High winds are scary. They make you feel powerless. These last several weeks our country has been wracked with more tornadoes than ever. The pictures of the tornado devastation saturate the TV, newspapers and the internet. So many people homeless, so many people stripped of their possessions by the wind. The closest one to us was about 40 miles away in Merrill, Wi. But the broadcasters keep saying, May is typically the month with the most tornadoes. So, we stifle a little fear and hope that we dodge the bullet as we have so far. ...........We were left homeless in 1988. It wasn't a tornado, but wind played a big part. It was March 1st, and March came in like a lion that year. It was bone chilling windy cold that morning when I left for my 10:00 am start of a shift at the racketball club. When I looked back on that morning to trace my steps and try to figure out what went so terribly wrong, I couldn't find a thing. Bing had left for his 7:00am start, the boys, ages 13, 15 and 17, had all left on the 7:10 am school bus. I did a load of wash, filled the crock pot with the evening's intended meal, got ready for work, fed the wood fire in the basement and drove to town. I think it was about 1:00pm, when a neighbor
called and said, "Eileen, I think your house is on fire!" She lived down the hill from us and I hoped she was wrong, that maybe a shed was burning or maybe she was just wrong. Then another call, it was another neighbor on the lake, a few roads away from us. She confirmed it. Our house was ablaze, the volunteer firefighters from four surrounding towns were fighting it and it was bad. I called Bing at the office, got a friend to watch the club, picked up the sons from their schools and we met Bing at home. We stared as the brave volunteers fought the flames but the wind was too strong and the fire won - total loss. .........We pretty much know the feelings of the tornado victims. You are thankful to come out of it alive and together but you also know there is much work to be done. The goodness of family, friends and strangers carry you through the rebuilding. And in our case, the song of the school children at Mass the next morning gave us the knowledge that God would provide. The children sang, "You shall walk amid the burning flames and you will not be harmed." The words gripped our souls and told us all we needed to know.