Friday, May 6, 2016

Episode 30 - February 1999 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
February 1999

This series of posts on each Friday, moving forward during 2016 have continued the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace,” which ended as 1997 began.

Earlier, we have seen the community move from January 1997 through January 1999. We now continue our story on February 4th of 1999, continuing in episodic serial format…

Episode 30 - Friday, Feb. 5th - Lori, at the Homeplace Country Inn, early morning

[From Episode 29:

Lori decided to wait until morning to call Karen, after she had seen the damage in the daylight. It might look much different then.]

Lori was up shortly after dawn, wearing work clothes and work boots, to examine the storm damage from the night before. The morning was cloudy and cold, but it was not raining. She decided to put on a coat and walk around the Inn on the outside, before she set out, again, to re-examine the damage upstairs on the inside. Wearing leather gloves, she was careful to pick up and toss into a pile away from the house, the many small tree branches, and loose shingles, etc., as she walked around the Inn, to make a clear walk space.

In daylight, the Inn looked both worse and better than it had in the dark the prior evening. There was much more ‘trash’ scattered around the area than she recalled seeing. On the positive side, Lori was pleased to see that the actual damage to the building was limited to the west end of the roof on the addition over Heritage Hall. The older part of the structure did not seem to be damaged at all. There did not appear to be any damage to the lower floor of the new addition. That was gratifying.

About to go back inside, Lori was mildly surprised to see the Deputy Sherriff pull into the parking area, again. It turned out he was just ‘making the rounds’ of the damaged sites. She thanked him for that. He did say that officials were saying, preliminarily, that it was an F-l tornado that had crossed the valley, northwest to southeast. Most electrical service had already been restored, he added. There had been no serious injuries, in spite of the extensive, limited, property damage along the path of the storm.

Back inside, Lori made a walking tour of the entire Inn, starting with the older portion. She found no apparent damage inside, as well. The same was true of the first floor of the newer part, including Heritage Hall. Everything seemed to be in order. Retracing her trip up the stairs to the second floor, above Heritage Hall, it appeared the same in daylight as it had the previous evening. The four rooms on the west, with the roof gone, were each damaged. Water had damaged the rug in the hallway, which would have to be replaced. Otherwise, however, the damage appeared to be limited to that one area. The other six rooms seemed to be undamaged.

Lori was about to call Karen when the phone rang. It was the insurance adjustor for her insurer. He said they would be by later in the afternoon or the following morning. She thanked them for the prompt response. He said their team was anxious to determine the extent of damage of all of their insured, and would let her know their results as soon as they had them available.

Reaching Karen, she shared the information she had available. Lori assured Karen there was no reason for her to rush back. Things would work out, over the weekend, and Karen would be needed the following week, but sooner would not be necessary.

Karen: I’m so glad no one was hurt. That is a minor miracle in itself.

Lori: For sure. Physical damage can be repaired. Let all down there in Austin know we are fine up here. Drive carefully on the way home.

NOTE: This is the final episode of this series of stories. Thank you for your interest!

"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."

Dr. Bill  ;-)


  1. Looks like it's time to re-build and move on. Too many time we here about the destruction from a tornado in the Midwest. I guess I'll take a good old snow storm anytime. Thanks Bill and have a great weekend.

    1. They are so random. Terrible where they hit... nothing everywhere else. But, cannot let fear control your life. Thanks for your comments! ;-)

  2. To repeat: I will never again live where tornadoes are highly likely. :) Great series, Bill. I look forward to your next endeavors.