Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jarrett and Andrew are inspecting the damage (around 4 p.m.) that was done to the cherry tree on August 28, 1990.
Sunday, August 29, 2010 - Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the Plainfield Tornado. The storm system went right over our house before it went down to Will County and created unspeakable havoc. It was one of the scariest storms I've ever witnessed. And we did witness it in the very spot I'm sitting in right now.

Yeah, right in front of the window in the computer room. Jarrett was on my lap and Andrew was right beside me. It was unbelievable fury that was being unleashed before our eyes! The thing about it was that we usually get storms from the southwest -- but this one came from the northwest. weird!

We thank Johnson's Mound (a kame) for saving us from death and destruction... well, at least that day. Apparently, the boys were supposed to live for a few more years.

Bob didn't feel good so he had stayed home and didn't go to work. He was upstairs in bed. The boys and I were downstairs. Andrew was 4 and Jarrett was 2 so they weren't in school yet. And I'm REALLY thankful for that.

Here's the story from The Beacon News today (8/29/2010):

The Plainfield tornado, as it is generally known, was caused by a microburst, a powerful blast of air that descends rapidly and spreads in all directions.

T.T. Fujita, then a professor at the University of Chicago and one of the nation's leading tornado researchers, said at the time that the Will County tornado had winds of more than 260 mph. It traveled more than 16 miles on the ground and varied in width from one-quarter to one-half mile.

The twister had its origin in a storm front that first spawned a small tornado that touched down at 1:30 p.m. near Rockford. The storm blew through DeKalb County, then entered northern Kane County just before 3 p.m., flipping planes at the Aurora Municipal Airport (actually Sugar Grove). At about 3:30 p.m., the twister ripped into Will County.

The tornado first touched down in Will County in the Wheatland Plains subdivision where an estimated 50 houses were hit. Three fatalities were reported on Route 30 in north Plainfield.

The twister then demolished Plainfield High School, where three people were killed. It severely damaged St. Mary Immaculate Church and School in Plainfield, where the principal, Sister Mary Keenan, was found dead in the rubble with two other victims.

Much of an eight-block area between Willardshire Road and Caton Farm Road in Joliet was flattened. Nearly two-thirds of Grand Prairie Grade School was demolished. A half-dozen people died in subdivisions along Caton Farm Road.

The Crest Hill Lakes apartment complex in Crest Hill was hit hard: the 48-unit, three-story building was leveled. Eight people died.

The high winds tore down thousands of trees and power lines. Fires broke out in a number of buildings that were torn apart.

Somewhere we have a picture of St. Mary Immaculate Church that Grandpa and Grandma Berg took when they came to visit shortly after the tornado hit. Can't really tell you where that is right now. It could be that I've never scanned it.

Remember in those days, we didn't yet have digital cameras. Oh yeah, the olden days. all righty. Stay safe out there. later, djb

Friday, August 27, 2010

On the upper left edge of this photo, you can see some sort of pinkish whitish "stuff" that is NOT supposed to be there, it's supposed to be black, not yukky. Those are the fingers of one of the girls that was sitting at the table on Sunday - the last day of Elburn Days.
Friday, August 27, 2010 - Yesterday, I went in and tried to clean up Andrew and Jarrett's chess table at Lion's Park. I realize that it is outside, and it is located in a park but other than the defacement I found there on Sunday, the rest of the table is in pretty good shape.

I used Goof Off to get the goofy stuff off the black metal. I'm not sure if I'm going to repaint the black parts or exactly what I'm going to do. It does look a whole lot better than it did. Of course, there's nothing I can do to prevent any further shenanigans.

The plaques on either side of the table were looking kind of dingy, so I cleaned those off with Barkeeper's Friend -- and it does clean brass. Looks much better, also. I forgot to bring my old scrubby toothbrush, so it was a challenge trying to get it clean...but I did it.

Okay, gotta go now. see ya later, djb

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Here's Marcus with his famous Mohawk on March 3, 2005 when he visited the cemetery on the second anniversary of Andrew and Jarrett's accident.
Thursday, August 26, 2010 - Ever since my computer was hacked in 2006, and I lost a bunch of pictures, including the ones from March 2005, I've searched for them in vain until an hour ago...I finally found Marcus.

When Marcus died on November 22, 2006, I began my search for this picture. Then I realized that it was gone....forever, so I thought. I wanted to include this and another photo I took that day in the page I made to honor his memory.

I'm absolutely ecstatic that I found it. It's been on a recovery disc all these years but the old computer refused to read it and gave me some stupid error messages. The new computer made a few weird noises and then, the pictures popped up.

God bless Marcus. He visited Andrew and Jarrett's grave quite a few times with others and also by himself so I was told. He felt a connection to their tragedy. And then, he joined them. It's very eerie and yet I'm comforted by the fact that they were there to welcome him.

Why did they all die so young? Why did my nephew, Chuck, die so young? It's all incomprehensible to me. I struggle to understand it and I have no answers....except for the thought that always intrudes -- "It was their time to go -- the time for them to unleash the bonds of their earthly existence."

God bless them all. later, djb

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Here's Debbie's daughter, Taylor, sitting on the parachute ride with me on Sunday, August 22. 2010 - it was a miracle.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - When I went into Lion's Park on Sunday, for the last day of Elburn Days, I thought for sure I'd see a lot of people I knew who had kids that wanted to go on the parachute ride with me. But I didn't.

After Bob finished working in the Beef Tent, we were getting ready to leave when he saw Debbie and her family. OMG!

Debbie used to work at Blackberry Inn about 20 years ago. We'd always bring the boys in to eat and they were oftentimes squirrelly and rambunctious! Then, one night when we went in, Debbie had brought in some coloring books and crayons to keep the boys busy and occupied with something other than mayhem and chaos. We never forgot that.

Flash forward twenty years....while we were talking to Debbie, Bob mentioned that I wanted to go on the parachute ride but I couldn't find anyone to go with me. Did any of them want to go??? Taylor raised her hand, "I'll go." OMG

We got on the one with the purple parachute and promptly went up to the TOP and waited while the curly headed guy loaded more people opposite us. Then, we went around and around and around and up and down. It was SO MUCH FUN.

As we came down to get off, he walked over and said, "You want to go again....I owe you one." (Referring to my patience the previous evening when I waited for 15 minutes, plus 15 minutes, plus forever).

My response: OH YES!!!! THANK YOU!!!

Taylor looked at me and asked, "Don't we need a ticket?"

"No, honey. This is a FREE RIDE because I was patient yesterday and it paid off today." oh boy!

What a great Elburn Days!!! And it was so good to see Debbie. later, djb

Friday, August 20, 2010

Andrew and some other guy walking down the golf course at Hughes Creek. He could hit that ball a mile.
Friday, August 20, 2010 - I'm writing in both blogs because I'm a Libra and I crave balance!! Even though it usually eludes me.

There's a lot of chores to be done around the yard but I think I may have to go into Elburn and poke around the garage sales. Not to buy anything, just to check things out. Wait a minute... maybe I could bring some of my stuff and just leave it in there.

It's not too hot yet. This afternoon looks like it's going to be a scorcher. Wait a great pool summer we've had. And the weeds are taller than an elephant's eye. Why do they always grow so well? And what's the point of mosquitoes anyway?

Better go. I'm just yakking and saying nothing. later, djb

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Here's Dr. Nick with his doggie. Unfortunately, I can't remember her name. That darn short term memory loss!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - Yesterday, I made the decision -- after consulting with the doctor of computers (Nick) -- that it was time to get a new computer. He graciously offered to come with me to Best Buy.

I mentioned this on my website but let me reiterate. Nick was here when we got the other computer almost eight years ago. Jarrett helped Bob build it, they ordered it from Dell, then it was delivered in many LARGE boxes. As I recall, the boys had it up and running before Bob got home from work.

It only seemed appropriate that Nick help me get a new one. We were pretty certain that Jarrett would approve. In fact, he did give me a sign. Instead of 333, he gave 332.74. yeah....

It's been really fun getting it up and ready to use. Nick downloaded the website from Yahoo and I already published to the internet twice yesterday.

We still have to move all the pictures over but I first want to delete a LOT of them. There are so many blurry, duplicate and dumb photos on there. That's my next project.

Although, I do see the sun coming out. hmmmm Look! Shiny object. Okay, gotta go. bye, djb