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Wednesday, May 21, 2008


"The Lubbock Tornado was an F5 tornado that occurred in Lubbock, Texas on May 11, 1970. It was one of the worst tornadoes in Texas history, and occurred exactly 17 years to the day after the deadly Waco Tornado. It is also the most recent F5 tornado to have hit a central business district of a large or mid-sized city."

Tornadoes are so fast, so strong and so deadly.....
As a young child growing up in West Texas, the area we lived in was once called TORNADO ALLEY and I spent many, MANY nights in a storm shelter or cellar.

My mother and dad sit up a full size bed and chairs and many nights, we all slept in that cellar ...Mother did not trust going "back up". She kept canned foods and water down there, just in case we had to stay several days. She was always so afraid the high winds would blow something on the door of the shelter and we'd not be able to get out for awhile.

My hubby and I, with our two children, were living in a small town 45 miles from LUBBOCK on May 11, 1970.

I remember the day as if it were yesterday....

A hot, muggy day and it became very still as dark clouds began gathering.

I was at my mother's house, with our little boy and tiny baby girl....

Sirens began to sound...
"TAKE COVER......NOW ! " the television and radio were telling us.

Before we could move, the hail hit, the hard rain, then the winds......

We ran to the inside hallway of mom's house, taking pillows with us to cover our heads...

both mom and I put our bodies over the babies. I can't even begin to tell you how scared I was..all I could think about is how to protect the children...

It got as dark as night during the middle of the day.....

The sound of the wind was so fierce that we couldn't hear each other....we could only pray. And, believe me, WE WERE PRAYING.

That was the tornado that hit LUBBOCK just minutes later.....

it passed directly over us and never did touch down. High, strong winds did destructive damage to property in our town.... but no injuries.
But was a different story there. It was such a hugh quick...a lot of people had storm shelters right there in their back yards but didn't have the time to get to them.....

I am always sorry for the destruction and loss of life during these storms...but I have always been so thankful it didn't touch down on our little town....on my little babies.

Every time I hear of these terrible, adverse weather happenings, it takes me right back to that dark, scary day in my West Texas town.
"Father, we ask in the name of your sweet son, Jesus Christ, that you protect your people from these terrible storms. Help all remember how much YOU love us and that YOU are always with us, through bad times as well as the good. And, help us all to know that things happen many times that we don't understand....and give us comfort in your strong love.
Please give us courage to gather our lives back together and please give us strength.



lived through the deadly
GREENSBURG KANSAS tornado last year.

PLEASE go over and read her story about losing 11 lives in that storm and her home town being completely destroyed, including her home.
THANK GOD she and her family survived

They are rebuilding their town in such a way that is making them proud and ANITA is playing a hugh role in that rebuilding.

PRESIDENT BUSH payed a visit to
and ANITA has some fabulous photos of that visit....
God Bless You All,


Kathleen Grace said...

I am thankful that those type of storms are not typical here in Michigan. We do have tornados, but they arent as destructive or as common. I add my voice to your prayer BJ.

Betty Jo said...

I haven't been in storms like that since moving from Florida. We had more hurricanes there than tornadoes. At the age of 3 days, I spent the night with my parents in our barn, due to a hurricane, as it was safer than our house. We lost our roof in that one. So glad we don't have either here in the mountains. Please stay safe. xoxo

Amelia said...

Living here in Oklahoma I am fully aware of the destruction that tornadoes can do. Thank God, but I have never been in one...have come close though.


Sandi McBride said...

We too have been having Tornado warnings every other day and like you, we have survived a few...1982 was a bad year for our tricounty area...just hang on, we'll get through the season with God's help!

Creating Myself said...

I'll say a prayer w/ you! We've had several tornado warnings recently too. I'll never forget when an F3 came through downtown Ft Worth in 2000. They are sooo scary.

Sandi McBride said...

Hi BJ...skip back a post or 3 pics of the garden are already posted! Thanks for stopping by!

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Bj, We had storms like that a couple weeks ago. We had tornados all around us. The sirens just went and went and went. I was really scared!! The dogs and I were in the basement. Larry was in his truck on his way home from work. I was so.. scared for him!! The day before yesterday. I was outside and all of a sudden 60 mile an hour winds came up. The dirt and everything else was flying. When it was finished I had cornstalks covering... my yard. It took my 3 hours to rake them up. I still have many stuck in my bushes, etc.. I was very upset! But, at least nobody was hurt!!
Have a great day!! Hugs, Terrie

Be said...

BJ, I have been praying for all of the people impacted by these storms. And of course, those around the world that are going through such tragic experiences.

I'm so thankful that God protected you and your family. A tornado is such a terrifying thing.

Scooterblu's Whimsy said...

We are prone to hurricanes, but not tornados, although we do seem to have had several very destructive ones in the last few years in NC! Added my prayer to yours!

I found a couple of kitchens that were my favorites on RMS. My very favorite was fatirenedecorates! I love and am inspired by anything she does! My other two favorites were KellynCarolina's kitchen and lewis4's French Country Flea Market. I love black and white toile and think lewis has done a wonderful job with it! I tried to email them to you...through the link on your profile, but I AM NOT very computer savvy! I couldn't get it to go through! Forgive me! I have them saved, so if you need my pictures, I will try to email them again...or if you are visiting RMS, you could copy them there. Sorry I made it complicated and difficult for you! I just can turn a computer on! It's a miracle I have a blog and can somewhat run it! LOL! Thank you for inviting me to participate in this fun tour of kitchens...can't wait until Monday to see what has been entered!

~Rhonda ;)

Ruthie said...

Tornadoes are definately scairy. My parents lived in Nebraska - and one hit their town once. Lots of destruction. Mom and Dad were down in their basement under a strong table. And their house was spared. They tell of a straw stuck into a tree trunk. There are not many of those here in CO, because of the mountains, I am told.
Thanks for sharing. Ruthie

Betty said...

BJ, it seems in your case you and your family's prayers paid off and you all were very blessed that the tornado passed over you. Terrible damage to so many people.

Terri said...

I was in Louisville, KY on April 3, 1974 That was a scary time! Whole towns in the area were wiped off the map. Huge, ancient trees were pulled up by the roots and tossed around like twigs.

As much as I miss Kentucky, we don't have many tornados here in Western NY and that suits me just fine.


Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

BJ, I cannot tell you how afraid I am of tornados. I used to dream of them as a child, though have never lived where we have them. Too many Wizard Of Oz's for me! I'd love to move to Texas, however I am afraid to death of being smack dab in the middle of such a terrible storm. Glad to know God kept his loving hands over you and your family.


PAT said...

An amazing story, BJ! Thank you so much for sharing it. I'll check out Anita's, too!


Deb said...

Oh how awful, and devastating! Your pictures are amazing.
Stay safe!

Rhondi said...

We have occasional tornado warnings here, but seldom do tornados hit here. It must be scary to live in tornado prone places.
I praythatyou willl be safe.
Hugs, Rhondi

Joanne Kennedy said...

We don't have tornadoes here in CA. At least they are very rare. But I do remember being in 3rd grade when one hit while I was at school.

It was just as you said. All dark and loud and then an scary silence before the wind kicked back up and the tornado hit down right on our school.

Sadly one of the teachers there died.

The parents came and got all the kids and took us home. As we drove down our street I saw our house down the road. I couldn't tell if it was hit.

I saw the neighbors house without a roof. The house across the street was destroyed. But thankfully it skipped our house and there was NO damage. The other neighbors house was hit and so was the house in back of ours.

Just our house was missed. I'll never forget that day either.

I pray right along with you that God will protect us all from the dangers of Mother Nature.

We have earthquakes here in CA and sadly they hit without warning.


Meggie said...

How awful for you to be in such a situation with your wee ones. We don't typically have tornadoes in PA but flooding is rampant when the rains are plentiful. I will be praying for you folks in the west and midwest to get through this season without destruction and damage.

Jeanne said...

Your post is a wake up call for tornado safety. We lived in Fl. when a #4 tornado hit our town. It was less than a mile from our home. We had evidence of the destruction in our neighborhood. Fortyone people died and thousands lost everything.
We all need to keep those victims in our prayers.

Blessings, Jeanne

Wendy said...

I pray you all are kept safe from any storms!!! That was a beautiful prayer my friend!! Take care!~Wendy

Mary Isabella said...

I am praying for all who live in the paths of these storms....Mary

Suzy said...

Oh BJ I can only imagine that fear and that you can remember it so vividly even after so many years.
I hope you now live in a safe Texas area with no tornados!?
I know how terrified I am when watching it on TV, but being there to feel it and hear it, it must be a very terrible experience.
I am praying for all of you in the path of a tornado. Please stay safe!

Love Suzy

Anita said...

Thank you, Bj...

To this day, when it gets stormy, I'm so scared my stomach churns, and I physically shake... i don't give in to it, I don't speak my fear out loud, but I repeat bible verses out loud to calm myself down... I think once we get out of this FEMA trailer and back into a house it won't be so bad...
I posted storm pics at Prairie Visions from last night - there was a storm with rotation just a few miles southeast of Greensburg again... more expected in the area today...

My heart goes out to all the recent victims of tornadoes... I so know exactly what they are feeling right now, and I just wish I could go to every one of those towns and help...

anajz said...

Growing up in the Dallas, Texas area, I always thought I knew what tornadoes were all about. I have always had a terrible fear of tornadoes, which I am certain developed from my mother's own full blown fear. Night after night I, too, would have terrifying dreams about tornadoes.
It wasn't until I moved to Kansas however, that I realized the true devastation of these monstrous storms. Maybe it was because I had no prior first hand experience, or I that felt more secure in my surroundings in Texas, but the first tornado warning I sat through in Garden City, Kansas made the fear I felt before seem as nothing.
The night that Greensburg was destroyed and the days following will always haunt me. Currently living only 18 miles and, at the time, working only 10 miles from Greensburg brought everything into reality for me. The tornado warning that came in our town the following day frightened me more than anything I have ever experienced...and I have had some pretty scary moments with which to compare it.
Now, knowing my own level of petrifying anxiety when storms approach, I can only imagine the fear that grips the people of Greensburg when the skies look as they did yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, Jean, how well I remember trying to protect my one little baby--my only son. I was feeding him his supper when they announced on the radio that a funnel was 7 miles south of the airport. I stepped to the back door where K. was changing the pads on our old "swamp cooler" and asked him how far we were from the airport and he said 7 miles. That got me in motion FAST, but by the time K. got in the house and I rolled Kenny in a quilt the vaccum that accompanies a tornado had sealed our front door shut and we had no way out of that house and no place to hide because there was a floor furnace in the hallway and it was the only place without windows. We sat down on our couch and leaned our bodies across our baby and prayed like we'd never prayed before. We watched the walls sway in and out until it seemed to have lessened a little. K. managed to get to my little car on the driveway and pulled it onto the yard as close to the front door as he could get it. His mother held onto me as I was carrying the baby so we'd be heavy enough to stand up to get to the car in such awful rain as I've ever seen. Just as we got to the car I slipped in the mud of the flowerbed and fell with Kenny, but kept him from hitting the ground. Don't ask me how because I don't know the answer even today. At that point we didn't know it had been a tornado and were trying to get to our neighbor's basement. We saw downed power lines and huge tree limbs, but still didn't know the tornado had passed over already. The neighbor lady helped me get all the mud off that I could and we stayed in her basement until sometime in the early morning hours when they gave the "all clear", but advised people to not get on the streets because of downed power lines everywhere. We managed to go home VERY CAREFULLY getting around limbs and watching out for the lines,just scared to death. Fortunately, the thing had just started to come down over out house so we lost a back fence, shingles off the roof and sides of our little house and limbs off a couple of big trees in the backyard, but not our home. We spent the rest of the night listening to the wail of sirens downtown that sounded like they were right outside our window. The air was so clear that sound carried no telling how far. You could hear people talking from way down the street. It was just eerie! The telephone was out of course so we couldn't let anybody know we were all right and could not find out if my sister who was in Tech was all right. Mother, Daddy and Grandmama stayed up all night watching reports on TV and listening to the radio for word. A good friend at KVOP kept in touch with one of his friends at a station here trying to help my folks. We had no electricity or phone so we didn't know the local station was broadcasting names of people who were okay if they called in. Next morning the folks couldn't stand it any longer and headed for Lubbock knowing that they could not enter the north side so they circled way around town to the south side and managed to wind their way around to our house and here they came up the walk carrying jugs of water. Never saw a more wonderful sight in my life and I know they felt the same way. It took many years for Kenny to get to where he did't panic every time a cloud passed over the sun. He was only eighteen months old and was so terrified that when we got into the car to try to get to the neighbor's house he couldn't even cry. He just made the most mournful little sound--kind of like a tiny kitten that can't find its mother. I'll never forget it. I was scared senseless myself, but the terror I saw in those little eyes broke my heart and I still shed tears when I think about it. They used to have a special display at the Tech Museum about the tornado that had a bunch of newspaper clippings about it that I had saved and donated to them for the display along with a letter telling my memories of that night. Haven't been out there in years so don't know if it's still there or not. Sorry this is so long, but your posting here just brought back so many memories. I even had to shed a tear or two just remembering the terror of that night and I surely know how you felt trying to protect your babies. God is good! He took care of all of us that night. Martha