Thursday, May 22, 2008, I woke up and turned on my television to see weather reports of an extremely large storm cell heading straight for my hometown of Windsor, Colorado, USA, about 45 minutes north of Denver. I have always lived about 6 miles straight north of Windsor out in the country, and, even though my street address lists another city, Windsor is my hometown. I grew up there, graduated from Windsor High School, and still go to Windsor when I need to go to town. <br>
To say that it is surreal to see your hometown being destroyed by any kind of a natural disaster, particularly an F4 tornado which can be so destructive so instantly, is quite the understatement. You see, I live about 15 miles east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and that kind of weather just never comes our way due to our geographical location being so close to the Mountains. While I personally didn't have anything damaged, I certainly shed a tear when I saw some of the aftermath. I know many people who lost homes, and the entire landscape of the only town that I have ever known is unrecognizable. One could never imagine seeing giant oak trees simply uprooted or snapped off in a matter of seconds. The sheer power in such a storm is absolutely unbelievable.<br>
Since the NHL playoffs were off the next night (sadly, my Avs had long-since been eliminated), I went to a Rockies game against the NY Mets. To me, sports have always given me an avenue to kind of escape from the problems and stresses of life. That night, as we held a moment of silence for the Town of Windsor (again, a very surreal feeling to be holding a moment of silence for your hometown), I realized how blessed I am to live within 45 minutes of such a great sports town. I can find some event to watch on TV, listen to on the radio, or attend live any time of the year.<br>
That night, Billy Wagner came in to close it out in the bottom of the 9th for the Mets. He hadn't given up a run all year, but, with one out, Matt Holliday came up and stroked a solo homerun to tie the game. The Rockies eventually went on to win in 13 innings. It was a great game. As I drove home and again saw the parts of town that were open to drive through, I thought of how great it is to be able to cheer for something that can take you away to another world for just a little while. I knew that it would be back to reality the next morning, but I have never felt so blessed to live in such a wonderful area. I am relieved to report that clean-up of the town is well ahead of schedule. I would also ask that you please continue to pray for those affected and those helping in repair and rebuilding efforts. I certainly hope that nothing like this ever affects anybody again. Thanks for all of your thoughts for Windsor and Weld County, and thanks to the Rockies for giving me an avenue to escape from the realities of life for a few short hours.