Iowa Tornados, 5-22-24

The news coverage on tv is shocking, isn’t it? The size of the tornado that hit Greenfield is obscene – officials still have not confirmed the number of deaths.

I have not explored our property just yet but I’m hoping it’s just leaves, twigs and limbs. My plants didn’t all survive – I wanted to downsize, remember? Be careful what you wish for!

I know we’re all wondering how readers are faring – not only those in Iowa but elsewhere. Can you leave a comment and let us all know?

Sympathy to Lyn and Sharon who have experienced recent losses. We’re all thinking of you.

Reader Lisa attended The Fever game on Monday night – in person!!! I can’t imagine how fun it would be – and what an exciting game to experience!

Reader photos

Sunflowers grown from seed

Today surely will be a much calmer day. I’m taking the pretend grandchildren out for supper tonight and then The Fever plays a late game at Seattle. I’m working on those ——- valances and I’m really sick of them but I have 5 more to make. I don’t think I can get them all made today.

I’ll bet the majority of you readers remember Little Quilts – we’ve been friends for many years and I’ve recently been chatting with Mary Ellen. I’ll have a surprise announcement very soon – I feel like Jo giving you a hint.

Did you read Jo’s most recent post? She’s got a boyfriend named Jerry, We all all need to welcome Jerry to the blog about nothing. I watched an old episode of Seinfield recently and silently thanked him for his show about nothing. Haha!!!

Looking forward to a nice day – about nothing.

58 thoughts on “Iowa Tornados, 5-22-24

  1. Jan Hebert

    So glad to hear that you didn’t get the really bad weather. The pictures of Greenfield are so moving. Feel so bad for that town and those families. I pray there are no losses but that would be a miracle, wouldn’t it? Pictures today are great. I hope you didn’t lose any of your favorite plants, Mary. That guinea pig is precious! The yellow peony, and that dogwood! Hoping to hear from everyone that they are ok! And I can’t wait to hear about your chat with Mary Ellen! Oh! Welcome to Jerry! I’ve got to go read Jo’s post, haha! Jan in MA

  2. Stephanie Smith

    Mary your blog is fab-u-lous! I miss the Goat Gazette but this really makes up for it. So many of us look forward every day to find out what’s been happening on the farm!

  3. Pat Smith

    I’m so sorry about your terrible storm and the awful damage that community, Greenfield, suffered. Growing up in Ottumwa, IA there were quite a few times we had to go to the basement. Living in Kansas City was even worse. Our county had a tornado siren (thank goodness) and I was so glad we had a finished basement where we could sleep on the many nights the siren was blaring. These storms seem to be getting worse with global warming. I can remember as a teacher finishing a school year in a near by church after a tornado removed and then replaced the school roof in Oshkosh, WI only 20 minutes after the students went home. Those storms are the worst—no time to prepare and if they come at night, you can’t even see the sky as a warning. Here in Florida we have nowhere to go anyway except the closet since we don’t have basements. Thinking of all of you in the tornado prone areas.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pat – but in Florida you have hurricanes – isn’t that just like a continuous tornado?

  4. Diana in Des Moines

    So sad from Greenfield, Corning and all the Iowa towns damaged. We had no damage, but a neighbor had a silver maple split and land on their roof. They were cleaning up and putting tarps on the roof this morning. Our son in Ankeny had many shingles and some siding ripped off. The neighbors believe there was a tornado through there neighborhood due to damage patterns.
    Preschool graduation tonight for our grandson. Taking extra tissues!

  5. Jill Klop

    I used to have the Little Quilts book! Not sure that I do anymore though. I’ve been in a quilting slump, so I’ll be watching for this announcement. It’s got me thinking…maybe doing a Little Quilt is just what I need!

  6. Dee from Shell Rock

    Rainbows, flowers and a guinea pig with a bow! Who could ask for more? Last night I was looking at the pictures and thought how hard it was to start over, I did after our big flood. But it’s a new day and it will be better! Count you blessings. Hug your loved ones, you’ve got this! Off to stitch with friends, going to do my cemetery run afterward.

  7. Vicki Ibarra

    I love the colors of all the flowers, the rainbows, the heron, and the guinea pig. Such a wonderful array of bits of our lives.

  8. Jo in Wyoming

    The weather reports we get are so focused on the eastern area of US, and the local news isn’t very informative. I wish they would use a map to show where these towns are located.
    The flowers are beautiful. Mine are still in the garage…we had a light frost last night.
    I spent about 6 hours trying to secure a replacement title for an auto I sold yesterday. Victory, I found the title in a file at home. This is a 1946 Jeep that I’ve had for over 40 years and I never licensed it. I had the blue envelope, so I knew it was here somewhere. This waste of time makes me crazy. Spending hours going to government buildings only to be told I have to go to another location. Then an hour there. Told to go yet another. Of course, my memory doesn’t help much either. Life today isn’t always that much fun.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo – how can you have a vehicle and not license it? Government red tape really is a pain and I’m sorry you’re experiencing it big time.

  9. DebMac

    We were under the same tornado watch here in Quad Cities area and had some strong breezes but not a drop of rain. It’s dry where I live and the garden isn’t coming up at all. I just looked at some of the reports from Greenfield and just can’t believe the destruction. i grew up between 2 tornado alleys in Illinois so have seen the aftermath of tornados but it astounds me every time just how bad the destruction can be. Not a thing you can do to prevent them but pray they don’t touch down. Sounds like the weekend holds more in store across the USA.
    Looking forward to your announcement…..

  10. Tanya T. In Houston

    Thanks for the updates! All I could think about was all those new flowers in hanging pots at your house!
    We are ok in Houston, but many others were not so fortunate. Friends across town only got power last night after almost a week without in summer heat. Stay safe out there, Friiends, and hugs to Jo in Wyoming!

  11. Cindy K

    Heard on the radio that 15 counties in Iowa were hit by tornadoes. That’s devastating for so many families. There are probably videos on YouTube of the tornadoes. I’ve watched videos of the tornado that hit Westmoreland, Ks. a few weeks ago. A member of my quilt guild in Manhattan lives in Westmoreland and she told us about it. She was home listening to and watching the weather. She put her purse at the top of the basement stairs and when she saw the tornado hit a neighbors barn-just as the sirens went off, she grabbed her purse and headed to the basement. When she came out of the basement, she expected that her house would be gone. To her surprise, it was still standing. Unknown to her, a distant neighbor was videoing the tornado. It hit the barn and headed towards her house. It then lifted over her house and came back down on the ground. She couldn’t believe how lucky she was. She said the next time, she will put a suitcase with 3 days of clothes and bottled water with her purse as all that lost their homes only had the clothes on their backs. The Red Cross was surprised that hardly anyone excepted their help because as she said-small town people help each other out. Neighbors whose homes weren’t destroyed took in neighbors who lost theirs and also brought in lots of food, water and clothing. Praying for all that have been affected by the tornados.

  12. Sharon F

    I’m so sorry for all the destruction the tornadoes caused in Idaho. Glad to hear that Mary, Gloria and other Iowa readers who have reported in so far are Ok, and can deal with what damage they do have. Scary for sure!

    Beautiful pictures of the flowers and rainbows today, and that heron- what a beauty! I feel for Jo in Wyoming, having to deal with the bureaucracy. Welcome to Jo’s new beau Jerry. Happy for her!

    It’s quiet here in North Idaho, rainy day with more to come. Spring seems to be dragging her feet.

  13. Carolyn Rector of Ohio

    So sorry to hear about the storms in Iowa. What we most fear in tornado season.Thankfully you were missed. Many beautiful pictures today. Love to see the rainbows! God bless you, Mary and your friends and family.

  14. Jackie in NY

    Hi Mary- my heart goes out to folks affected by the weather in Iowa and elsewhere. Hopefully you won’t have much damage. The pictures are really beautiful. Love those garden shots.

  15. Margie in SO CAL

    Oh Mary, so many of us cherish LITTLE QUILTS ! I have a collection of their books & patterns, and was
    lucky to actually visit the shop and take a class with Mary Ellen, years ago, love love love them!
    CANT WAIT to see what you have up your sleeve now, Mary….please dont make us all wait too long !

  16. Lorraine

    So sorry to hear of the awful tornadoes and destruction of homes and other properties. My son and family lives in Oklahoma and he sent me a picture of a piece of hail that was in a storm hitting them. The piece was at least 2″ x 4″. He said it sounded like rockets hitting his roof.
    Loved all the pictures you shared today. Such beautiful flowers and loved the rainbow over the house.
    Praying you have good weather and no more terrible storms.

  17. Kathy in western NY

    Very excited for the Little Quilts announcement!!! So many cute ideas in Mary Ellen’s patterns and books. I think I better get my doll bed dusted off for a new quilt.

  18. Meredith in Cincinnati

    That Guinea pig (cannoli: LOL) picture was just what I needed today! Eager for the Little Quilt announcement. This tornado pictures on the news are terrible to see. Prayers for all involved.

  19. Sheryl Harrison

    The pictures from Greenfield are heartbreaking. I saw missing pet reports on Facebook. and that broke my heart. Prayers for the injured and families of people who died and for people who lost their homes. So sad!

    I feel your pain about making valances. Years ago when I made all of my clothes and shirts for my husband and sons, I loved home decorating sewing, making curtains, pillows, etc. I have absolutely no interest in that kind of sewing now. I made dresses for my granddaughters when they were small but I was a quilter then and garment making wasn’t fun. My neighbor called last night to ask me to mend a pocket on her shorts. I used to refer mending requests to a lady who has passed away. I need to find another mender b/c I have no interest in mending!!!

    I loved Jo’s blog yesterday. I’m so happy for her!

    1. Connie R. in Wis.

      Sheryl, I find that people think that, if you own a sewing machine and like to sew, that you also like to mend , Taylor garments and, ( the worst), replace zippers. Just not so! I like to quilt.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sheryl – tell her to find someone else or learn how to do it herself! There is NO WAY I would mend for someone else – some things I’d rather throw out than mend – and I have! I simply can’t look at that pet page.

    3. Duane,Sqyeak,Buddy

      Try your local dry cleaner. Ours does zippers and I think hems. I have done hens for a widower, but no more. He gave his very nice Bernina to a student not to the person who dud his hemming—me!! I do for the kids and grand kids.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Diane – if he had a nice Bernina, why didn’t he do his own zippers and hems? Must have been his wife’s machine?

        1. Diane, Squeak, Buddy in Central Ohio

          Yes. She was my best friend and died in 2016. Another friend and I did his pants hems for a several years, but I told him I could teach him. That is when he gave her machine away! Then, I explained about mens’ pants lengths. LOL!
          Sorry about the misspellings above. Worn out, I guess.

  20. patti

    i’m so glad so many of our iowa readers have chimed in they are okay. loss of trees and plants is truly bad but to lose your home and everything you own is heart wrenching. i love the flower and garden pictures. i cannot grow anything. so i love to see yours. the great blue heron is a little over 5′ tall. so majestic. i don’t know where he goes at night, but in the daytime he is hanging out at my little pond. i’ve been lucky to watch him fish. i posted the picture so that those who haven’t seen one up close could have the opportunity. i consider this one my outdoor pet.
    i was overjoyed to hear jo kramer’s news. so happy for her. hang in there, mary, those valances will be done soon and then you can forget about them. patti in florida

  21. Marie C

    Wonderful blog today. Love the guinea pig and the yellow peony. I’m eagerly awaiting mine to bloom. It was so small when I got it it’s never bloomed before. I have two buds.

  22. Marilyn in Southern Iowa

    I live in Albia, twenty miles north of Centerville. Sirens went off twice while I was volunteering at the library. Dark clouds but no wind and very little rain. No damage in Centerville. Greenfield about 70 miles southwest of Des Moines was devastated by the tornado…possibly an cat 3 storm. It was such a relief to wake up to sunshine this morning.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marilyn – I either misspoke or was autocorrected when I typed Centerville instead of Greenfield – and didn’t notice it until I hit publish! So glad you have no damage to clean up today!

  23. Carlene

    I love the picture of “cannole” and the rain storm and all your hanging flower pots and everything else you sent. Mary, I enjoy your blog about nothing so much and never miss it. I even started watching Indiana fever games. I have never been into sports. Congrats to Kaitlyn for her Wilson contract!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carlene – oooh, another convert to sports – all because of Caitlin! She has made fans all over from kids to old people and isn’t it fun? I absolutely live for those games and on game days, I have something to look forward to in the evening. I am a true fan – win or lose! Thanks for joining in on the fun – the blog really is about nothing – just ordinary life that we all lead and we’re more alike than different!

  24. Lynette in Orlando

    My heart and prayers go out to all of you in Iowa, The pictures are incomprehensible on the damage and destruction!!! Mary thank you for sharing photos…… Canoli is just too cute! ❤️. Love the gardens! Beautiful!

  25. Gail in Ohio

    Thinking of all of you – what a storm! Many prayers and virtual hugs….

  26. brendalynne1

    not sure whether i was guessing what Jos announcement was going to be or if it was wishful thiinking. BUT he even is a hyroid cancer survivor. !!!!! happy day

  27. Ann in PA

    I missed the news since we were staying with family to help out while Daddy traveled for work. Here in SE PA we are far from those terrible tornadoes. Right now it’s hot 85* and sunny. So sad for all those who are affected. Small towns are wonderful! Everyone is like family and there to help out. I’m sending my prayers for comfort and healing.
    Canoli is is absolutely adorable! Those photos are so refreshing…the rainbows, flowers; so happy to see your hanging baskets are still on the railing. I love a curved walkway. As for mending…not any more! I replaced a zipper in jeans that my ( then high school age) son bought on “SALE” for $50!!!!! I never spent that on jeans, let alone ones with a broken zipper. He thought Mom sews and can do anything! lol I did replace it but warned him never again. A friend once asked if I would hem several pair of her son’s pants for school, AND her daughter’s pleated skirts. I offered to shoe HER how to do it, but said I had four kids that also needed hemmed pants and skirts. You got us all hooked on Caitlin Clark. I watched part of one game but I want to see more. I understand that she is double teamed. The team might have lost games but Caitlin continues to lift up Women’s Basketball. She scores in spite of the coverage! I can’t wait until you share what you are up to with Mary Ellen from Little Quilts! I love those books. Take care everyone and be safe! xxoo

  28. Fran

    The tornado in Minden was awful too and a friend lost part of her roof and of course the insurance company is inundated with c;laims and slow to respond. No deaths in that one thank you Lord. But praying for those who ate badly injured and for those who lost loved ones in Greenfield. devastation unbelievable

    I am in the SW part of Iowa. Had one skim right over the top of Carson.

  29. Sandy

    Hi Mary, isn’t Jo lucky getting a handyman for a boyfriend! I miss having my husband fixingthings around the house. Patti,s heron is magnificent, are there alligators in her pond?l have one on the grass! It belongs to the kids next door! Terrible weather, all the destruction is sad, very hard to rebuild lives again, l hope all our readers are safe.The guinea pig is so cute,Stella would love one, Luna would like rabbit, not sure if it will happen. Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

    1. patti

      yes, sandy, we have alligators in the pond. the pond empties into lake jessup (the lake with the most alligators in the state of florida). the gators do like to sun on the grass – or the road – or wherever they like. during and after a hurricane a few years back, we had an alligator living in the pool. dh thought it was ‘cool’. i thought it was horrid. horrific sight to wake up in the morning to an alligator sunning on your pool deck. dh repaired the screening multiple times and finally put a whole section of shelving metal in place of the screen. the joys of living in florida! so glad to hear that more and more of our friends are fine. terrible to think of the misplaced pets – praying they are reunited. patti in forida

  30. Suzanne

    Oh thank you Camilo for making me smile with your red polka dot bow
    Thank you
    Suzanne in australia

  31. Kelli

    So sad about Greenfield – hoping tonight isn’t a rest for anyone in Iowa!!

  32. Renae in Iowa

    I read the following quote somewhere recently: “Those who don’t sew . . . don’t know”.
    I thought, how true, many think sewing is a snap.

  33. Sheryl K Harrison

    The yellow peonies are beautiful. I keep looking at them and think I need to get some.

  34. Patricia

    Oh the tornadoes are so awful and destructive. It’s so scary as the weather conditions create more and more. It just seems everyday it’s more storms and more communities leveled.
    It’s lovely to see all the kids and animals. Guinea pig is adorable.
    Your hanging geraniums are so pretty. Hank and his playmates make me chuckle. I hope you hens are ok. I keep hearing things about avian flu and hope your little flock will be ok.
    The heat and humidity have returned to Maryland. Weathermen have said it will be more humid than normal this summer. Oh yay! With all the rain we’ve had lately has spawned the mosquitoes. Between the gnats and mosquitoes gardening becomes more challenging. All my garden beds look like a jungle. I need to dig up and thin out everything. Don’t know if’s going to happen. Getting down and getting up has become much more difficult recently.
    I haven’t been able to figure out when and where to watch Caitlin and the Fever. Frustrating.
    I hope this weekend’s weather for you is quiet and sunny. We are expecting more wet weather and storms starting tomorrow through Monday. This will be the 3rd weekend in a row that’s been rained out.
    Pat in Md.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Patricia – I’ll try to remember to post Caitlin’s games as they come up. They lost by 2 last night 😞

  35. Jeanie S, Central IL

    I, too, am very relieved to hear you and Rick are okay. I feel so sorry for many other Iowans who have experienced such devastation and loss. It was extremely windy all day yesterday but only had a little evening rain, nothing like predicted.
    On a lighter note, Canoli is precious!
    I don’t think I have ever seen a yellow peony-—I want some.
    I can so identify with some previous comments. After retiring, when we started going west all summer, I loved sewing at the picnic table. I quickly learned to keep the machine indoors. Just because I can thread a sewing machine does not mean I want to do other people’s mending.
    Take Care, Mary 🥰

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanie – oh, I can just see it now – can you sew up this pocket? Replace this zipper? Hem these pants? Ugh and no, no, no!!!

      1. Sheryl Harrison

        Thanks for the laugh! We needed that with all the heartbreaking stories from the tornado.

    2. Sheryl Harrison

      My brother and sister-in-law take their RV to Texas in the winter. A couple of years ago, she bought a sewing machine, fabric and notions and went through my patterns and picked patterns to make clothes for her granddaughters. I don’t think she had your situation where other campers asked her to mend. I’ll tell her your story to give her a heads up.

  36. Linda in Michigan

    For those of us who don’t care to mend-look up Street Stitchers on the internet. There’s an interesting story about “the woman who built up Edinburgh’s army of street stitchers.”
    Looking forward to news about Little Quilts. I visited their shop in Marietta years ago, but none of the owners were there. Love their books and patterns.

  37. Sandy in Indiana

    Wonderful photos today!

    Mary, Thank you for the cute kitty thank you card….so sweet!
    so glad the storm missed you

    Have a wonderful day….

  38. Li

    I just watched the “foxweather” website’s posting of that Nevada Iowa tornado clip where one semitruck stops and another drives into the tornado. Harrowing. Both drivers are OK. Not sure if the link will come through. Searching “Highway cameras show tornado barreling through Nevada, Iowa” should direct other readers to the page.

  39. Cindy Holm Sabimpnske

    The tornado in Greenfield, or any tornado that affects people or homes always takes me back to June 13, 1968 when an F5 tornado went thru my hometown of Tracy MN. Nine people died. Peoples’ lives changed forever. We are very weather savvy people in my circle. You can see interviews the tv stations did from the Minneapolis tv stations on you tube. Even my grandfather Albin Holm was interviewed. (Dave Moore from WCCO called him Albion Holm) the Nelsons were interviewed, the reporters even went right to the hospital and talked people who were injured in the tornado. That would not happen today. I never saw the films until about 5 years ago. I was interviewed for the 50th anniversary of the tornado on MPR and my best friend who lives in Rochester heard it the first time it was on the air. I always pray for anyone that this happens to. It’s tornado season.

  40. Martha W in WY

    Terrible weather in the Central US. It’s sad to see the devastation. Tornadoes are one thing we don’t worry about here in the West. It is very unusual for us to experience one. On occasion we have seen funnels but they typically don’t touch down. I sure wish we could have some rain. The weatherman/weather woman predicts rain and it clouds up but nothing comes of it. Our wheat fields did get hit by the hail that hit the area a couple of days ago. We’ll have to wait till the wheat grows to determine if the yield was affected by it. I’m still planting trees. I finished the 20 deciduous ones and 35 evergreens. I have 27 evergreens to plant yet. It is slow going when I have to hand dig all the holes and the ground is like cement. Next, is to make wire protectors to keep the antelope from lunching on the deciduous trees. I enjoyed seeing all the photos today and reading all the comments. The rainbow pictures are gorgeous. They reminded me of when as a teenager I followed a rainbow to find It’s end. I did find it! It ended in the river near our MN farm. I’m thrilled for Jo and Jerry. They both appear so happy.

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