Wednesday, May 28, 2008

tempests...tornadoes...and travels

There's nothing quite like a prairie storm! We passed through one shortly after we arrived in Manitoba last summer...the bright skies disappeared and suddenly everything was grey. All seemed very still...and then the thunder roared....and roared again. Before we knew it...the storm had rolled on and we were back in the sunshine.

Shortly before our time there, a tornado had worked a destructive path through southern Manitoba. We were invited to a barbecue at a farm where a tornado had paid a visit the previous week.

The trees which had sheltered their back yard were all gone...the grain bins lay in a crumpled heap. It had happened in a matter of minutes!

As we watched the news on Sunday evening, we heard of a devastating tornado that had left of path of destruction in northeast Iowa. I immediately 'googled' the story to see where in Iowa the tornado hit...since my brother Bill, and his family farm in that area. From what I could gather, it appeared that they would have been outside of the strike zone.

As it turns out...they were just barely outside the path of the storm. The tornado struck within two miles of their farm. Just as they learned the tornado was heading in their direction, their electricity went off...and they headed to the basement to wait out the storm. They heard hailstones pounding and thunder crashing...and when it appeared the worst was over...they went outside and collected hailstones...

...almost the size of a golf ball. Other than hail damage...they had escaped the fury of the storm. But neighbours were not so fortunate! At one farm, all that remained was the basement of the house...every tree and building was gone. Seven lives were lost in Parkersburg, Iowa...where 220 homes were destroyed. Let's remember all the families who are dealing with sorrow...and trying to pick up the pieces of their lives.

Those of us who live far removed from tornado alley, can't begin to imagine what it must be like to always be on the alert for tornado warnings...and ready to find shelter!

On to another topic...that of travelling...

Here's what I'm planning to do next week. As I was re-living our trip to Alaska for my post on Monday...I was thinking of some of the interesting places I have visited...and of the many more I would still like to visit one fine day. So I'd like to invite you all to join me for a week of travels...June 2-6. If you've got a favorite vacation spot that you would like to share with us...tell us all about it & we'll have a week of travel posts. Whether you've travelled by train, boat, plane....biked or hiked...or taken a road trip...let's hear about some of your favorite spots.

I'm thinking of taking you to Vancouver/Whistler (since we are inviting the world here for the 2010 Olympics), Newfoundland, Hawaii...and who knows where else? And you can be our tour guide to some of your favorite spots! I'll find a way for you to leave a link to your travel post on my blog...and if you don't have a blog, feel free to send me a photo and description of your special vacation by e-mail. I'll have a non-bloggers travel report on Friday.

Today I am off to buy a few flats of petunias...the pansies will soon be history. And on the farm, another field of corn will be planted today...and eventually the spring planting will be done!

Enjoy your day...


  1. Tornados are so devastating! The damage happens in a matter of moments..then it's over!! In 1973 my hometown in Illinois was hit by a tornado. I had just gotten home from school when it hit. The high school, which I had just left, was hit and thankfully no one was hurt! This is an experience that has stayed with me for 35 years and I'm sure will never leave me!!
    Thank goodness your brother and his family were safe!
    That picture of the road and the rv looks awfully familiar! Is that old RT 66? If not, it could be a double for it!
    Have a great Wednesday!

  2. Old Route 66 it is, Jan! How often do you drive that scary stretch?

  3. These storms people have been experiencing are so scary, and the tragedy remaining in the paths is heartbreaking. I keep all of those impacted in my prayers.

    Judy, there is not one I would rather travel with than you. You are the perfect travel guide and interpretor.

  4. What an interesting way to transport luggage!
    Great idea..posting about favorite travels.
    I'm with are a wonderful travel guide and it would be fun to travel with you.
    Speaking of tornados..we had one in our city a number of years ago which uprooted six 'hundred year old trees' on our daughter's back yard and there was more damage as the tornado dipped down in other places throughout the city.

  5. I'm always wondering if any of our blogger friends are in tornado valley. It is just devastating to see the damage.

    We haven't travelled anywhere terribly exciting .. but I'll put my thinking cap on.

    Have a great day.

  6. Tornadoes are scary. I lived in tornado alley for nearly three years and that's all I could handle. Those sickening green skies still make me shudder. I am so sorry that your brother's neighbors lost so much, but am grateful that he and his family and home are intact.

    So many of my blogging buds are doing tours! Miss Sandy and now you. Too bad that I don't vacation. In fact, I'll be taking my first vacation this summer after several years. I'll be able to join you and your pals, though, and I'll be able to enjoy wonderful vacations via them. Yay! Are you going to create a button so that we can advertize for you?

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  8. what fun....a travel log/blog. Do tell me how to do that 'link' thing and I'll see if I can join in.

    on a more somber note......
    Yes, I heard about the tornado....such devestation. We'll be thinking of our blogger friends in that area for sure

  9. We get tornadoes here quite frequently as well as hurricanes...the devastation is always heartbreaking. On a lighter note, I was tagged with the Six Random Things tag and I in turn am tagging you. I hope you'll play along, I always enjoy learning more about my friends.

  10. Well it sounds like you have quite a tour group in tact. When you start the tour please make sure you communicate in a language understood by all.
    I would love to offer you tour of my current cycling through Austria.

    Let me know what I need to do, but as I said, I'm tired of our tour guide saying, "This is a German tour, not English"

  11. I've been following the tornadoes on the news, it seems like every day or week some devastating natural disaster happens. What's going in this world? And why all in the same month? Hmmmmm

    My prayer is for the Lord to help and bring comfort to those that have been effected.

    I have not been around tornadoes here in CA, but I have been in earthquakes, not fun!

    The travel guide idea sounds fun, I would love to join this, how?

  12. So you are all wondering how to participate in next week's travel bonanza...and here's how I'm planning for it to work. I will attempt to put a Mr. Linky on my blog next week...and then once you have a travel post on your blog, just pop over and leave a link on Mr. Linky on 'My Front Porch'. I'm planning to post a different vacation spot each can do as many as you wish also! It should be fun...and I'm looking forward to seeing lots of interesting places.

  13. What a good post, with much variety....from tornados to travel! It will be fun to travel the links on your blog next week!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson