By Lynn Hartzell, Nebraska Home Sales REALTOR®
On May 23rd, we started thinking about December 25th. We started thinking about being home.
That’s because on May 22nd, 2004, a tornado wiped out our house, our barn and two outbuildings on our acreage near Hallam. The record setting twister destroyed much of Hallam, Norris school, and numerous other homes in its 40-mile path. We were lucky. We were all safe and un-injured.
Everyone has a different way of dealing with adversity. Most people had the same coping mechanism that we had. Get to work and have a goal.
Our goal was to clean up and be back in a new house by Christmas. My wife, our two kids ages 10 and 13 at that time, and myself, along with so many generous volunteers too numerous to mention, went to work to make that goal a reality. We lived with our in-laws for two weeks, then a small apartment in Crete. Both were a blessing at the time, but as we all know, there’s no place like home.
As time went on, it became clear that we would not have a house finished by Christmas. But we would have a garage.
Don’t weep for us! It was a nice garage, a large shop, really. Insulated, a furnace, plumbing and electrical. I made some temporary walls out of 2×4’s and tarps. We moved in by the first of November. Why move into a garage? Because we wanted to be “home” by Christmas. Living in a garage may not sound like the ideal situation for a Christmas celebration, but for us, it was the best Christmas ever. We had our pets back, we were all together and we were exactly where we wanted to be.
Never underestimate the need to be home for the holidays. We didn’t make it into a house by Christmas, but we made it “home”, and that was the amazing part.
We wish you all the best this Holiday season, and hope that you all can find a way to be home for the holidays! From all of us at Nebraska Home Sales, Merry Christmas!