A letter from Aunt B to her niece's son D in Iraq:
So much has happened since you left. Mostly storm stuff, which I'll summarize by saying the storm may have come through two months ago, but believe me, it's far from being over. There is destruction everywhere you look, every road you turn, new scenes which make you shake your head. The weather bureau said they stopped counting at 125 tornadoes. Yesterday we spoke to a man who rode the storm out in his home, and he said it sounded like a train on top of his house for eight straight hours. Personally, we lost about seven huge trees, two of which fell on the carport, and one nipped the edge of the house, meaning we had to replace all roofs. Comparatively speaking, we came out lucky, though there is not a single tree left in our back yard which now resembles a muddy, dirt driveway. (Much due to the utility vehicles needed to remove the tree debris.) The [formerly thick] woods are so sparse that we see [a mile through them]. Our view from the back windows of our home shows tangled, mangled, dangling tree branches and massive up-turned root balls, leaving gaping holes 10-12 feet deep. This scene is in the woods on the edge of our property which is undeveloped, meaning no one will be cleaning up that mess. For the first time in my life, I'm thinking about putting up a fence. [For before-and-after photos, see this post from right afterwards.]
J and A and families became homeless. A huge branch fell on the K's house and water poured in for hours, meaning all the bedding, clothes, tvs, toys, had to be put on the curb. Of course, the water proceeded to spread into the kitchen. When the mold started forming, it was clear they could not live in the house without major repairs. J's brand new house, due to be moved into the week of the storm, took a major hit with a tree smashing the entire front of the house, hours of rain pouring in, ruining almost every single room. Both families moved in with us until just two weeks ago. The bank has allowed J and H to occupy the kitchen, bedroom and bath of the new house, meaning they are basically "camping out" in their new home. No place to put things, as the closets and bedrooms in the other parts of the house are stripped to the studs . And of course, there's no attic. Much of their "stuff" is in plastic bags under the carport, subject to wind and rain. Not a pretty picture. Luckily, the Cs had another rental house for the Ks to rent until they can occupy the house they'd purchased just before the storm. That's what I mean about my personal loss being so minimal. Even so, our problems pale in comparison to what people suffered in New Orleans. So you can see why the storms have come, but have not gone.
Anyway, dear D, you have enough troubles of your own. We think of and pray for you very often. When I think of our family Christmas party this year, it's hard to imagine it without you....Take care of yourself, D.