Saturday, June 4, 2011


oil on artist panel 6x6 inches
click on this link to purchase
"Lucky" — that is how I feel.  All of us in this area who weren't devastated by the extreme weather this past Wednesday night feel incredibly lucky.  For those of you who don't know, Western Massachusetts was hit by a series of tornadoes (one incredibly large and powerful) this past Wednesday.  My town of Brimfield was hit very hard.  Neighboring Monson, Mass. has lost their beautiful downtown.  The city of Springfield has extensive damage.  It's hard to process.

A smallish tornado hit the road that we live on — the house next to us had a big tree snap in half and left them without power for a couple of days.  The house next to them had a few large trees come down — one landed on their (thankfully empty) above-ground pool, one landed on their house — amazingly, there wasn't any serious damage done.  The twister then jumped across the street and uprooted a few trees on that property — a car was damaged, but no damage to their home.  Most important of all, no one was hurt.  We Malones just had a lot of leaves and branches to clean up — we were incredibly lucky.

My son and I took a drive the next day to see what we could see — we had heard there was extensive damage on Haynes Hill Road, but nothing could prepare us for what we saw.  The area was unrecognizable.  Haynes Hill Road is (was?  I'm having trouble leaving that word "was" there...) a heavily wooded road with beautiful homes.  The section that the (very large —1/2-mile across) tornado hit is no longer wooded and most of the homes have been destroyed or need extensive work before the families can move back in.  ALL of the trees have either been snapped in half or uprooted.  Some of the houses came completely off their foundations, others lost their roofs...

This morning, two major roadways that had been shut down were reopened.  Route 20 heading east out of the town center... I can't even think of a description!  It's too much to process.

If anyone would like to help out the families that have been displaced, the Congregational Church here in Brimfield is organizing relief efforts.  Non-perishable items, baked goods, hot meals (the church began serving hot lunch and dinner meals last night and plan to continue until everyone has their power back on)... here is a link to an article the Worcester Telegram & Gazette published with information for those who would like to help.

The painting I did today was of my yard and the trees in the woods behind my house — undamaged by Wednesday's storm. 


  1. I am so glad you posted Becky! I spoke to my Mom and she said there was a lot of damage on Shaker Road in Westfield. I cannot believe the photos of Springfield, Monson and Brimfield, it is hard to believe that it is reality.

    We are so glad you and your family are safe!!

  2. So hard to believe it happened in MA. You just don't expect this kind of tornado devastation around this area. I'm glad you weren't hit personally but I know it really affect everyone, especially when you live so close by. It somehow becomes more of a reality. Thank you for posting the link where you can go to help. Sometimes you just don't know what to do.

    Love the painting. It evokes a peaceful calm for me.

  3. Thank you Nancy -- I still can't believe my eyes when I drive around the area -- the destruction is incredible. So many people have come forward to help -- from all over the state -- it's been heartwarming.