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When Life Gives You Lemons (and) Lemonade

One local family's perspective on taking the good with the bad

We can agree that 2020 was quite a year of discovery for us all. Each of us discovered or rediscovered some of what we’re made of. Some weak areas, some resilience we haven’t had to tap into in some time. For our family, 2020 started so hopeful and exciting. We were under contract for a house we loved, and we sold our home the first day it was on the market–February 28. Our house, and so many unique and irreplaceable mementos, were taken out by a tornado just three days later. The tornado left us reeling, with two elementary-age boys and two dogs, so many questions (who really understands their insurance policy anyway?). Putting back the pieces of our very basic needs in short order was so stressful–not to mention the mental stress of reliving that night on repeat. Enter: Coronavirus, stage left.

 Now to top it all off, we’re cut off from friends and family, no more school, shopping was incredibly stressful due to shortages and the fact that you just never knew who would breathe on you in public—and then what?! We ended up living in an apartment for two years during the process. 

My first goal was to make our tiny apartment a soft place to land, where we would find peace and comfort, even though we had to walk up thirty-nine stairs anytime we needed to come in and out (yes, I counted).  Life was really starting to feel dark and heavy and sad. That’s when we unleashed the power of “And”. I’m a big-time all-or-nothing kind person. All in, all out. All good, all bad. I have to focus and try to see the balance sometimes, which was one of those times for sure. We lost so many sweet treasures and basic things, but our friends (and) family rallied together, replaced Legos (and) clothes, and gave generously to help steady us. We were able to make our temporary home so cozy and safe.  We were isolated from friends and family because of Covid lockdowns (and) we were given time to slow down, to heal as a family with far less pressure from schedules and busyness. There were lonely times for sure (and) the times we did have with friends and neighbors have been so much sweeter. Post tornado life was so heavy and dark (and) we were given a chance to see and appreciate our community (and) each other in ways we would never have otherwise when life gives you lemons (and) lemonade. 

  • John and Sarah Clore soaking up their rebuilt home
  • The Clore family right after the tornado on 3/3/2020 and Spring of 2022 in front of their new home completely rebuilt
  • One of the few cherished items left un damaged by the tornado
  • The Clore Family