Moore, OK

People in other states like to make fun of Oklahoma – we’re an easy target because of our slow dialect and our laid back way of life (no we don’t live in Teepees and ride our horses to work, let’s just get that out of the way first). There’s nothing particularly exceptional about Oklahoma as far as geography or landmarks or anything like that, but what is exceptional about this state is the people. There are lots of talented celebrities who hail from Oklahoma – singers, actors, athletes, politicians – but the real talent lies in the every day folks. My state has seen its share of disasters – everything from acts of nature to acts of terrorism – and every time there is a tragedy, you can count on one thing: my people will pull together and do whatever it takes to help a neighbor in need. It’s how we were raised, it’s what we do. 

The last 2 days have been terrifying and heartbreaking for my state. A tornado ripped through Shawnee on Sunday, then yesterday…yesterday another one demolished Moore, which is just outside of Oklahoma City. This tornado was a mile and a half wide and completely destroyed everything in its 2 mile path including an elementary school whose students are still unaccounted for. It doesn’t look good for them or their families. Last I saw, there were 24 souls lost, including 7 children. The death toll will most likely rise once the debris starts being cleared. This is not the first time this town has experienced a major tornado: on May 3, 1999 an F6 tornado tore through Moore on almost exactly the same path as this latest tornado. The wind speeds from that tornado were the fastest ever recorded and yesterday’s tornado most likely matched those speeds. 

My niece lives in Moore with her husband, but thankfully the tornado missed her house by a couple of blocks. She said there was lots of debris in her yard but there was no damage to her house (or her dogs). I can’t imagine losing her. I can’t imagine the total heartbreak that so many families are feeling today. It’s just too much to think about. 

But as I said before, the people of Oklahoma know how to step up to the plate and help each other. My brother in law is a doctor in that area and he stayed in Moore to help out last night. My friend’s son here in my town grabbed a buddy, filled the back of his truck with water and drove to Moore last night just so they could help. There are clothing and food drives being organized and people heading toward the destruction right now just to help out in any way they can. A tremendous amount of love and support is going to be showered upon a lot of hurting people today and in the days to come. For that we can be thankful. 

So others can make fun of us all they want. Laugh at our accents, chuckle at our ranching and farming heritage, crack jokes about our Indian-named towns…you won’t find a more kind-hearted or willing group of people any where else. I promise you that. 

Hug your kids extra-tight today, wave to your neighbors, give a smile to someone at the store today. Do whatever you can to spread some warmth and kindness today in honor of those who are hurting. 

If you would like to help, here’s how (from the American Red Cross website)People who wish to make a donation can support American Red Cross Disaster Relief, which helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters like the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas as well as disasters big and small throughout the United States by visiting, dialing 1-800-REDCROSS or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.


  One thought on “Moore, OK

  1. May 21, 2013 at 11:12 am

    “It’s just too much to think about.” — << That got me choked up.

    I'm so sorry for what they are going through.

    (If it's any small consolation, I've never heard of any Oklahoma jokes…)

  2. Weighting For 50
    May 21, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Sending healing wishes toward Oklahoma from up here in Vancouver!!!

  3. May 21, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I am so glad your family is okay. I drove through Oklahoma City and Shawnee on my way to North Carolina for an internship when I was in college. I remember that (1) Oklahoma City is where we first heard Southern accents in people’s voices and (2) being amazed at how beautiful Oklahoma was. Green meadows (in Summer! CA is all brown by June), wildflowers, trees…”Wow…the Dust Bowl happened here?!?” Nope, not surprised that her people are responding beautifully. Praying that everyone there receives peace and healing. ❤

  4. Lyn Smith
    May 21, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I just found your blog today and as another 40-something woman wanting to lose weight, I look forward to reading about your journey. More importantly today…my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Oklahoma.

  5. Kyra Wilson
    May 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    *hugs* Jill

    (and I haven’t heard of anyone making fun of Oklahoma folks? Kansas maybe, with lots of Wizard of Oz references, but not Oklahoma?)

  6. May 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    My daughter and I are both scheduled to give blood. We have to wait a couple weeks (she just had wisdom teeth removed) but it is scheduled and on the calendar.

  7. debby
    May 21, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I was so worried when I saw the tornados were in Moore. I thought that was where you lived–but I knew you had a family connection there. I’m so glad your niece is okay. I’ve seen what a huge tornado can do–I moved to Wichita Falls the year after they had a mile-wide one.

  8. May 21, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Such a heartbreaking event. Beautiful sentiments, Jill – my heart goes out to the people of Oklahoma.

  9. Miz
    May 22, 2013 at 5:59 am

    still praying here…

  10. May 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    We have family in Midwest City, and I remember the one in 1999 as well. No one is making fun of Oklahoma right now. The country’s thoughts are with all the victims and their families. As your neighbor in Texas, I am keeping you in my thoughts.

  11. May 22, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Good to hear your family are ok, Praying for you as you go through this terrible time, hope everyone can start to get their lives back on track soon

  12. May 28, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I’m thinking of you and everyone else in OK these days. Glad you’re okay and thanks for the donation link.

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