Remember Joplin tornado

Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of the Joplin tornado and I think we all remember exactly where we were when the tragedy hit !! That weekend Smack and I were at the lodge packing up everything because the Missouri river was out of its banks and about to flood the lodge again !! We made it home around 3pm on Sunday just in time to get unpacked and brace for the storm. It’s still amazing to think of the damage and loss of life from that one storm! I just remember thinking in the weeks to follow all the coverage of the tornado in Joplin and the massive flooding in Northwest Missouri and thinking both places that I call home will never be the same!!

The summer of 2011 is a summer that I hope I never have to relive again. While I was helping many friends pick up the pieces of what was left of their homes, I was also wondering when the water recedes what will be left of my lodge? I think like most people I felt guilty that all I had lost was stuff, which could be replaced, while other lost their homes and their families !! It was a long road to recovery, but brighter days were ahead for us all. As the dog days of summer were upon us, cleanup was in full swing and so was the rebuilding process. It wasn’t until almost mid September that the water went down at the lodge and we could see that the damage was too much and the lodge couldn’t be saved ! A new lodge was found and it’s a huge upgrade from the old one. The new lodge feels more like home and I feel that’s where God wanted me to be all along!!

As clients started to arrive at the new lodge a new beginning started for Pro Outfitters, just as there were many new beginnings for many residents of Joplin. Last year all the clients wanted to talk about was the flood and damage in Big Lake and the tornado in Joplin, but with changes comes many new opportunities and many new memories as well. Last summer I thought I was pretty unlucky to have the two community I live in so devastated, but now I see how truly lucky I am. Joplin is a really special place to live, just like little ole Big Lake, Missouri!! Everywhere I go or every new client I talk to asks “Were you effected by the tornado?” No, but lots of friends and family were and I still pray for their recovery. So, when the days are long and things aren’t going my way, I just take a minute and think back to how lucky I truly am! There’s something really special about the Midwest and I will never take that for granted !! May God continue to bless the residents of Joplin and of Big Lake