At 5:15 the skies were mostly clear and there was a hint of a storm in the north/northwest. I pulled into the church parking lot to teach Baby Music of Abilene: Suzuki Early Childhood Education with Caitlin Clark. At 6 pm everyone's phones began to text and ring at once inside the classroom as the automatic storm alerts sounded. Just seconds later heavy rain started to fall and right behind that the hail--BIG HAIL. I sounded like someone had an ax hitting the window at our church. I made a decision to stop the class and pray and then to carry on with the class as normal. After all, where would we go in such a storm and what would we do differently? About 10 minutes later the church secretary opened the door and told us to stay out of the atrium because there was so much glass on the floor. We carried on dancing and singing and passing Tommy Tucker's little dog around and going around the Mulberry Bush and counting drums and listening to "Over in the Meadow" as Miss Caitlin read. One of our church board members came by to warn us that all our windshields were blown out and cars were badly damaged. We kept reading. No babies cried or acted disturbed. I hope the secretary and board chair noticed that their quiet voices were the loudest ones in the room because there was almost total quiet in the classroom with 6 babies two years and under. We walked out to destroyed cars. No one could drive home because there was so much shattered glass, and even hailstones inside the cars and the car seats. Car parts, glass, plastic, paint chips, trash all over the parking lot. Still no crying babies. We were there as long as two and a half hours after class and only one baby cried and that was because he was hungry. His mom pulled out the snacks and he was happy again! I am convinced of the wonderful calming quality of music and of Dr. Suzuki's principal that Parent Involvement is Critical. We have fabulous Moms and Dads and Grandmoms and Grandads in our class!! And God was so good to keep us all safe and happy while the storm raged. Thank you God! — at First United Methodist Church.
I dreamed last night that I had glass in my flipflops.We are waiting on USAA to see the car, but it, and likely all the others in the parking lots yesterday, are destroyed. There were hailstones as big as tennis balls and baseballs that went through the back window and fell into the back floorboard--even the front seat and front floorboard! You could see exposed insulation around the back window. Some of those with really small cars had absolutely no glass left in their cars! The church atrium was just a huge mess and the yard was covered in leaves and branches. The big planters had so many hailstones it looked like hidden Easter eggs among the beaten flowers. The ground was covered in hailstones and there were dead birds in my Mom's yard. She had damage to windows on both the north and the south side of her house. That fact and the dead birds tells me that this storm formed really fast--faster than the birds could find refuge. And it was a swirling wind, with a vortex in it. Most parts of town had heavy rain, which we needed, and small hail, but there was a strip that moved north to south for several miles that just destroyed everything.The town is buzzing with chainsaws, leaf blowers, roofers and glass company trucks. Oh, and the police department lost 46 vehicles. Thanking God for His safe place for all of us and for a favorable settlement for all the damage as well.