January 2nd

January 2nd 2017, was the day before the kids returned to school from Christmas break. As we always do, we made it an awesome day! We played outside from morning until dark. Jumping on the trampoline, playing badminton, we had an obstacle course, you name it we did it. It was pretty warm out for that time of year, but we live in the south so it wasn’t anything new to us. The weather man put us in either a marginal or slight risk for severe storms later that evening,  so we were also trying to keep an eye on the weather. We weren’t too worried, but being we live in a mobile home we still try to be a little cautious. After our fun and games, we retired into the house to make quesadilla’s, get baths, and ready for bed. The next morning was going to be an early one, and after all our busy holiday season, it was probably going to be a rough one. I tucked the kiddos in for the night and climbed into bed with my husband. He had the weather channel on to catch the latest before we turned out the lights. Then it happened. Our phones going off, the warning on the TV flashing, we were in a tornado warning. They were tracking the storm through our particular area. We jumped out of bed, grabbed the kids, threw on our mud boots, and we ran out the door. Being that we live in a mobile home, we always escape to my husband’s parents house just down the road.  As I was putting the kids in the truck, and trying to buckle them in, the rain was coming in sideways and the wind was whipping around us. I also have two dogs. One, my pit bull, was not delayed at all in jumping into the truck. My other, a blue heeler, ran under my truck. I guess he could feel the pressure change, or maybe even hear it, but it was all I could do to finally drag him from under my truck, pick him up, and put him in. But I got him. We drive through the driveway, barely able to see because the rain is coming down so hard, we turn right to take the quickest route to the in-laws. We get just a little ways down the road and a tree on the left side of the road fell in front of the truck, blocking the road. By then, it was raining so hard, my husband couldn’t see to back up, so I had to roll the window down and look out to help guide him. We get turned around and continue the other way, the long way. By the time we made it to the main road, the weather had lightened up a bit. I kept trying to call my mother in law to check on them and let them know we were on the way. But I had no cell service. We are on the highway now, when we noticed a semi truck stopped with its flashers on. There was a tree down blocking the road. We stopped as well to help clear the roadway, then the call came in. It was my husband’s cousins wife, she lives close to my mother in laws house, they had all been hit by a tornado. We frantically returned to the truck, and took off. When we got to their road, there were trees down everywhere. I felt like I was in the movie twister as I was shouting to my husband, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, helping guide his way through the debris and destruction. After making our way so far, we ended up having to leave our truck parked at a church and walk the rest of the way. But we made it. Everyone was ok, no severe damage that couldn’t be fixed, no power, and lots of tree’s down. LOTS OF TREES! The next morning, we arose with the sun. We were able then, to get a better look at all of the destruction. Someone had removed the tree that blocked my truck from coming through, so I was able to go get it. My  family and I decided to ride home, to see if we had also had damage. We took off down the dirt road, the “quick” route I had mentioned earlier and we couldn’t get through. It took cleanup crews 3 days to clear the path to our house from that direction. We had to turn around and take the long way again, and to our surprise and thankfulness, our house and property was untouched. The tornado came through about a mile from our house. If we had taken the “quick” route, or should I say been able to take the “quick” route, I don’t know if I can say we would be here today. I don’t know if I would be writing this. The amount of trees that came down on our road, and on our route would have crushed my vehicle. So, why did the tree fall in front of my truck, falling against the wind, not with the wind?  Falling 1 mile from where the tornado came through? I truly believe the Lord was protecting us. He was looking out for us. He knew what the outcome would had been  if we had continued. He put the tree in front of us to make us go the other way. For that,  I Thank him! I thank him for all of our blessings, but sometimes you overlook the little ones. How many times has he saved you, and you didn’t realize it? Be thankful every day, life is a blessing!

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Mandy Vinson

I am Mandy Vinson and I am a singer/songwriter, author, blogger, and on occasion and dabble into poetry. I am a wife, a mother of two children and a child of God. My hobbies include playing games with my kids and spending time with my family, being outdoors, writing, playing guitar, and singing.

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