So, we departed from our home on June 2nd and arrived in Carthage, Missouri at Ballards Campground. Very friendly people, very helpful and the campground is clean and shady. However after setting up the camper and spending an hour inside, I realized the heat was going to kill me. We immediately headed into town and purchased a fine small air conditioner and as I write, I'm as comfy as an Eskimo in an igloo!
The following day we headed to Joplin to look at the destruction and search for jobs! The tornado actually hit one of the main drags, it didn't take long at all to find the tornado hit area. It's really hard to write about the devastation, it's just so incredible. We found a store that was hit. The building is just torn apart, there is rubble everywhere, the only thing clear are the city streets. The whole parking lot was full off cars, although everywhere you looked there were cars upside down on sidewalks and lawns even! I walked up to a house and took a picture through a window, the inside was completely torn apart, the only thing left was a lazy boy chair.
There are organizations everywhere working in neighborhoods cleaning things up, cooking for victims and volunteers, passing out blankets, pillows, clothing and other necessities. You could eat breakfast, lunch and dinner for free everyday if you wanted to. We stopped to talk with one of the churches that had a food stand set up by the Kroger parking lot, they directed Todd where to start job searching and then offered us lunch. We had just eaten, so we didn't partake, but it looked good and they were some great people!
My first Sunday in town I went to First Christian Church, where I was blessed with a $100.00 gift card to a local meat market! Talk about surprised, the lady at the visitors welcome station said that God put it on her heart the day before to purchase the gift card for a visitor at church. Since I was the only visitor, she assumed he was talking about me! Well, we came out here on faith and God is providing!
Todd and I also visited the Precious Moments Chapel which is in Carthage. I have long had a passion for precious moments, however not the funds to be a collector. It was a real thrill to get to know the history and look at all the beautiful artwork! My lovely new husband patiently followed me around taking pictures and NOT asking if I was ready to leave, I'm so proud of him!
And so, we have been here a week. I am missing my family and friends, however email and Facebook help quite a bit. The only unpleasantness has been the spotting of 6 ticks in as many days. 3 on the dogs, who luckily have been treated with Frontline and 3 on Todd and I (who have not been treated with Frontline...but we will consider anything that helps!). I had a lengthy conversation on my way to the restroom with a group of campers who informed me of all sorts of interesting things about ticks and some little bugs called Chiggers. I immediately rushed back to the camper in a panic to do some internet research on both bugs. I am happy to announce that most of what I heard is old wives tales and that I am much better informed on these pests. Check out my links below.