I'm thankful for my blessings, family, friends and freedom

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

Earlier in my office today when someone was writing their earnest money deposit check and asked what the date is.  It's November 22nd. So some of you may remember where you were on this date in 1963, but since I was born yet....  The assassination of Kennedy is just history to me, not MY history

But 24 years ago today it was the Sunday before Thanksgiving and with my daughter with me I was out at a class reunion meeting.  We were planning our 10 year reunion and it got really really stormy so I left early so I could get home.  I drove right into the heart of the storm.  Driving down the highway toward my street it was like the clouds just came down to the road and there was a huge roll of thunder that went on and on and on.  Didn't sound like a train to me so I had no idea it was a tornado. And when the "funnel" cloud is on the ground it doesn't look like a funnel anymore either. 

I remember when it started to hail big ole golf ball size hail I thought it was going to break my windshield, but there was no place to seek shelter.  I did pull over and get my daughter out of her car seat and put her in the floorboard under a coat and put my body over her because I was fearful the hail was going to break out the windshield.  And then as fast as it started it passed.  So I got my baby girl buckled back in and headed on home with her... well I tried to.

When I got a mile from my house I had to stop because there was a tree crossing the road.  It was a BIG tree.  I pulled into the neighbor's driveway and he came out to see and told me I could drive around his lawn and to get around the tree.  He didn't have time to go try to remove it because a tree was through his dining room window.  So I drove through his yard and headed toward home.  There was another smaller tree in the road and I could see by now that entire houses were missing off their foundation so I was in a shear panic to get to my parents so I got out and pushed the tree out of the road.  I couldn't move that tree today, but that day at that moment I just did it.

I actually met my dad driving out in a strange car.  My parents cars were trapped inside the garage. My dad was driving another neighbor to the hospital who lost an eye from flying debris. He stopped me to warn me to be super careful about downed power lines.  I got home but not before driving by 7 homes that were gone.  Cars were gone, It was how I imagine a war zone might look with a mass area of total devastation.  It was so sad. I've never seen a war torn neighborhood first hand, but I imagine it looks much the same.

I was thankful to see my mom and she was relieved to see me and Abigail.  We didn't even have power that Thanksgiving.  That experience did two things for me.... I always have a level of identification with people when I see natural disasters on the news and it gave Thanksgiving an entire new meaning for me.  I am always so grateful for my blessings and my family.  I learned 24 years ago that life is fleeting.  I knew three people killed that day.  I learned to never miss an opportunity to tell family and friends you love them. I never end a phone conversation with family without saying I love you. You never know if it will be the last time you talk to someone. If you love people, tell them.

I hope all of you have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.  My ActiveRain peeps are my extended family.  I love you guys.  I can turn to you for support and help.  I can share my joys and you celebrate with me.  I can share my sorrows and you grieve with me..  I hope each of you have a blessed day and remember you are only given today, you are only given this moment.  Make it count.

In light of the division in our country with the recent election cycle I would like to ask ALL of you to spread some kindness this week.  Don't let someones choice of candidate or support of candidate make you fail to love them as another human being?  Stop and think about it, have the people you are no longer "respecting" ever exhibited behavior  that you thought were unkind to others?  Can't we all just move forward and pray for our country and its leaders. Hug a little tighter and tell your friends you care. We can't let politics stop us from being decent humans to each other.


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Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

You have 2 very noteworthy reminders of the day.  At the very least you would have had a good Thanksgiving knowing all were healthy and fine

Nov 22, 2016 06:19 PM #3
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Wow!  This is quite a story to share. Congratulations on your feature recognition.

Nov 22, 2016 06:57 PM #4
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

William Feela I would love to teach others not to, without a tornado

Kathy Streib it was an interesting year for sure.  I'll have to talk more about the "aftermath" in a future blog.

Ed Silva knowing my loved ones are happy and safe is everything.

Roy Kelley it was a life changing experience for sure

Nov 22, 2016 10:12 PM #5
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Tammy loved this post on a side note, I watched the funeral of JFK even communist Hungary televised it and neighbors shared the room since not every one had a TV.... interesting analogy... now with that said have a Happy Thanksgiving, Endre

Nov 22, 2016 11:25 PM #6
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Tammy Lankford, - so touchy!

Yes, never leave anyone without saying 'I love you'! You never know!

And ...I liked this quote...

"I learned to never miss an opportunity to tell family and friends you love them."

Nov 22, 2016 11:43 PM #7
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Great Thanksgiving spirit!!!

Can't we all just move forward and pray for our country and its leaders. Hug a little tighter and tell your friends you care. We can't let politics stop us from being decent humans to each other.

Nov 23, 2016 04:47 AM #8
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Good morning. Thank you for sharing the things you are thankful for. Have a good Thanksgiving.

Nov 23, 2016 05:08 AM #9
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

WOW, Tammy Lankford, I never heard that story!  I can't imagine living through something like that.  How you moved that tree is beyond me - I believe the man upstairs gave you super human strength that day!  

And, yes, it's a time for Thanksgiving and putting aside our differences, loving one another and moving on past the election.  I do hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Nov 23, 2016 08:02 AM #10
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Surviving tragedies often teaches us we possess far more courage and strength than we give ourselves credit for, and it can scare some people to learn this. It's amazing, isn't it, how we get through this stuff, when our orderly world is suddenly turned upside down? Quite the story, Tammy. And I think you meant to add the word "not" to when you were born. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!

Nov 23, 2016 09:44 AM #11
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Tammy

That is an amazing story and a memory you likely relive every year around Thanksgiving. And you've shared a pretty powerful message for all who read it!

Have a wonderful holiday with your family!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Nov 23, 2016 12:11 PM #12
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Beautifully expressed Tammy! Experiences make us who we are and can bring us closer together. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Nov 23, 2016 12:38 PM #13
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

thank you for sharing ....

Nov 23, 2016 02:44 PM #14
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Tammy Lankford, 

Wishing you and yours a very Happy (and non storm filled) Thanksgiving!

Nov 23, 2016 03:04 PM #15
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Tammy, I am so thankful you, your daughter and parents were okay. Sad story to hear the lives lost and homes completely destroyed. 

Nov 23, 2016 06:19 PM #16
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

That is an amazing story of survival, Tammy. I'm glad you are here to tell it. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. 

Nov 23, 2016 07:04 PM #17
Harry F. D'Elia
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I very much enjoyed your post today. We are looking forward to more insightful ones.

Nov 24, 2016 05:11 AM #18
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Those disasters really bring into focus how fragile life is. Great thoughts.

Nov 24, 2016 07:10 AM #19
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Amen. All lives matter regardless of the circumstances, yet, unfortunately, many seem to select only certain lives because of the misinformation they receive and their inability to seek the facts.

What's really scary is the reading comprehension of our nations' population as evidenced by the media to inform our citizens with 6 to 8th-grade English.

Hopefully, we'll emphasize reading writing and arithmetic for all students up to the 5th-grade so they'll be able to read anything, comprehend what is read and be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide any numbers or solve any complex problems.  

Nov 25, 2016 11:41 AM #20
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

I share the very same sentiments for what I am blessed with!!!

Nov 27, 2016 05:46 AM #21
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Very candid, scary story!  I can imagine what that storm was like for you having grown up in Kansas.  That kind of devastation is just plain scary.  Valuable lesson for others, for sure!  Great post!

Nov 28, 2016 07:57 PM #22
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Tammy Lankford,

Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville
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