Friday, June 18, 2010


Last night (Thursday night), I was all set to write a blog post that would demonstrate my anger at some petty and insincere people who are just a bunch of elitist snobs. I would burn them! 

But after I arrived home and switched on the news, Frank and Amelia started telling me about all the tornadoes around the state. I forgot about the blog post and focused on my thoughts of home. The news reports were saying that funnel clouds were being spotted all around Albert Lea in Freeborn County. 

The place I consider home. I may own about 1000 square feet of worn out carpeting in Saint Paul and have a job in the area (sure can't say metro), I'm still an Albert Lean at heart. And at times, a rather homesick one.

 (photo by Arian Shuessler/The Globe-Gazette)

In its usual frustrating style, the news was coming in bits and pieces. Between the reports on TV, I was keeping watch of my friends back home via their posts on Facebook.  The immediacy of the web was a gift last night.

While at work today, it was hard to focus and I was constantly visiting the Albert Lea Tribune website. I knew that one person had been killed and many more injured.  Did I know any one of those people? But I was 100+ miles away and feeling anxious - wishing I could be there.

The Tribune posted an article this afternoon that contained a friend's name in the teaser copy. A quick rush of adreline hit me just seeing a name I knew. Fortunately, the language was the present tense and Terry was talking about the devastation all around him in Alden (just outside of Albert Lea).  

Late this afternoon, the Tribune added a flash gallery of aerial photos of  Freeborn County that were taken Friday afternoon.

As the images cycled through of farm after farm demolished, I began to notice something interesting in many of the photos. Beside the outbuildings ripped off their foundations and trees uprooted, there were cars

Lots of cars. Lined up in a parking lot fashion.

Not cars overturned or damaged, but the cars of the neighbors and friends of those affected, who had shown up to lend a hand. Amidst the near obliteration of the landscape in the photos, you saw the community. 

I would be there if I could, but all I can do right now is pray for all those who lost homes and particularly for those who lost a mom, a wife and a friend.

The nasty blog post that I had planned on writing isn't going to happen. At least not right now. As ticked off as I was when I walked through my front door last night, the storms reminded me of what was really important. 

And a blog post about petty people would have made me the petty one.


Lynne Hartke said...

The woman who died is a neighbor of my parents. They are not releasing her name because her family is fishing in Canada and they can't reach them. Her husband is critically injured.

Six burly guys showed up with chain saws this morning when they heard that my dad was out of town and my mom was alone. Good neighbors! So often I see the good in people when tragedy strikes.

Elizabeth Harty said...
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