Tuesday, June 18, 2024

April Tornado Damage and France?

Good morning! It’s a dreary Wednesday morning with more rain in the forecast today. I’m not going to write a lot this morning because it’s an overload of photos. We haven’t been near the areas that were hit by the tornado at the end of April because we wanted to respect the cleanup process. But on Monday morning I had to drop a book off at a friends who lives very, very close to one of the hardest hit areas. I snapped just a few photos to show you how devastating it was. If there were people working at a house, I didn’t take any pictures out of respect for them.

The damage ranged from roofs gone to entire houses disappearing from their foundations and ending up who knows where?

This was a brand new home that was scheduled to have its new owners move in during the next week or two. How sad.

Lots and lots of power poles were bent in half or completely down. On Sunday for Father’s Day we drove to a small town in Nebraska about 45 minutes away. Brad’s dad was born and raised in the small town of Malmo. He chose the restaurant and my goodness it was wonderful. Small town dining at its best. All along the way, we could see the path of destruction that the same tornado caused. It was on the ground for over 150 miles, which is a long time for a single tornado to be on the ground and at times it was a mile and a half wide.

Now on to happier things. Brad, Mandy and Piper were in France for two weeks. They’ve been back home for a week now. The first week they spent in Beziers, France with a friend and his wife. You may remember me talking about uncle Shane and aunt Angie before. They aren’t really relatives, but they have adopted Piper as a granddaughter. Shane has been friends with Brad for years and years and has been a work mentor to him.

Gorgeous ! And there’s Piper!

Wouldn’t you love to live on this street?

So beautiful.

I think this is the street that their actual Airbnb was on.

My princess. I don’t think she fully understands how amazing it is that she gets to experience all of these things at such a young age.

Uncle Shane and Piper playing around!

Oh my goodness!

After the first week, Alex, “T” and “baby J” flew to Nice, France to join Brad, Mandy and Piper. Oh how I wish we could have been there. It sounds like they had a wonderful time exploring, eating and just enjoying time as family.

Here is Brad playing around but look at that food! Yum!
This is around the corner from their Airbnb. I think I may have mixed up some of these photos. Some of the first ones were during the second week, but since I wasn’t there, I’m not sure who was where! Lol.

Piper has had tennis camp Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week. Yesterday, since Papa was volunteering at the mission, it was my turn to take her. Afterwards we went to Panera for lunch and did a little bit of shopping. Then we went back to their house where Piper gave me a foot massage and a manicure.

She also pretended she was the dentist. I’m going to regret putting this photo out on the Internet, but I have nothing to hide. :-) She gave me her headphones and iPad to watch cartoons just like she gets at the dentist. A paper towel was my bib and I have no idea what she was doing with the floss hanging out of my mouth. Within reason, I’m willing to do just about whatever this little girl wants me to do. I guess that’s part of being a grandma and I love it. I’m sad that I don’t get to do the same kinds things with “Baby J” because she’s so far away.

Well that’s it. You made it to the end of the huge photo dump. I hope you enjoyed the photos of the scenery in France. I sure did. Every day Dennis and I got many, many photos from all of the kids. They were so good at allowing us to be part of their trip even though we weren’t there. Most of them have photos of “T” and “Baby J” in them, and as you know, I can’t put their photos on the Internet because of the security of her job. But oh my gosh! She is the most photogenic baby next to Piper that I have ever seen.

Now it’s Dennis’s and my turn for a vacation. Next week we leave for a 4-5 week camping trip across the west and back. Our first stop will be the Black Hills where I hope we don’t have a repeat of last year when Dennis fell.  😬 Then it will be on to visit our son and almost grown grandchildren in Montana and then to Spokane for two weeks. Since we moved from Spokane, we only get to see Jamie, Kyleigh and Caleb this one time of year. We try to make the most of it. After that, we have reservations at the Oregon coast for four days before starting the trek home. We’re sure looking forward to it. I hope to take you all along with us. 

I hope you are all doing well and I’ll see you again soon.

Blessings and love,


  1. Safe travels and have a wonderful time.

    The photos from France are simply stunning.

  2. Have a safe and fun vacation. I have to safe I'm grateful we don't live where tornadoes are common. I love the photos in France. I would love to go thrre.

  3. Loved those France photos. One place I have never been to.

  4. The tornado damage is so frightening. Beautiful pictures of France - looks like it was a wonderful trip for them. Safe travels on your upcoming trip - have fun!

  5. Tornadoes have tremendous force - one of nature’s fiercest events. Gorgeous photos of France. Safe travels!

  6. We had a tornado in our county last June. News shows the immediate aftermath, but then it is "old news". I don't think most people realize the devastation lasts far beyond the news cycle. My daughter was in Sanibel Island Florida earlier this year and shared similar devastation from a hurricane two years ago. Homes looked exactly like they did the day after the storm. It is so heartbreaking.
    What a wonderful adventure for your family in France! Piper is a very lucky girl to have all these travel opportunities. I loved the pictures. And I love that she is already practicing dentistry too, LOL.
    Have a wonderful and trip visiting the other grands. They grow up so fast, don't they?

  7. That was some whiplash between the photos. That tornado damage is incredible. I wouldn't know where to begin to clean up that mess. France is beautiful, isn't it? It's why I love to watch the Tour. All that pretty scenery flying by is a great way to start any day especially when it's too hot to even go outside here.

  8. It's amazing what Mother Nature can do!

    Piper is a very lucky little girl!

  9. The tornado damage is heart-breaking. All those poor folks who were affected.
    The pictures from France are wonderful. So lovely!!
    I hope your upcoming trip will go super well💗

  10. Those pictures are stunning! Our middle daughter took her daughter to Paris a few years ago, Ally was about 9 and we thought the same thing, does she realize how blessed she is to be there? I've never lived in tornado country, I can only imagine the devastation. Those photos are heartbreaking.

    We're in the Seattle area. Can't wait to see the pictures of your Western U.S. trip!

  11. Beautiful pictures of France, it's great they got to go. I had to laugh at Piper's patient, looks like she's taking good care of you. lol

  12. Thank you for sharing the photos with us-France looks amazing! You are a very devoted Grandma ! lol

  13. I just loved all the pictures from France......and I feel so sorry for those who lost their homes in your area. Hope you and Dennis have a wonderful vacation coming up and do keep in touch with us when you can. Your posts are so interesting. Take good care!

  14. Fun to see the photos of France, such beautiful views! That tornado did so much damage, so sad. I bet you are anxious to go on your trip, tell Dennis to be extra careful!! You too!

  15. So sad all that destruction. Praying for them. France is beautiful 😍 thanks for sharing. Praying for you all. Shaz in Oz.x

  16. Tornadoes is not good 😐 with messing up houses and people's minds. The photos of France look beautiful with family. I hope to see you in July. Hope you and Dennis have a blessed and safe travels 🙏 ❤️, Becky