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I'd briefly toyed with the idea of heading north for the Wadena Deer Creek High School reunion this weekend. If I didn't like the scene, I figured I could just head to the family cabin a few miles away. Plans changed.

Thursday night, multiple tornadoes hit town. Below is a picture of my high school. It no longer has a roof. The larger red box shows what used to be the community center's roof in front of the entrance. The smaller box 1/2 a block further? That was my house. The windows on the upper floor were my bedroom.


Looking north parallel to highway 29 as you enter Wadena from the south.

Here's the thing. I didn't much like living in Wadena. We moved there when I was 5, (just before kindergarten) and I told my parents that when I grew up I was moving back to the Twin Cities. (June 1996 following my senior year of college, I moved back to the Twin Cities.)

And yet, this is the town that in some ways, I still know best. I lived there for 17 years. Every picture I see is somewhere I've walked, or biked, or hung out with friends. When I see pictures of people responding to the tornadoes, they're often people I knew, or I knew their parents or kids. Last time I was in town I got a hug from the woman who owns the bakery, she hadn't heard that my dad had died. I went to the 'cyber cafe' that used to be my parents' store and the HS student behind the counter recognized my name.

Last week I would've said my ties to Wadena were pretty tenuous. Today, I'm not sure what to say.

Processing needed I guess. And I gotta say, tornadoes need to stop attacking my favorite maple trees.

Date: 2010-06-20 01:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrissa.livejournal.com
Yah. I would be feeling pretty protective of your favorite maple trees around now, too.

I know the sinking feeling, and I'm sorry.

Date: 2010-06-20 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thorr-kan.livejournal.com
Dang. I hope everything can be rebuilt.

And I certainly understand on the nostalgia. Happens every Memorial Day for me.

Date: 2010-06-20 06:56 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-06-21 03:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rmnilsson.livejournal.com
In case you hadn't heard, the cabin was totally untouched. Not even enough sticks on the ground to need a stick-clearing expedition prior to mowing the lawn.

Ben and I stayed away from Wadena this weekend. We figured they have enough going on without us gawking, and there wasn't a call for volunteers to help with cleanup yet.

Your Mom drove through on 10, though, and seemed really shocked by what she saw, and she didn't even try to turn off the highway. Then on Saturday evening Dale and Arlene came out to the cabin and they talked about all the calls they're getting from families looking for a place to stay.

We took the Heinola-Parkers Prairie-Osakis route back because we stopped at the cemetary Sunday afternoon, and we saw some serious damage along 29 just south of 210.

It's pretty shocking when it happens somewhere you've lived, even if you don't think of it as home.

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