Anniversary of tornadoes, closing

0
214
anheuser-busch-inc-lp-creative-studio-2
American Red Cross collections staff member Tiara Stewart prepares to collect blood from donor Tiffany Stern at the Anheuser-Busch Tour Center in St. Louis.

By Dennis Richardson

This time in 2020 we were headed home from central Florida. 

We have long-standing reservations there in the form of a time share we bought more than 20 years ago. That is a whole ‘nother story.

Back at our condo one evening my phone dinged with a new text message. A friend back home said a tornado had damaged their property. That was my first word that a tornado hit so it was too early to know how serious damage was until we got back home and drove around.

The deadly tornado ripped through our subdivision, uprooting large trees. It missed our home by less than 100 yards to the north. We saw beautiful homes totally destroyed and many others with blue plastic protecting damaged areas to their roofs. A local person lost their life.

“Tornado alley” is a scary place to live, especially during severe weather season and we have seen our share of close personal calls.

It was also while we were in Florida that Disneyworld closed for a short spell because of COVID-19. We had heard of a virus across the ocean but never dreamed it would sweep the world and even our small home town. But it did. Disneyworld’s closing dramatically lowered the traffic count in our neck of the woods where the main gate to WDW was only a couple of miles south of our place. Restaurants had no long lines and we weren’t asked to wear masks. No one knew how serious the COVID-19 would become. Life went on as usual otherwise with dinner out and visits to other attractions. Some are regularly closed that time of the year so we weren’t too alarmed.

Soon after our return we had cases reported in our town. We knew two of the first three reported cases. Events closed and even the NCAA basketball tournaments were canceled along with spring sports. 

Hope arose when we heard that once the hot weather hit that the virus would disappear. So much for that theory.

How fast a year flies by!

Here I am, awaiting my opportunity to get the vaccine and weighing pros and cons of the vaccine, itself.

Meanwhile, I encourage all to subscribe and get reacquainted to your local newspaper. C’mon…it has been a tough year and we need everyone’s support.