Well, the winner of those cute earrings I never posted a picture of is Ruth Ann Nordin. Ruth Ann, I guarantee they're cute.
My Thoughts, One Year After Mena's Tornado
It's been almost a year since our town was struck by an F3-4 tornado. In the days after it hit its rating was in dispute, having measured wind strength 1 mile below the rating of an F4, but causing damage that clearly ranked in the F4 category. I think it was officially designated F3 having caused some F4 damage.
I remember before the tornado being somewhat dismayed at the town having so many wonderful old homes in various states of disrepair. It seemed a shame to watch our heritage crumble due to age and neglect.
Then, in the days after the tornado, I was furthered disheartened to discover that the hardest struck area was a residential historic district, where many of the old homes had been restored to their former glory. It had been beautiful and quaint! Each house a preserved testament to the artist who built it. Wrought iron and picket fences framed many of the lots, and flowers adorned the yards. After the tornado, many of these houses lay in rumble, some even moved off their foundations into neighboring yards. Chimneys stood as a lone monument to a house that no longer existed. Homes that had witnessed more than a century of Mena's history, wiped away in the mere seconds it took for the tornado to pass through. It does give one pause as to how fleeting anything in life can be.
But...the other evening as I drove my kids to their youth group meeting, I turned the corner around Jansen Park and took note of this little house I love. My husband and I had commonly referred to it as the "cat house". It was amongst those "once upon a time" charming homes that had fallen by the wayside over the years. While it hadn't been a victim of last spring's tornado, a different one ten years earlier had swooped down and snatched the back wall. The house was boarded up and left alone, becoming residence to a hoard of cats for awhile.
Not anymore. Now the house boasted a new roof, a fresh coat of white paint, new windows and a wooden front door with an oval-shaped, leaded-glass window in the center. Its cute wrought iron fence had been straighted and painted black. It made me so happy to see that, once again, someone would call this house home.
And as I drove further down the road, I noticed a number of houses that had been in need of repair were getting a face lift. It seemed that some of the folks who'd lost their cherished piece of history in the tornado felt compelled to rescue another. Our little town is healing.