Tonya and I took a ride yesterday through Monson, Massachusetts, a town hit hard by the recent tornado. As I have written already, tornadoes are not something we get a lot of out this way, and certainly not with the kind of damage as these caused. We see pictures on the news, we watch specials on the Weather Channel, but until you see the devastation up close, you have no idea of the impact.
There were several towns which sustained damage and I am not sure Monson was necessarily the worst, but when you see Monson, it really hits you hard. Mostly I think it is because it hit the center of town. Also if you are on Main Street, you can look down to Washington Street and State Street and get a perspective from high up, and that is when it really hits you.
Where there once were houses there are now piles of debris, life's possessions and dreams dumped in the cellar, or the backyard or in the neighbors. It strikes you just how fragile things really are, and how in a matter of minutes, there is nothing left. We saw houses, which looked intact, but which had been moved from their foundations, one, two or more feet. Sheets of metal wrapped around trees, autos tossed like toys, all the usual descriptions you hear anytime someone is interviewed after something like this. The difference this time, it happened in a place I know. I have been to Monson many times, I worked in the little grocery store a few times, I delivered to the bank and to the Police Station and Town Hall which are damaged.
When Tonya and I arrived home, I looked at my little house on the lake and knowing how close the storm had come, I thanked God for sparing us the destruction and said a prayer for all those who lost everything.