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Friday, January 13, 2012

Extreme Home Makeover, Joplin Edition

Tonight is the airing of Joplin's Home Makeover. 
Looking back at  "The Tornado" and the months that followed,
I am overwhelmed at the devastation. 
I am also overwhelmed at the outpouring of volunteerism, patriotism, and sense of community. 
As soon as the tonado "hit," people rushed into town with heavy equipment to clear the roads. 
Chainsaws could be heard immediately. 
Neighboring towns dispatched emergency vehicles immediately. 
 It was unvelievable. 

The days and weeks and even months that followed continued to show
amazing support from all around the world. 
The monetary donations, hours and hours of volunteered labor, prayers and kind thoughts....
and it continues still. 
I am honored to have many new friends and "family" as a result of volunteering with Operation BBQ Relief.

The pictures shown on television,, etc. do not do justice, but they give a tiny glimpse inside. 
Prayers for all who lost their homes and/or their loved ones. 
The path of the tornado was 1/2 a mile wide and 13 miles long.
161 people lost their lives as a result of the storm.

I still tear up and sometimes cry when I drive through the damaged areas. 
It is dark.
It is quiet.
There are no street lights or porch lights.
The skeleton of St. John's Hospital stands on the hill,
     waiting for demolition,                        
                                   reminding us of the devastation of the storm.
I still get turned around lost without the visual reminders of where I am.
(I am SOOO directionally challenged)
Doctor's offices, businesses, and restaurants can be found in new temporary locations.
Many businesses are built back and re-opened.
Academy Sports will open on the 27th!
It is good to see companies not giving up.
The spirit of Joplin is Strong.
Joplin is rebuilding.
Back and Better. 

I'm off to get my box of Kleenex. 
The show will begin now! 
The "Backstage" show has me crying already. 

God Bless Joplin!

This video and song is by the Mark Chapman Band. 
 I taught 1st Grade with Mark's mother my first 4 years of teaching.

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Living the Dream

Living the Dream
I love Christmas Eve when the house is quiet and there is nothing left to do but wait for Santa and Christmas morning to arrive!