Tornado Victims of Copeville


Perhaps the worst part about living in Texas is that dreaded thing we call "Tornado Alley." If you live here, you get it.

We just go about our daily lives and know that there is a season where we have to be somewhat vigilant.  We never expect it will be us that is under the gun.

Suddenly, last Saturday, after unusually warm temperatures for the Christmas holiday season, we found ourselves hunkered down in the pantry, listening to Pete Delkus telling us there is an extremely violent tornado on the ground that just made it's way through Garland and Rowlett and was headed for Wylie.

Yes, I'm the type of person who missed her calling as a storm chaser. I am the one standing at the open back door taking photos and recordings of the power of that Mother Nature wench.

While everyone else is tucked safely under the stairs in the pantry, I am standing at the storm door listening for alarms and telltale signs that we actually needed to take cover. Plus, I don't want to miss one of those epic videos of massive hail balls raining down from us during the wrath of God.

Yet, when Delkus told us to take cover immediately, a shiver ran up the back of my neck and I actually entered the pantry. Well, it is certainly well-stocked with food should we need it, but I don't like the idea of tangling with can-sized missiles either. Still, I entered and I waited for what I most certainly thought would be the dreaded freight train. I heard something hit the roof and then dead silence. No wind, no rain. It was freakishly eerie.  It had passed us but I did not realize how truly lucky we were until the reports started coming in.

By some grace of God, the storm that was headed directly for Wylie, suddenly shifted to the right. Sadly, our neighbors in Copeville and on up through Farmersville, Princeton, and even Bonham got it. Every new photo brings more heartache.

When we left the pantry and I gave the all clear, I looked at the back patio and noticed there was debris everywhere. I grabbed the flashlight and stepped out the front door and what greeted me was so incredibly surreal, I will never forget it.

There were neighbors with flashlights everywhere surveying the deluge of tornado debris that rained down upon our neighborhood. This was pieces of people's lives. It deserved to be cherished somehow.

There was pink, yellow, and white insulation everywhere, ragged chunks of roof decking and shingles, some with nails protruding. There were shards of plastic and large splinters of wood everywhere.

As the hubster and I made our way down the street, we came upon huge sheets of corrugated metal, long, twisted strips of aluminum siding, 2-3 foot sheets of roof decking, and even a huge Lowe's Tyvek-style tarp. On our own property we found a Lego and child's nap mat from a daycare center.

















The debris was and still is overwhelming. I had to take two hours off from work to clean it up from our property during the day because it's simply too dark after work to see everything.

Driving down the streets in our neighborhood has brought some nails in tires. The debris is everywhere and I cannot imagine how to get all the insulation off our rooftop.

A neighbor posted a photo of the busted top of an animal crate with Dallas County Veterinary Hospital on it. My friend posted pieces of someone's red-light ticket from Frisco that will have to be explained when it goes unpaid. I have pieces of people's tax records, a car title application and a canceled check, both from different locations in Garland. Yet another friend posted a pic of someone's keyboard with all the keys ripped off.

Another friend recounts his experience accidentally driving right into the tornado which left him alive and praising God eternal, but his truck is a little less for the wear.

Photo credit: Dwayne Ryman
Yet we are the lucky ones. We were so blessed to not be one of those digging out our belongings and our selves from under piles of rubble. For that I have been perpetually thanking God every couple of minutes.

With Facebook and Twitter, the calls for donations and volunteers are readily available.

The news has been so hyper-focused on the Garland and Rowlett tornado damage, that Copeville on up 78 has been relatively ignored.

Because of this, I've been following the First Baptist Church of Copeville Facebook page and heeded their call last night for plastic totes, work gloves and batteries. My youngest son and I loaded up at Home Depot and warily made the trek, not knowing what to find.

I knew the area well, but the landmarks were all gone, so I turned down what I thought was the right street. It was chaotic, like what you would find after a rock concert, with people walking along the street, except they were in muddy boots and work gloves. You just can't understand the enormity until you are there in person.

To get to the church, you have to drive past Willard's and This I Know Christian Daycare and Preschool which are both completely demolished. It is so hard not to feel reverence, for there were 3 lives lost here.

Photo credit: Wendy Gouge Sanders
Once at the church, they were desperate for help. "Can't you spare just 10 minutes to help?" they asked. How could we possibly say no?

Cars and trucks streamed in the parking lot, and boxes and bags continue to pile up outside the church. The work never ends.



The pastor of the church came and said, "I don't know who you all are, but I thank you for helping," to a church filled only with a handful of people from as far as Dallas.

While we were sorting, two women who had lost everything came in to shop and were welcomed as the unlikely lead volunteer from Dallas, who really took charge and everyone looked to for answers, helped her shop for clothes and shoes.

More wonderful volunteers were in the kitchen area where stacks of white bread and other food were ready and waiting to feed people.

Two hours later we had to drag ourselves away and return home, though I plan to go back every day for the next several we have off work.

 These people truly need our help.







Pete Sessions Provided a Blank Check for Obama's Agenda

Photo credit: Photo credit: http://nhppa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/The-Omnibus-Bill.jpg
So they went and did it anyway. The clowns that are our United States Republican representatives, voted in by us, and informed that we do not want them to pass this ridiculous Omnibus spending bill, told us they only represent the elite GOP leadership in DC as they voted this thing in anyway.

UPDATE 2: Here’s the roll call of the vote:
—- YEAS    316 —

Adams
Aderholt
Aguilar
Allen
Ashford
Barr
Barton
Bass
Beatty
Benishek
Bera
Beyer
Bilirakis
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (MI)
Bishop (UT)
Blumenauer
Bonamici
Bost
Boustany
Boyle, Brendan F.
Brady (PA)
Brady (TX)
Brooks (IN)
Brown (FL)
Brownley (CA)
Buchanan
Bucshon
Burgess
Bustos
Butterfield
Calvert
Capps
Capuano
Cárdenas
Carson (IN)
Carter (GA)
Carter (TX)
Cartwright
Castor (FL)
Castro (TX)
Chabot
Chaffetz
Chu, Judy
Cicilline
Clark (MA)
Clarke (NY)
Clay
Cleaver
Clyburn
Coffman
Cohen
Cole
Collins (GA)
Collins (NY)
Comstock
Conaway
Connolly
Conyers
Cook
Cooper
Costa
Costello (PA)
Courtney
Cramer
Crenshaw
Crowley
Culberson
Cummings
Curbelo (FL)
Davis (CA)
Davis, Danny
Davis, Rodney
DeFazio
DeGette
Delaney
DeLauro
DelBene
Denham
Dent
DeSaulnier
Deutch
Diaz-Balart
Dingell
Dold
Donovan
Doyle, Michael F.
Duckworth
Duffy
Edwards
Ellmers (NC)
Engel
Eshoo
Esty
Farr
Fattah
Fitzpatrick
Fleischmann
Flores
Foster
Foxx
Frankel (FL)
Frelinghuysen
Fudge
Gabbard
Garamendi
Gibson
Graham
Granger
Graves (GA)
Graves (MO)
Grayson
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Grothman
Guthrie
Hahn
Hanna
Harper
Hartzler
Hastings
Heck (WA)
Hensarling
Herrera Beutler
Higgins
Hill
Himes
Hinojosa
Honda
Hoyer
Huffman
Huizenga (MI)
Hurd (TX)
Israel
Issa
Jackson Lee
Jeffries
Jenkins (WV)
Johnson (OH)
Jolly
Joyce
Kaptur
Katko
Keating
Kelly (IL)
Kelly (MS)
Kilmer
Kind
King (NY)
Kinzinger (IL)
Kirkpatrick
Kline
Knight
Kuster
Langevin
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lawrence
Lee
Levin
Lewis
Lipinski
LoBiondo
Loebsack
Loudermilk
Love
Lowenthal
Lowey
Lucas
Luetkemeyer
Lujan Grisham (NM)
Luján, Ben Ray (NM)
Lynch
MacArthur
Maloney, Carolyn
Maloney, Sean
Marchant
Matsui
McCarthy
McCaul
McCollum
McGovern
McHenry
McMorris Rodgers
McNerney
McSally
Meeks
Meng
Messer
Mica
Miller (MI)
Moolenaar
Moore
Moulton
Mullin
Murphy (FL)
Murphy (PA)
Nadler
Napolitano
Neal
Neugebauer
Newhouse
Noem
Nolan
Norcross
Nugent
Nunes
O’Rourke
Olson
Palazzo
Pallone
Pascrell
Paulsen
Payne
Pearce
Pelosi
Perlmutter
Peters
Peterson
Pingree
Pittenger
Pitts
Poe (TX)
Poliquin
Price (NC)
Price, Tom
Quigley
Rangel
Reed
Reichert
Renacci
Ribble
Rice (NY)
Rice (SC)
Richmond
Rigell
Rogers (KY)
Rokita
Rooney (FL)
Ros-Lehtinen
Roskam
Ross
Rouzer
Roybal-Allard
Royce
Ruiz
Ruppersberger
Rush
Russell
Ryan (OH)
Ryan (WI)
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sanchez, Loretta
Sarbanes
Scalise
Schakowsky
Schiff
Scott (VA)
Scott, Austin
Scott, David
Sensenbrenner
Serrano
Sessions
Sewell (AL)
Sherman
Shimkus
Simpson
Sinema
Sires
Slaughter
Smith (NJ)
Smith (WA)
Speier
Stefanik
Stewart
Stivers
Swalwell (CA)
Takai
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (PA)
Thornberry
Tiberi
Titus
Tonko
Torres
Trott
Tsongas
Turner
Upton
Valadao
Van Hollen
Vargas
Veasey
Vela
Velázquez
Visclosky
Wagner
Walberg
Walden
Walorski
Walters, Mimi
Walz
Wasserman Schultz
Watson Coleman
Weber (TX)
Wenstrup
Westmoreland
Wilson (FL)
Wilson (SC)
Womack
Woodall
Yarmuth
Yoder
Young (AK)
Zeldin
Zinke
—- NAYS    113 —

Abraham
Amash
Amodei
Babin
Barletta
Becerra
Black
Blackburn
Blum
Brat
Bridenstine
Brooks (AL)
Buck
Byrne
Carney
Clawson (FL)
Crawford
DeSantis
DesJarlais
Doggett
Duncan (SC)
Duncan (TN)
Ellison
Emmer (MN)
Farenthold
Fleming
Forbes
Fortenberry
Franks (AZ)
Gallego
Garrett
Gibbs
Gohmert
Goodlatte
Gosar
Gowdy
Graves (LA)
Griffith
Grijalva
Guinta
Gutiérrez
Hardy
Harris
Heck (NV)
Hice, Jody B.
Holding
Hudson
Huelskamp
Hultgren
Hunter
Hurt (VA)
Jenkins (KS)
Johnson (GA)
Johnson, Sam
Jones
Jordan
Kelly (PA)
King (IA)
Labrador
LaHood
LaMalfa
Lamborn
Lance
Latta
Lieu, Ted
Lofgren
Long
Lummis
Marino
Massie
McClintock
McDermott
McKinley
Meadows
Meehan
Miller (FL)
Mooney (WV)
Mulvaney
Palmer
Perry
Pocan
Polis
Pompeo
Posey
Ratcliffe
Roby
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Rohrabacher
Rothfus
Salmon
Sanford
Schrader
Schweikert
Shuster
Smith (MO)
Smith (NE)
Smith (TX)
Stutzman
Takano
Thompson (MS)
Tipton
Walker
Waters, Maxine
Webster (FL)
Welch
Westerman
Whitfield
Williams
Wittman
Yoho
Young (IA)
Young (IN)
—- NOT VOTING    5 —

Cuellar
Fincher
Johnson, E. B.
Kennedy
Kildee

The worst part is, that our Representative Pete Sessions voted for the spending bill, which funds Planned Parenthood by the way, despite standing at his last town hall meeting in Wylie, Texas and telling the audience that he would do everything in his power to defund Planned Parenthood.  The jackass.

This excerpt comes from Pete Sessions' weekly newsletter. Thing is, he highlights line items that would have passed with bipartisan support anyway , but did not need to be made part of this ginormous bill.

Efficiently Funding the Government This morning the house passed legislation to fund the government through September 30, 2016. While I recognize that this bill is in no way perfect, it provides responsible funding for conservative principles, increases transparency, and accountability at federal agencies and puts a stop to executive overreach that continues to hamper our economic growth. Here are a few examples of conservative principles that were included in this bill:
Strengthening our National Security and Securing our Borders
  •   Provides $73.7 billion to provide necessary resources and training for our troops to combat the ever-increasing threat of radical Islamic terrorists.
  • Prohibits funding for transfers of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S.
  • Strengthens the Visa Waiver Program. 
  • Provides $11 billion for Customs and Border Protection, the highest level of funding ever to secure our borders.
Dismantles key provisions in ObamaCare
  • Contains NO new funding for ObamaCare.
  • Delays the Cadillac tax and medical device tax for two years.
  • Stops taxpayer bailout of “Risk Corridor” program.
  • Cuts IPAB funding by $15 million.
Spurs Job Creation and Economic Growth
  • Lifts the 40-year-old crude oil export ban, which will create an estimated 1 million American jobs in nearly all 50 states and add $170 billion annually to our GDP.
Reining in Onerous Regulatory Burdens
  • Cuts funding for the EPA by $452 million.
  • Rejects $138 million EPA regulatory programs proposed by the President.

Here is Russ Ramsland's take on the passing of this, "gift to Obama" as he likes to call it.


Thankfully, you have a choice this coming year.  You have a choice to vote Pete Sessions out by placing your support behind one of 3 other candidates. 

Paul Brown
Russ Ramsland
Cheri Myint Roughneen