NORMAN — When my husband and I decided we were adult enough to buy a house we looked at four potential new homes. We had every intention of living in Norman since that is where we had previously lived and we both work here.
After looking at three houses in Norman, our Realtor decided she would show us one more house that day. A house in Moore.
The idea of living in Moore wasn’t really something we had talked about, but on the drive over to see the house something told me that this was “the one.” I can’t describe the feeling, but I knew in my heart I was about to meet my new home. And, just as I suspected, we pulled into the driveway and I felt this sudden urge to run inside and start unpacking my things. I was ready to buy.
The first thing I noticed about the house was the red trim. Since red is one of my favorite colors, I was excited. The lawn was perfectly manicured and the house next door had a bright orange 1956 Chevy truck parked out front. Not all typical reasons to buy a house. But to me they were beautiful sites.
That was almost seven years ago and although I admit there are times I wish I had more money to make my house look like a magazine cover, I’m still in love.
I’ve grown to love Moore, too. When we moved there, it reminded me of the small town I grew up in. Friendly people. Traffic seemed light. And you could get across town in less than 10 minutes. But over the years I’ve watch Moore grow. At times it seemed to grow too fast. But at other times it was exciting to see new things develop. It was almost like a parent watching a child blossom.
Monday afternoon, like many others, I watched on television the devastation that was ripping through my town. I felt numb. I felt hopeless. And I was scared. I cried. And cried. And cried some more. The only thing I could manage to do was pray. I knew the destruction was massive and all I could do was pray for the people in the path of that ugly monster.
With phone lines down it was impossible to get into communication with family and friends who I knew had to be in the direct path of the storm. And, I was worried about that little house with the red trim and the 1956 Chevy truck parked next door. As storm chasers started naming off streets in Moore where the tornado was going, it was all too familiar. Those are the same streets my friends live on. The same streets I shop on. The same streets I see everyday. Those were the streets in my town.
What seemed like forever was only a few minutes, but once the storm finally passed I was able to get the most joyous news I’d ever received — my house, only by the grace of God, was spared. I’ve no idea what I’ve done in this lifetime to deserve such blessings.
I know several people who have lost everything. And, although I know none of the families who lost a loved one, my heart just breaks for them. All week, I’ve felt guilty. Why do I get to mow my yard when my neighbors across town can’t? Why do I get to have a nice bed to sleep in when many in town are sleeping on cots at area shelters. A friend of mine said she felt the same thing, but was told instead she should just be thankful. Thankful doesn’t seem like a big enough word though. And I don’t know a word that would be fitting. Trust me, I’ve racked my brain all week trying to find one.
For months I’ve been hounding my husband to finish a project that he started last summer. We are in the process of replacing all of the doors in our hallway. We have three more to go. And for whatever reason — time and money mostly — we haven’t got the job done. For weeks before Monday’s tornado I was so fed up with those mismatched doors. I’ve been wanting to replace all of the trim in the hallway, too. But, once again time and money have gotten in our way. But now, now that I’ve seen the worst tornado I think any of us have seen, I don’t care about any of that. Monday evening when I got to go to my home, the one I fell in love with all those years, I had never been so happy to see those mismatched hallway doors, the house with the red trim or that 1956 Chevy truck.