Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Survivor's Tale

I met Julie Zickefoose several years back at the Festival of the Cranes at the Bosque del Apache in New Mexico. She and her husband were tour leaders. She is an expert birder, an incredibly talented artist as well as a talented musician. I've followed her blog ever since.

She has run a series of posts that I want to pass along to my readers. There is a tale here that needs to be read in order to be fully appreciated.

The first post: Meet Debbie Kaspari introduces us to another interesting and talented artist.

Julie had been in Oklahoma as the keynote speaker at the the Lesser Prairie Chicken Festival in Woodward, Oklahoma. While in Oklahoma she visited the Alabaster Caverns, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. and her friends, travel writer/photographer, TIm Ryan and artist Debby Kasapari.

Julie's next post, An Oklahoma Eden shows an incredibly beautiful paradise that Debbie and her husband Mike had created. Certainly an inspiration for what beautiful natural spaces we can create in our home environments.

I grew up in the Texas Panhandle. In my household, the spring and early summer thunderstorms meant my grandfather came and picked up my mother and I so that if a tornado came our way, we would have access to the storm cellar in his backyard. I have vivid memories of near black menacing skies and a couple of times when we took shelter in that underground concrete shelter. I remember listening to the radio the night the big tornado hit Lubbock and the stories of the people who died when the tornado hit the lake houses near Clarendon. The sister of a friend of mine lost her leg that night. I'm really not afraid of too many things, but I have to say that the thing here on earth that I'm most afraid of is tornadoes.

Julie's next two posts tell the story of the May 10th tornado and how it impacted the lives of her friends. And I think they are worth sharing:

The May 10 Tornado

Aftermath of a Tornado

There are many worthwhile causes to donate money, but I wanted to add one more to your list. The Kaspari family will be struggling for awhile to get their life put back together. Apparently if you live in town, there are services to help you haul off the broken lumber from a flattened home and dead broken tree trunks. If you live in the country, you are on your own. There has been a fund set up to help this family. You can donate via Paypal or you can send a check:

Deborah Kaspari
Dept. of Zoology
University of Oklahoma
730 Van Vleet Oval
Room 314
Norman, OK 73019

Reading this story makes me ponder anew whether we should eventually add a Safe Room or an underground shelter of some sort. Fortunately, we live in Central Texas where tornadoes are infrequent. Because we do occasionally have tornadoes (Jarrell Texas is not that far from us), the idea does appeal to me to have a "safe" place to hide from these destructive storms. Some day . . .

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