Storms wreak havoc, bring worries for families

Every year during tornado season, we wait for news letting us know if all is well.

As my readers know, I have families living just outside of Oklahoma City. We also have grandchildren in Dallas, Texas. Every year during tornado season, we wait for news letting us know if all is well. Other than property damage, they have come through in good shape almost every time. So far, blessedly, there have been no injuries or deaths.

Last year, a missing relative that had given everyone a real fright was found in safety. She had stayed where she was visiting when a tornado ripped through town and she had no way to contact family for some hours. That is not unusual during emergencies and blackouts, but as one can imagine, it was a real nerve-wracking for loved ones not knowing.

I have friends in Kingston who also have the same worries each tornado season. At this writing, the storms are still creating havoc, but family is keeping in touch everyday.

We sit and wait. My eldest son Gary married an Oklahoma girl during the Vietnam era while training in the Air Force. He has six children and the family has grown with grandchildren and great-grandchildren settling around the city.

The excitement of granddaughter Tenille Schwan’s (now Ikcard), who ran in the April 20 Boston Marathon, is still a topic of conversation. A few days after the marathon, she and her fiancée Ik were married in Mexico with his three sons and her seven-year-old daughter Sally attending. They then returned home to Kingston.

The Herald published a nice piece about Tenille on May 1. She finished the 26.2-mile race in 3:31:55. This is the same gal who, with her Aunt Pat, went on an African Safari hours before 9/11 on a plane from New York. They didn’t know about the attacks for a week. Tenille wrote a story for the Community News when they returned.

She tells of having had a spiritual experience climbing Machu Pichu in Peru, and swan in Greece to an island with an old church high on a hill. Last year, she climbed to the summit of Mount Rainier, saying it was the most dangerous of her adventures and most exhilarating. Now her seven-year-old Sally tells me she is going to follow in her mom’s footsteps.

I never know what will come up next with this side of the family, but it keeps my life interesting. The eldest sister, Brandy, a published poet and creator of “New Moon” cosmetic lotions; Tenille, the adventurer; and Ivy, in her early years a child actress and singer, now a farmer and business partner with Tenille in Cottingham Farms on Bainbridge. Their mother, Donna, who is creative in jewelry designing and many other hand-crafted items, and is also a writer and poet. A large growing family can never be boring.

This request is early, I know, but time is of the essence. Ladies of Redeemer United Methodist Church’s holiday bazaar is scheduled for Nov. 13 and 14, and table space will be rented to vendors for the first time. You must furnish your own tables, 30 by 72 feet. Rent for two days is $20. Contact Betty Thunder at 360-297-7472 or email

— Contact Jacque Thornton at