What are the really important things
Just a few weeks ago I was finding myself fretting over having the two dragsters ready to go to the track. Was the trailer ever going to be ready to go? Did I check everything on the motorhome to make sure it was ready to make the trip and serve as home for us for the weekend?
We were sitting in Brainerd, MN, after the Division 5 Lucas Oil Series event. Andy, my son, got to his first NHRA final round. He ended up a couple thousandths short in the final of Top Dragster but I was really proud of how he kept his concentration so well all day. We spent Sunday evening at the track and planned on towing home Monday (Memorial Day). Seemed like a good plan. What we didn't know was it was a genius plan, by accident.
Back in Iowa on that Sunday evening an F5 tornado tore through a couple towns that were only 10 to 15 miles away from our home. Smaller tornados and high winds and three-inch hail ripped through our little town. Our cars got trashed, the siding on the house broken and roofs were ruined. Sounds bad, right? It wasn't, it was nothing compared to the complete devastation of a town called Parkersburg, Iowa. Seventy-five percent of the homes are GONE! Not damaged, GONE! High School, GONE. Businesses, GONE. Six people dead, millions of dollars of damage and lives turned inside out.
We missed it because we stayed at Brainerd to rest up after a great race day. I would say the real luck of the weekend was that we went to the finals because otherwise we may have left early and driven right into the heart of that storm.
Now, as I write this column a few days late, we are about to see flood waters in my backyard hit their highest level in over 100 years. Will our home, shop, property and memories survive? I have no idea as of tonight. This is the last thing I will send out until after the river crests about 6 a.m tomorrow. At that point in time either things in our life will be about the same (except we will spend a great deal of timing helping neighbors and friends), or our lives will be turned upside down.
We believe the Lord has a plan and we trust He has a plan for us. Just what it is will be a little more clear in a couple of days. I have always felt racing was important to me. I am blessed to have a great family, and racing is important to all of us. At this time and place it has fallen off the top of the "important list" and I doubt it will get back to the top any time soon.
The next time you sit around pouting about a -.001 redlight or a break out you had room to hit brakes on, think about the people who just wish they could find a picture of their family in the rubble of what used to be their home.
Think about the things you let upset you at the races, and consider some of the other alternatives that you could be facing. I think you will enjoy your day at the dragstrip a little more than you used to. At least I hope you will, I know I will!