3 weeks seemed like such a long time! But it has flown by, and it’s time for us to put away the gloves and chainsaws (and Sharpie markers), and wrap up our time in Moore.
The littles are going to miss all the frogs and toads they have been finding around here!On Tuesday, the littles and I did laundry in the am, getting home just 15 min. before I was scheduled to work in the distribution center until 6pm. It’s an experience in itself to work in a center; from homeless people that come in and just want whatever they can get, to lifers on public assistance that see the disaster as a chance to cash in on handouts, we get all kinds. But we are also getting the people that the centers are established for; those whose homes were lost or damaged in the storm. For some of those victims, they were already struggling before the disaster, for some they have never set foot in a donation center except to GIVE items for those in distress.
We had a gentleman come in on Tuesday; dressed neatly and cleanly in slacks, with a collared shirt and tie, he seemed strangely out of place. And he keenly felt it. He was polite, softspoken, and well-mannered. A federal employee, who in Feb. was notified that he would be taking a mandatory pay reduction for 11 weeks starting in June, compliments of the sequester cuts (need cuts? How ’bout a (complete) sequester cut to Obama’s upcoming $100 million Africa vacation!?!?! 🙁 ). For this man and his family, preparing for the mandatory pay cut meant reducing expenses as much as possible, wherever possible. And one of those cuts was lowering his insurance fees temporarily. Just weeks before the May 21st tornado damaged his home, he had raised the deductibles on a home they rent out, their residence, and both vehicles (for one, that meant dropping full coverage and getting liability only). So now, in the face of a 20% reduction in pay for the summer, he now has to come up with thousands of dollars worth of high deductables in order to get 2 roofs replaced, and to repair the vehicle that still carried full coverage. The other car will keep it’s damage.
He hoped that by getting some of the donations they would usually buy, that it would help them to free up some of that money to be able to fix their home, and the rental house for their tenants.
I could tell it was difficult for this man to come in and accept help; he said in the course of our conversation that it was very humbling to be on the receiving end of giving. But his family, and all the other faces of tornado devastation, is exactly why the donation centers are open! While this particular family didn’t ‘lose it all’, they have been impacted by the tornado. It has added extra stress and strain to their lives, to most of those affected, physically, emotionally, and financially.
There was more to our talk with him, but you get the idea. It’s hard to leave experiences like that!
The bigs and Vaughn spent Tuesday volunteering with SP.
Tuesday night, the lady that I had been working with the most in the distribution center invited us over to have dinner with her and her husband. Vaughn and the bigs went to dinner and share time at SP since it was their last night, and then joined us for dessert. Pam made a yummy lasagna – actually she made 2 even though the bigs would not be there for dinner, and she sent the other home with us, which made for a wonderful homemade lunch while we were trying to packed up and headed out Wed. afternoon. We had such an enjoyable evening with Pam and Terry; they guys talk guns and we girls talked about all sorts of things!!! I think they are kindred spirits! 😉
Wednesday morning, the kids and I worked on getting the rv ready to go. When we’ve been parked like this, for any amount of time, things aren’t always were they go when we move. We also spent an hour or so in the church organizing, marking, and putting out a car-load of donations that someone from SP had brought down. The kids picked up the back-lot of the church where we were parked; we believe in always leaving our campsites cleaner than we found them 😉 and we took a load of out of season clothing that the church didn’t have room to put out, to Goodwill.
When the bigs got back from their last morning of volunteering then saying goodbyes, we had a wonderful lunch of Miss Pam’s lasagna, and packed this caravan up. We flushed tanks, filled with fresh water, and pulled out around 1:30. It is wonderful to be moving again, but it was hard to leave. We had a few people stop by and give hugs; we sure will miss the people here in Moore!!!
There is still so much more to do here, and we would LOVE to stay longer. We feel like we are leaving before the job is done, but we also believe in keeping our commitments (and don’t mind the pros to working – eating is a plus! LOL!).
We will be running 2 firework stands starting on Monday. We have to be home Saturday night at the latest, to set them both up on Sunday (it’s a LOT of stocking). We are pushing hard to get back ‘home’ late Friday night.
1458 miles. What google maps out at 21.5 hours is really over 30 for us: potty breaks, 6 stops where we fill both rigs up, car-seat breaks, lunch and dinner breaks, plus, we typically don’t drive at the speed limit… 🙂
Last night we stayed at Hays, KS in a Walmart parking lot, getting a dozen doughnuts to start out our drive this morning as we work our way through Kansas… It’s relaxing, and green, and fairly flat. I love farmland and pastures, so I’m enjoying the scenery. And Molly is enjoying yelling out every corn field (there are a lot) and horse (not so many) that she sees.
We are already talking about heading back down to Moore to help with rebuilding. And lamenting a little bit that we aren’t actually heading to CO to help out in Colorado Springs…Wouldn’t it be an incredible life to just drive around and volunteer to help others!?!
While it’s wonderful to be going home to see our loves, we are leaving part of our hearts back in OKC, and our prayers will bridge the gap.Moore Strong!!!