The House That Built Me

When I was 3 I was in a tornado with my mom & brother while my dad worked night shifts. This tragic night brought me a great deal of uncomfort. I was 3, I had no idea what was going on, I was kept in the hospital (in which I didn’t understand at the time why), my parents weren’t allowed to stay at night. I could keep going but I think you get the picture.

My parents decided to build a house ontop of the very spot the tornado toppled the house we had lived in. At the age of 3 I thought “if it happened once it could happen again”. I started spending the nights at my grandma & grandad’s house. I felt safe there as nothing bad had ever happened to me. I’d be alright during the day but as soon as it started getting dark either mom would drop me off or one of them would come scoop me up.

I think this is where my love for falling asleep on the couch steams. My grandad and I would watch TV until I brushed my teeth and it was time for bed. We would push the love seat & the couch together, I told my grandad it would make me feel safe being if anything would happen the back of the couches would protect us. Every night from the time I was 3 to the time I was 7 and started school we did this every night.

I have so many memories of the house, it’s rooms, the smell, the huge kitchen, the farm, and most of all – the love that radiated through it. I learned a lot in that house and I’ll never forget it.

This is what the house looked like in its original state. A local artist looked at it after the long driveway had overgrown and the wind and rain did its thing throughout its abandonment but saw the beauty in the house that was once before sturdy and welcoming, so that is what he had drawn.


About Leslie

Daughter. Sister. Christian. Latte addict. Humble. Goofball. Creative. Crafty. Thankful. Loved. Confused. Loud. Sarcastic. Yoga participant. Football & Basketball lover. Cartoon Watcher.

23 Responses to The House That Built Me

  1. Aubrey says:

    What a scary experience! I grew up with a lot of hurricane threats but never extremely serious.

  2. I have a safe place, too. Isn’t it funny how these things imprint on us as children?
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  3. Missy says:

    Tornadoes are so scary, I cannot imagine being in one at three! My brother and I were in one when I was 14 and it was awful so I can only imagine that your 3 year old self would associate your parents home with tornadoes. It is great that you had your grandparents and the memories you have with them will be something you will have forever!
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  4. What a beautiful house indeed, I have never been in a tornado before but I can imagine as a kid it must have been very scary.
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  5. I’ve never been in a tornado before but my kids school was hit and it was such a scary time.
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  6. Susannah says:

    <3 What a beautiful picture of a house that holds such special memories. I can't imagine going through something like a tornado – especially when I don't understand what's going on.

  7. Jessica says:

    Beautiful picture of the home. It’s scary to live somewhere with tornadoes as they can just happen so suddenly, I will stick to my earth quakes in Cali.

  8. Awww … what a horrible experience. I’m so sorry! I’m an Indiana girl so we’re constantly having tornado watches and warnings … to the point where we tend to just ignore them. Thanks for the reminder. Stay safe!

  9. Ana says:

    What a scary incident you had faced during your childhood! But I am sure that it has made you more stronger from within. Thanks for sharing your childhood experience with us.

  10. andrea says:

    In 2012, we came very close with Hurricane Sandy. I was close to an evac area – and scared – but we were safe
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  11. Erik Miller says:

    There’s just something magical about the grandparents’ house. When home can’t be the safe place, knowing that you have a home away from home is the biggest comfort of all. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Omg how frightening! I’m so glad you had the comfort of your grandparents house afterwards, the artist did a really nice job. It looks like such a beautiful house!
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  13. Lexie Lane says:

    A beautiful photo of a house:! How sad and scary incident when as your childhood! But for I’m sure, dealing with this problem we learned a lot and had a information for this, and also how to be stronger within:
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  14. Dogvills says:

    What a very scary experience. I’m sure this is what made you a strong person.

  15. Jeanine says:

    How scary. I live in Canada and where I live nothing like this ever happens. It’s only what we see in the movies or hear on the news. I couldn’t imagine!

  16. Rachel says:

    This is beautifully written, thanks for sharing. That is a huge event for a 3 year old! It’s such a blessing to have family that will comfort you in your fears.

  17. What a beautiful picture of a house… It’s scary to live somewhere with tornadoes!!
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  18. How scary! I’d have been sleeping somewhere else too!

  19. RaNesha says:

    Acts of nature pop up everywhere. As children it is interesting how things impact us. Beautiful sketch.

  20. Wow, what a beautiful house, and what an amazing story of survival. A couch sleeper, I sleep surrounded by pillows that feel like they are holding me if the hubs is not home. I hate to sleep alone…. So understand that.


  21. Farrah says:

    That must have been a terrifying experience–I’m glad you were able to stay at your grandparents’ place and that you’re okay now!!
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  22. The photo of the house is beautiful. My goodness, though, that had to be so scary.
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  23. katie says:

    WOW! Just a testament to how resilient you are!

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

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