July 10th-16 we went to Texas for Jared’s family reunion….The Taylor Family Reunion. We had flown into Austin, and it’s about a 3.5 hr. drive from there to where Jared’s parents live on the farm in Comanche. His grandparents were peanut farmers, it’s not a working farm anymore, but his mom was born there in that house and they have chosen to retire there.
On our drive up it was beautiful. Texas is so green. It’s defiantly not the same drive you make when you head out to California. We were making good time, the kids had fallen asleep..a small miracle, except Alayna but she was playing her Leapster so she was happy as a clam. I usually do the driving on road trips because the car puts Jared to sleep…even if he’s the one driving.
We had been on the road about 3 hrs. and came up on a town called Goldthwaite. It’s one of those tiny towns common to Texas. We took a right at “the stop light” headed around the curve and like out of a movie it seemed, it went from sunshiny beautiful day to…midnight black sky, it was the middle of the afternoon. I woke Jared and told him I didn’t like the looks of things. He asked me if I wanted him to take over..I was hesitant thinking that I was just being paranoid, you know cuz I’m a strong woman, I can drive in rain..so I drove a bit further and it started to sprinkle. Which turned into rain, and within seconds turned into hard pouring sheets of rain. This is the point I decide I can’t drive in this.. so I pull over and I climb into the passenger seat and my poor husband had to run around the car in the rain. He loved that I waited so long to make that decision. Poor guy. By the time he had gotten behind the wheel it was like someone had taken a fire hose to the car and was just blasting water us.
We were creeping along, most of the other cars were pulled over and stopped, but not us! We were almost at our turn off and I saw a Dairy Queen, did I mention we were in the car for 3+ hrs…I REALLY needed a restroom, the pouring water wasn’t helping and by now the kids had woken up from all the commotion of the storm.
So I casually mention that maybe we should stop. He reassures me that we are only 30min away, the storm won’t last but if I wanted to he’d pull in. So there I knew full well we should pull into the Dairy Queen, but for some reason I didn’t follow that prompting so we passed it by.
We are still creeping along, the road is beginning to flood, and I was just beginning to feel the heaviness of the situation. We made it to the turn off but couldn’t see well enough to actually make the turn so we pull over. The rain is so incredibly loud and the wind was blowing so hard we were shouting in the car to be able to have a conversation. Jared and I were debating about turning around to go back to the Dairy Queen then we hear BANG!!..I was like what was that?! Then we heard it again..BANG!!.. and again..BANG!!,BANG!!
At first thought we thought it was rocks being blown around. The wind was blowing the car pretty hard..it felt like someone was shaking the car back and forth..but our head lights were on and I could see out the side window, it wasn’t rocks..it was BASEBALL size hail!! OK..so if panic hadn’t already set in…it had now!
My boys were starting to cry, saying they were scared, the hail kept pummeling our rental car, and we had to shout to even hear each other speak. Everything was at such an intense level.. inside I wanted to cry. I had to pull myself together..I couldn’t let my family see me falling apart so I’m looking around..or trying to ..out my window I see this house just a few feet in front of us, so I tell Jared to pull into their yard and we find a tiny bit of shelter under some of their trees in their yard. Thank goodness for Texas and being able to grow big trees!!!
We were still getting hit with the hail but not nearly as bad as before and it seemed to calm the kids down. Then I did the only thing I could think of to try to get us through this scary situation. We prayed. We prayed with a pleading heart and fervrentness that one has when in a desperate situation. We all began to feel slightly better and then we began to sing. We sang every primary song and kid song we knew.
We must have sat there for a good 20-30 min. All the while I’m thinking how long are we going to need to sit here for???? Man I wish I would have listened to the prompting to head in to the Dairy Queen! So after about 20 min. or so the sky seemed to lighten from its midnight pitch black to a slightly normal night sky, so we decide to try to head out again. We drove that last half an hr. to the farm at about 15 miles an hr. It took a while to get there but we did get there, shaken but safe.
As Jared’s family came out to greet us they asked us if we ran into that storm, we said yes..(They hadn’t gotten anything but sprinkles there) they told us that they heard on the radio it was a Tornado Watch Storm!!!!!! You can imagine our shock.. and yet total belief.