Texas: Dallas + Fort Worth Pt.1
I remember watching the sunshine slowly disappearing throughout our drive towards Dallas. It had been an awful long drive so we had made a few stops along the way for gas and fresh air. After veering off to the exit for Dallas, I asked Kieran if he had also noticed the dark clouds appearing from the murky skies. He told me that there must be some heavy rain coming our way.
We headed towards a grocery store nearby our RV park for the night. All I wanted to do was hurry there and cook Kieran and I something lovely for dinner, when all of the sudden, we heard loud sirens piercing our worried ears. We looked around and realised that we were surrounded by panicking bodies on the phone to loved ones. We asked a man wearing a cowboy hat standing in the vegetable aisle what was going on and he said; 'Little lady, those are tornado sirens, so you better be gettin' on and get yourself into shelter.' Kieran held my hands as we dropped everything and headed back to our van to make the short drive to our RV park. After we parked, we were quickly huddled into a rec-hall where Kieran and I seemed to be the only two from a countless crowd that were not locals and under the age of thirty. The owner of the park welcomed us with open arms, like he was comforting his own two children.
First came the heavy rain along with aggressive wind. Then came the thumping hail. And before anything got worse, we were escorted to a toilet block with a big group of locals. Kieran held my hands tight as I stood in the corner and listened to all sorts of things. I listened to the whirly winds, the hail hitting the roof and the bucketing down of heavy rain. In my head, I imagined the tornado touching down and passing by. I listened to the people share stories with us about tornadoes they had survived in the past with their families. How they had lost almost everything, found strength amongst the mess of it all and started all over again. Other times, there was no sound at all. For me this was the worse as the silence only allowed me to worry about leaving our much loved Chevy and everything in it behind. I couldn't help but anticipate the worst.
A few hours later, we were told it was all over. We walked outside, walked towards our motorhome and suddenly happiness overtook my entire body as I saw our van with nothing but cuts and bruises. It reminded me of something I guess I can easily forget every now and then; that sometimes when it rains, it pours. But if you hang tight, the sunshine always fights it's way back through the storm.
The very next day was rewardingly sunny. We called home often to tell our mothers that we missed them and that we were safe. We visited the John F. Kennedy Museum that day and enjoyed a baseball game that night. Later that evening, we watched the news and saw the affects that the tornado had on the whole city. Trucks were flipped over, houses and brand new buildings were in tumbles. But what I found particularly sweet was a footage of an elderly lady they showed walking around on her own picking things up of the ground in the pouring rain just after the tornado hit. They interviewed her afterwards and asked her what she was doing and she said modestly that she saw family photographs being blown away from peoples houses, so she wanted to pick them all up with the hope that someday she can return them to the rightful owners.