived them all. The worst thing that I had to live through that was a bad rain storm and I realized that I was in labor. I lived almost an hour from the hospital and the storm added terror to our drive to the hospital. Every pain and the added miles to the neo-natal hospital scared me so much that I still remember that drive like it was yesterday. That was 34 years ago but I think of the terror of the trees falling in front of the car and the long drive still flashs me back to that awful time. My baby was born very early and that night has to go straight to
    top of my most frightening days. Traveling back and forth to the hospital still scares me whenever bad storms happen. I can’t even think of the terror a woman went tnrough in the days long ago- no cars to get the women to the hospital, no way to make the horse go faster and many times no hospital and maybe even no doctor would have scared me very, very much. What women went through back in the early days of the US was beyond anything I can imagine.

    • Hi Abqnancy! Thank you so much for coming and sharing your story. I can’t imagine the fear that gripped you. You were fighting not only for yourself but your baby too. I’m so happy it turned out okay. I too wonder about those pioneer women and how helpless they must’ve felt at times. But things like what you and I went through have made us stronger. We can handle this historic winter storm. Stay warm and dry.

  3. I understand how hard it is to relive something so terrible. I survived an apartment fire that should have killed me. We had a wonderful, smart dog at the time. He woke me up. It was too early for me to get up to go to work. He would not let up. I went to the bathroom. I had my Bible and devotional books in there so I read and prayed. When I left the bathroom, there was smoke in the stairwell. I am alive because our dog woke me up.

    • Hi Debra….Thank you so much for coming. With the rolling blackouts it’s difficult to get internet. What an amazing story of survival. Thank God for your dog. I think he was God’s messenger. I’m so happy you made it through that horrible time. Thanks for sharing your story. I think God puts these things in our path to make us stronger and maybe to prepare us for things to come. Have a wonderful day. Stay warm and dry.

  4. Your experience gave me chills just reading it. I’ve never experienced anything like that. I’m nineteen and because I live in the city, we don’t have disasters like this one. I do remember feeling an earthquake in class, a few months ago, we all got under our desks and it lasted 15 minutes at the most. It wasn’t that terrible now that I look back on it, but at that time it was super scary. You are very strong for facing everything the way you did <3

    • Hi February! I love your name. Earthquakes are just as frightening as tornados. I’m glad you survived that. We endure the things we have to and with each trial we get good old fashioned grit and determination. I feel so blessed that God spared us. I guess He knew I had a lot more things I needed to do. 🙂 These rolling blackouts and days without power we’re experiencing now remind me of the aftermath of the tornado. No power, no heat, no coffee. It’s hard to do without coffee! But we’ll get through it. Have a blessed day.

  5. Oh my I too had a tornado go across us 5/25/88. The walls were shaking in the house and we went to the basement! Yes, the sound, rain and hail all the memories come flooding back! We were lucky in that this old one room school house stayed upright but lost many windows, roof, outbuildings etc

    • Hi Teresa….Oh my! Then you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s something that’s ingrained inside us now and something we’ll never forget. I think we’ve both been very blessed. That trial gave us strength to endure everything that came our way afterward. Love you, laldy.

  6. I had to read your post to my husband because it is so tragic. Neither of us have ever been in something like that, but we have been very close. The tornado that hit the Dallas area a few years ago, the day after Christmas, went right over our house and started ripping up houses just on the other side of the highway from us (maybe half a mile away). Every time we drove through the area that was hit worse, it felt like a war zone with so much destruction. I would get teary every time thinking about what the people went through that day. Some homes just recently just completed rebuilding their homes. Two houses, next to each other, that went up are concrete homes that are supposed resist tornadoes. My fear of storms started when I was in middle school and we had a tornado go over the school. I can still hear the cries of the kids and the teachers hushing them, in my mind.

    • Hi Janine….The destruction is hard to describe. But it wasn’t just the material things. Destruction was inside us as well. For months and months, my two oldest kids slept in their clothes down to their shoes because they wanted to be ready. And every time they heard a loud noise or a dark cloud came up, it would terrify them. As for me, I dreamed of tornados very often for a few years and dark clouds would make me antsy. I still can’t talk about this time much and it’s been 42 years. That tornado changed me and altered my life. There are still empty slabs in Wichita Falls to this day where people didn’t have the heart to rebuild. Have a wonderful day and stay warm if you have power. Much love.

      • I can see how it would leave you with anxiety. That’s not something anyone wants to go through and to live it, it’s just hard. But the good thing is y’all made it through it.

  7. We had the big ice storm of 89 in Vermont. The power was out for a week or two. No heat. Cooking was on a propane heater. You learn to adapt in these situations. Just like with the pandemic. Have a great day and be safe. Hugs

    • Hi Charlene! Thanks for coming. That ice storm was devastating. You’re right, you do learn to adapt and try to endure as best you can. I think God sends these trials to prepare us for greater things to come. I know I’m a lot stronger than I was. Take care and find a way to stay warm. This storm will end at some point. Love you.

    • Hi Susan…Thank you for coming over. Operation New LIfe must’ve been such a crazy time. That tent city was huge. So many homeless and fleeing people who were desperately trying to live. These trials come for a reason and God must’ve thought you needed to value people’s lives more. Each trial that comes teaches us something. I learned to be grateful for every bit of help that made our lives better, for every bit of food and the kindness of others. When everything is taken is stripped from you, you either lay down and give up or fight harder to survive. I had three children dependent on me so there was no giving up. Have a blessed day and endure this storm as best you can. Much love.

  8. Linda- I am so glad and praise God for sparing y’all’s lives. I just can’t imagine the horror. I’ve been in a Tornado when I was little, but it passed aways from our house, but I’ll never forget the sound. We also had a tornado pass through Hugoton over 12 years or so ago and it was the most strangest feeling. The trees were actually turning, scary.
    I’ve been in 3 blizzards and that is such a helpless feeling to not see or know where you are, even though you are in a familiar place.
    Mother Nature is a wicked and Violent Lady.
    I loved the scene you wrote in your book about the tornado! I could actually feel all the emotions Ridge and Addie were feeling. Plus actually visualize the scene of terror.
    I’m so glad I have you in my life and you and your family survived. I love you My Sweet Sister Friend.

    • Dearest Tonya, thank you for coming to brighten my day. You always do. I can’t imagine being in a blizzard but I have been in heavy fog and that was scary enough. In a blizzard, a wrong move and you’d freeze to death. I agree that sometimes Mother Nature isn’t nice and throws things we least expect in our lives. And now after a year of the Pandemic, we have this historic storm that’s shattering every record. In my parents’ time it was surviving the Great Depression. I guess every generation has something that tests our strength and resolve. I just wonder what my great grands will have to get through. Who knows? I am so thankful for you and Rob and Casino. You’re like family and I can’t imagine life without you. I do know if I’m ever homeless again, a second won’t pass without you offering me a place to live. I love you dearly and thank God every day for your love and amazing friendship. Stay warm and fearless, sister friend.

  9. Linda, what a horrendous experience. Your story gave me chills. Thank God, you and your family survived. I’ve had several life and death situations, including the Northridge Earthquake which practically destroyed my house. Scary stuff.

    Thank you for sharing. Hugs.

    • Hi Margaret….An earthquake would be every bit as frightening as a tornado. With a tornado at least you do get some kind of warning. Not so an earthquake so preparing is out of the question. Thank God we both survived. Until a writer has some life experience, they don’t usually write about deep subjects. We’ve both had tons of life trying to knock us down so we have no trouble drawing from personal experience. As I sit here dealing with rolling blackouts, five inches of snow on the ground with three more about to hit, I’m counting my blessings. Everything could be so much worse. We’re get through this and the Pandemic. Stay strong, Filly Sister.

  10. Oh Linda you all were so lucky that you made it out like you did. I can remember being in a tornado one time and we were all setting in the cellar and I was setting on an old metal milk container leaning on a water pipe and lighten hit somewhere outside and came down that water pipe and knock me across the cellar floor. The tornado sounded just like a train going by.
    I have been in a few ice storm before and in one right now. The worse one was when the power went out and we didn’t have any back up heat for a few days. We finally got an old kerosene heater that helped heat the house which was a big help. So far this time we have not lost power. There is ice everywhere and another storm on the way this week and I hope it comes in snow instead of ice.

    • Hi Quilt Lady…..I’m so happy to see you. Thank God for power and heat. For the moment we have all the comforts. I hear you about the other coming storm. It’s to hit here later on today. Hopefully it’ll be snow. We already have 5 inches on the ground though. Still, better than ice. We’re having rolling blackouts and experienced a two hour one this morning. What a horrible experience you had with lightning! Oh my goodness. I hope it didn’t hurt you too bad. That’s very frightening. I hope you still have that kerosene heater. You may need it. Sending much love.

      • All that bad weather happening in Texas is headed right up to KY so we get it after you do. Ours is suppose to start tomorrow and Thursday.
        I would just soon see it stay down there because I am so ready for spring right now.

  11. Oh my I am so glad that the Lord saved you and your family. He has a purpose for all of our lives. I can only remember when I lived in the desert on the farm. Mom had heard that there was a sand storm coming our way. She protected all the animals as much as possible. Then she took us five kids and we went into the sows home where they had their babies. Mom had put all the pigs in here. Dad did a great job building it. Very few cracks. Mom put us all in the walkway in the middle. Than she put towels around the two doors and the windows. She used tape to hold it all on. When that sand storm hit, I thought the whole building was going to be lifted off and taken away. Strangely all the pigs laid down and made not one peep or squeak. We survived. When it was all over, we checked the pigs, they were good and back to snuffling for food. We went out to check the other animals and except for one chicken that didnt go into the hen house they were all good. We cleaned out their noses and eyes and such and we thanked the Lord for keeping us all safe. There were mounds of sand everywhere. The house had soooo much sand in it. Not like the pig house. Mom was cleaning for weeks to get rid of most of the sand. The sand got into the washer and dryer and ruined them. So mom got a new one of each. But that really was the extent of the damage. God is good for all times. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    • Dearest Lori….What a frightening ordeal. Your mom knew exactly what to do which makes me think she lived through the Dust Bowl. A lot of those people inhaled so much dirt they came down with what they called dust pneumonia. It was a terrible affliction. Thank God you and your family survived that storm. Yes, I feel immensely blessed. God spared us when he didn’t many others and He did it for a purpose. He knew I had things I had left to do. At the time I was just beginning to write but had nothing published. But these trials are for a reason and that’s to prepare us for things we have to endure later on. I found a strength I didn’t know I had and I became very determined to get through whatever else came my way. I’ve been so blessed, really and truly. And I’m very grateful for every bit of food and warmth and friendship that I have. That tornado taught me to appreciate all that I have, no matter how small. He’s a might and loving God. I pray you keep warm and dry and get through this storm with grace and dignity. Love you.

  12. Definitely a scary situation! We have only had small tornados or straight-line winds on our farm. One of them took pieces of machinery and grain wagons and turned them all – no damage, just all facing a different direction and put next to each other. I’m so thankful you all were spared and safe!

    • Hi Susan….Tornados do crazy things. It’s funny how it turned that machinery and wagons and put them next to each other. I saw a lot of strange and amazing things after our tornado. Like putting straw and dirt inside canned goods and leaving them sealed tight. Taking my kids’ shoes off and not sucking them up. Just odd what it does. That storm taught me to be more appreciative of my life and the things I have, even the very smallest is a gift. I feel immensely blessed. Have a good day.

  13. Been through a few tornado’s myself both in Kansas and Nebraska. Took the tops off of building’s and left some downtown area’s in shambles. But has not changed were I live or how I live.

    • Hi Anxious 58….Thank you for coming over. You really know about the sheer power of a tornado first hand. I’m glad you haven’t suffered loss. I’m thankful every day to have survived when others died. You have a blessed day and stay warm.

  14. I can image how terrifying that was… brings tears to my eyes. The first cruise I ever went on back when I was young was crazy… we were near a hurricane… so many people got seasick because the ship was rocking like crazy. My dad and I took a peek outside at one point and it was raining hard, the wind was whipping around like crazy, but we saw some porpoises swimming along the ship… maybe they thought they were guiding us to safety!? It was a trip I will never forget.

    • Hi Colleen…..I love that. Those porpoises are amazing creatures. I think they know a lot more than people think. How scary to be that close to a hurricane and survive. I would’ve been scared to death. I’m glad you made it back safely. God was mercifully watching over us both. We’ve both lived through some scary storms and it had to be for a reason. Sending love and blessings your way, dear friend.

  15. Oh, Linda! What a horrible thing to have happen, but so grateful God protected your family and carried you through those tough days that followed. So happy you all survived and so thankful for your bravery in sharing this story. Love and hugs!

    • Thank you, Shanna. God has been so good to me and bestowed such blessings in my life. It’s taken me a while to be able to talk about this in this much detail. I love you dearly.

  16. A tornado hit our farm (MN) just after my dad bought it (we hadn’t moved onto it yet). Later a tornado hit our little town and did a lot of damage but didn’t hit our farm. Another time my parents had left and told my younger brother and I to get our chores done before they got home. As most kids do, we waited until they were due home before hurrying to do them. All of a sudden, we saw a funnel cloud coming towards the farm. As 2 kids our thought was: What are the chances it will touch down versus the chance of getting a spanking if our chores weren’t done by the time they got home. We decided to keep doing chores instead of taking shelter. Thankfully, it didn’t touch down.

  17. Wow, I have never been through anything like that. Sounds like it was terrifying but glad to hear that your family came out of it not hurt. I have seen the after affects of a tornado hitting a small town near me. It took out their local school.

    • Hi Teresa….tornados can do so much damage in a short period of time. The one I was in totally flattened four schools. We lucked out in that it hit after school let out and there were no kids there. Thanks for coming. Have a blessed day.

  18. I was bullied all the way from Elementary School into the time where I found someplace to work. God saw me through it and showed me that just because people bullied me and looked down on upon and told me I couldn’t do things doesn’t me I should give up. He helped me to move on and now I have two college degrees and write for fun and in the process met Maya Angelou which was unexpected.
    I would love to read and review this book and the author’s books in print format.
    Hope I win

    • Hi Crystal…..Thanks for coming to read my post. I’m so sorry you were bullied and I can’t think of any more despicable people than kids and adults that prey on others. I’m so glad you rose above it and became well educated. What a wonderful experience meeting Maya Angelou! That must’ve been so exciting. Good for you that you didn’t give up. I’m very proud of you. Blessings and love.

  19. Hello Linda!
    I sure can relate to your description and feelings. I grew up in northwest Indiana and tornado warnings were a regular thing. Usually it just amounted to a lot of wind but I will never forget one time when I was about 14 and my single mother took my younger sister, my two little brothers and me into her bedroom to be together and wait out the storm. Our house was ramshackle to say the least, built by my grandfather and my mother’s uncles with no hallways or bathtub to hunker down in. As we were sitting on the bed the trunk of a birch tree (admittedly not very thick around, but still . . . ) came through the wall, hit the bed springs and the mattress plopped to the floor. It became a funny story later but at the time was pretty darn scary. I cannot imagine having the house torn apart around me.

    No need to enter me into the giveaway. I have had my copy of the fantastic Once Upon a Mail Order Bride for a long time now!

    Have a wonderful week.

    • Hi Sally…..I’m so happy to see you. Thank goodness you survived your ordeal. That could’ve ended with a completely different outcome. God was watching over you, no doubt about it. Thank you for reading and liking Once Upon a Mail Order Bride. The first of a new series comes out in April. Have a blessed day.

      • Linda – You are so right. That day was definitely one of God’s miracles. Thanks for the heads up for your new series. I’m sure Amazon would have notified me but now I’ve got it pre-ordered. Looking forward to it. Maybe I’ll do a re-read of the Outlaw Mail Order Brides while I wait! Stay safe.

  20. I have been fearful of tornadoes since back in 1982 one hit in the town close to ours. I was in a closet with a new burn and a four year old while my husband kept watching outside. With sirens going off and loud speakers announcing to take cover, I was terrified and I have never forgotten it.

    • Hi Melanie….I can’t imagine how terrified you were. Thank goodness you survived the close call. I agree that tornados are something you never forget. Have a beautiful day and stay warm. I hope you’re not in this horrible freeze zone gripping the nation.

  21. What a horrifying experience. I can see why the memory is a tough one for you. Looking at these pictures, all I can say is that it’s a miracle that you all weren’t killed. Don’t enter me in this giveaway. I have already read this book, and lady, it is one your best! I was sorry to see this series end, but you put a very satisfying finale on it.

    • Hi Cheryl C…….I’m so happy to see you and glad you stopped by to read my post,. We did receive a miracle that day for sure. I guess God had more plans for me. Thank you so much for liking this book. Ridge and Addie had a wonderful love story to tell and I just typed as they whispered in my ear. Love you, lady.

  22. wow, it has been awhile since i have commented on one of your post, I need to get back in to reading, i think after my sister passed, I just went in to a funk, so the horrifying experience i remember was when i was younger, I huge fire, that was two doors down from my house i grew up in. was so bad, that they were making everyone evacuate that lived near it. the smoke was so bad, we weren’t able to grab anything, we were just in our jammies, my mom my sis and me, and we slept in our garage, and the next day, they still had the firetruck parked in our back yard, it got stuck in the grass, we had to go to school in our jammies and i had so many kids saying i stunk of smoke, and didn’t want to be near me. because we were not allowed to go in to our house just yet. later that day my oldest sister came and got us and took us to her place, thank god it was the weekend, our mom had to buy me and my sis new clothes , and we were finally able to go back to our house like 2 days later, thank god no real damage. strange how i remember that , man how i miss my mom and sister. i hope they are together in heaven

  23. Bless your heart. What a heart wrenching, honest account of a terror. Living in Tornado Alley all of my life, I’m familiar with the horrible feelings of waiting out one, but have only once, as a little girl, been in one. Mother took me and my sister and put us under the mattress to keep us safe. Of course, I don’t remember it, only what I was told. The other one was not long as Bob and I married. We were outside and he mentioned the loud noise from the train coming from the east and he had never heard it so loud…we looked at one other and at the same time said, “The train tracks are in the WEST!” We ran and got in our bedroom with the door closed. Our house was damaged a ton, as were our appliances in the house (which were brand new) since all windows were broken. We were thankful nobody was hurt and I think to this day the weather service has never counted it as a tornado just straight line winds. Now tell me, can straight line winds pick up our steel building on the east of the house and throw it on the roof of the house next door? I know little about straight line winds but sure do about tornadoes. Linda my wonderful Filly Friend thank you for sharing the true reality of living through a tornado with little children. I think now everybody here has an survival plan…center of house, no glass and plenty of blankets and covering. Thanks again.

  24. Wow! I have never been in a tornado but one year there was one about 45 minutes from where we live. A couple of days after it went through that little town my husband and I went to the little town on our motorcycle , and oh what a devastation the scene the tornado left behind, I had never in my life seen anything like that, it just destroyed the little town, it was so very heart breaking. When our daughter was about 6 and our son was 4 yrs old we went to Mazatlan Mexico on our vacation. Well , the night of the day that we got there and we were in our Hotel, Mazatlan got hit by Hurricane Tico, it was pretty scary and the devastation it left behind was very heart breaking. All the oceans creatures were washed on to the street right across the hotel from where we were staying. Needless to say, we cut our vacation short and we went home. It is so very hard and so very sad to see such devastations. Have a Great week and stay safe. Here in the little town where I live we have had a tornado or 2 touch down, just not close to where we live, we have gotten the wind rain and hail that comes with them thought, but Thank God that have not touched down close to our home.

  25. Hurricane Harvey left us with ankle deep water in our house. We moved out for 8 months. Our home is better than before Harvey came through!.

  26. What a terrifying experience you had. The scariest disaster we have been through was May 18, 1980, when Mt. St. Helens erupted leaving more than five inches of ash on everything in our area. By 1pm it was so dark my husband had to use a flashlight to lead me through the pasture gate because the truck lights were not bright enough. It was darker than a stormy night. We had to feed the cows some hay but didn’t know if it was safe to be out in the falling ash. Our nine and ten year old daughters were afraid it would still be dark in the morning. The next morning it looked like it had snowed only it was gray and it was warm. Fortunately our power was never off more than a few hours at a time for months afterward whenever rain turned the ash on power poles into conductors shorting out power lines. Unfortunately no one knew if it was safe to go out in it or not. Lots of conflicting advice….wear a mask, wet it, don’t wet it, don’t wear a mask. We soon learned vehicles and machinery needed air filters changed frequently. Every time the mountain blew that summer the fear of not knowing what would happen came back.

  27. I just read Once Upon A Mail Order Bride. this past weekend. There was something about the tornado scene that rung with truth more than just fiction. The description of the storm itself was part of it. but the comment about the smell in the aftermath and imbedded debris that took forever to get rid of was what did it. Smells are always a lingering aftermath of disasters, but often either not included or described well by those who haven’t experienced it. Your family was so very fortunate not to have been injured more seriously.
    I have not experienced a large tornado. We had a small one come about 100 yards from our house one night, but other than debris we took no damage. We drove through Moore, OK about a week after the monster storm that hit them several years ago. The most striking part is how everything is perfectly normal with no damage and you turn the corner and there it is. The left side of the road is untouched and to the right is total destruction as far as you can see. When we lived in Colorado Springs, I sat on the porch and watch a large funnel column form and hang in the air. It never reached the ground, but passed right over our house. The air turned green (a trick of the light), the hair stood up on our arms, and you could hear the rumble like a train. It rained and hailed and then was gone. No damage, but I had our children and half the neighborhood kids in the closet in our basement.
    I got caught in a 6 or 7 earthquake while in Manila, Philippines. I was downtown and the concrete facades on the buildings were fallen to the street. The street was literally like water, the paving rolling like waves, bouncing the cars all over like toys. For days afterward, there were hundreds of aftershocks. We would sit there as they grew in intensity wondering how strong this one would be. Another time I was in Manila, a strong hurricane hit. There was no warning. Their weather department didn’t think anyone would be interested. I had gone in to the headquarters and got there just as the storm hit and was sent back to where I was staying. The bus was in tire deep water and I had to walk several blocks to get to the house. The wind and rain were so strong it was hard to walk against it. When I got to the house, no one could hear me above the noise of the wind. It took pounding on the gate and yelling for a long time before someone heard me and let me in. I don’t think I have ever been so drenched. Walking around the next day, there were few trees that survived the storm. I was just lucky I wasn’t hit by flying debris. I rarely went to Manila more than 2 or 3 times a year, spending most of my time in the province. It just worked out that when something big hit, I happened to be there.
    We won’t even talk about being stranded in a blizzard. Too many are experiencing pretty much the same thing right now.

    I am so glad you and your family survived, even if your life was upended for a year. Take good care of yourself. Stay safe, warm, and healthy.

  28. I’ve made it through 3 hurricanes in < 1 1/2 years Frances, Jeanne (Sept) and then Wilma (Oct) the next year. The eyes of the first two hurricanes both came through Stuart, FL. We live in a condo on a barrier island, Hutchinson Island. The first caused the roof to blow off our building. Lots of water damage but luckily structurally the building was still intact. Lost lots of possessions. We were fine. Power out and no water for days. We had to move and stay with relatives for a little while too.
    In August 1992, a tornado came within a half mile of our house. Lots of tree damage, lost some shingles, no power for over a week. We were lucky. Tornado stayed on the ground for 21 miles and 2 people died. Same day as tornado in Homestead, FL.

  29. I live in East Central Indiana. I’ve not personally experienced a tornado and hope that I never do. We’ve had several hit nearby, one took out Monroe Central school, Some friends of mine were home when it came through and they hid under the kitchen table, it took their neighbor’s house and killed her. I think that was called the Tri State tornado and then when I was in college another hit Randolph Southern school,in Lynn, Indiana. I rode home with friends from there. A few years ago another one went through Portland, about a 1/4 mile from my sister’s house, she said it sounded like a freight train coming through.

  30. Have never been through an experience like that So glad You and Your family survived this Blessings To You would love to be entered in this giveaway as I haven’t read this book yet!

    • Hi Sarah, thank you so much for coming over to read my post and enter the giveaway. God has so richly blessed me both then and through the years. He is definitely in control. Blessings and love to you .

  31. Hi Linda! Finally, I’m able to get on the computer for a bit today–I know you are dealing with some of the same issues we are, too, here in Oklahoma with this horrible snow and the bitter cold. I understand not wanting to revisit those feelings and what you went through during that ordeal! Just wanted to say how wonderful your story looks and how much I love your books, so I know I’ll love this one, too. Much love, Linda. Living here in Oklahoma where we have tornadoes, too, I know how terrified you must have been. :(((( XOXO

Comments are closed.