I am waking up a little more thankful today than I was yesterday.
Yesterday, I was thankful for my family, though they could have moved a little faster getting ready for school and maybe not left quite so much laundry for me to do. Yesterday, I was thankful for my job, though my to-do list was more than I cared to think about. Yesterday, I was thankful for my friends though pouty that we never seem to get to spend any time together, and what good are texts and calls when you are too busy to see each other in person? Yesterday, I was thankful for my community, though frankly more than a little annoyed by the construction that was taking so long, the everyone-knows-everyone gossip circles, and everything else that comes with living in a small town. Yesterday, I was thankful for the forecast of storms, so I had an excuse to hibernate inside.
Today, I am thankful for the sunshine.
Today, I am thankful that my family was safe, though hearing the stories of my oldest crouched in the corner of her classroom at the high school while the ceiling tiles shook and the freight train of a tornado barreled overhead were disturbing to say the least, they came home. They all came home, safe and sound. I will fold laundry for years if it means guaranteeing their sweet faces will continue walking through the door. Today, I am thankful that my job is flexible enough that I was able to be home, to hold down the fort, to pick up kids from different places, to be where I was needed. And my sweet clients waiting for deliveries and emails never blinked an eye at delays. Today, I am thankful for the texts, calls, tweets and facebook posts checking on our family. I could barely keep up with it all, as the kind words flooded in. Some were from the people I talk to daily, many from friends I haven’t seen in years. That the mere mention of our town on the news was enough for them to pick up the phone is humbling. And for the few hours I was sitting in my (tiny!) bathroom with three labs, a yorkie, and a bunny (who in hindsight was probably safer in her cage weathering storms than loose in the bathroom weathering curious dogs) the texts and tweets kept me sane, comforted. Today, I am thankful for my small town. Where everyone knows everyone, and everyone knew immediately whose houses were worst hit, who needed the most help, who to call and where to go. Friends were caravaning kids from the chaotic school pickups, neighbors clearing trees from atop cars, so many students from the high school helping the houses nearby, the worst hit in our area. My sweet teacher husband has his class out this morning already, picking up debris littered around campus. For all the posts I saw yesterday about the tornado, there was an overwhelming message of “I want to help.” I love my sweet, sometimes backwards, always crazy small town. And today I am thankful to be a part of it.
We are all a little more blessed today than yesterday. A few hours later, all those homes would have been filled with children, families making dinner. Even an hour difference would have put ten school buses on the road. Our schools did an amazing job keeping our littlest blessings safe and secure, and those brave teachers who comforted them through the worst of it are truly my heroes. Our rescue workers have done a wonderful job already at mobilizing efforts, organizing relief, and keeping everyone safe. And our community has come together to support each other, no questions or hesitation.
If you would like to help, our high school is collecting donations of clothing, non perishable food, water, trash bags and toiletries in the library during regular school hours. They are located at 901 Wildcat Way, Kennedale 76060. If you would like to make a donation but are unable to get down here, I would be happy to meet anyone to pick them up.
Today I am thankful for the calm after the storm, for clear skies so the workers can being cleanup and families without roofs do not lose any more possessions. Today I am thankful to send my people off to school, though part of me wishes they would have stayed a little longer, just so I could know they are safe.
Today, I am thankful we have a tomorrow to look forward to.