The SW Indiana household affected by the twister will finish in 2020 with a contemporary begin
NEWBURGH, Ind. (AP) – Nathan and Melissa Mosbey were overwhelmed with gratitude for the friends who showed up on December 12th to help them move into their home.
That moment of generosity came months after a similar one, when friends and strangers gave their time to clean up after the tornado that tore down the roof of the same house nearly nine months ago.
This time, due to the increasing cases of COVID-19, there were significantly fewer people on the Mosbeys property. When an EF-2 tornado struck Newburgh on March 28, more than 40 people turned up in a matter of hours to offer their help to the family. Some of them were Nathan’s Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana employees, many of whom he had never met.
“I’m glad we live in a community like this where people help,” said Nathan. “It’s good to be in a place like this because I know there are a lot of places where it isn’t.”
He said while he doesn’t see many of the people who offered to help with work in March, the staff he interacts with have invested in Nathan’s family and often ask how they are.
“They’d ask me at least every two weeks, ‘Hey, are you about to be in your house?'” Nathan said. “And they’re surprised how long it’s been.”
When the Mosbeys were finally able to move in again after months of construction, their congregation reappeared to help, even when Melissa told her friends that they didn’t have to.
“Every single one of my friends said, ‘Yeah, I’ll be there,” said Melissa.
Jessica Muehlbauer is a friend of the couple who was there that day in March. She said it was special to see total strangers congregate after the tornado.
“Most of the time you don’t see something like that,” she said. “You see it on the news and you can’t see it. It’s just that it taught us a lot. You know, when things go really bad, people step up and help. “
When it looked like construction was coming to an end, she offered to help them start moving in on December 12th.
“I’m just excited that you will be home and you can get back to normal,” she said. “They would do anything for us. You have so many people who would do so much for you. “
The Mosbeys were displaced at the start of the pandemic after the tornado turned their world – and their sheds – upside down. Nathan and Melissa moved their daughters Luna, 5 and Terra, 3 into the house that Melissa had converted into part of their business a few years earlier.
Melissa runs all breed grooming, boarding and daycare in Evansville. Fortunately, they could temporarily live on the second floor of the house. Although they had to go somewhere while rebuilding their house, they said it was difficult to adjust to the smaller space with their two young daughters, six dogs, and two cats.
The rebuilding process has been tedious as construction companies also had other projects related to tornadoes to deal with, not to mention the aftermath of the pandemic such as slow shipping.
“It was crazy – it felt like it was never going to happen,” said Nathan.
“We went in and out and it was just depressing to get in here when everything was destroyed you know,” he said. “But now that it looks like a house again, it’s pretty nice. I can not wait any longer. Still overwhelmed, still grateful, you know, but I’m not going to take it for granted this time around, that’s for sure. “
The tornado and COVID-19 weren’t the only things that made 2020 a memorable year for the family.
“There are three bad things: COVID hit, tornado hit, my mother got cancer. We’re done with bad things, ”said Melissa.
The Mosbeys see their move and the holidays as a fresh start for their family. Melissa had hoped the house would be ready in time for Thanksgiving, but she chose Christmas instead.
“She went out of her way to get it ready before Christmas so we can still have our tree up,” said Nathan.
They had about a week to erect the tree, but it did it before Christmas. And the kids woke up in their own house for Christmas.
“It’s absolutely a good feeling,” said Nathan. “But we’re going to put the tree up before Christmas and the kids have Christmas at home, so that’s absolutely a good feeling. If COVID didn’t happen, we’d probably have a big New Years party to bring 2020 to an end. “
The family was determined to spend the vacation in their new home.
“I felt bad because I kind of said to the construction worker, ‘Hey, just so you know, we’re moving this weekend so I hope you’re almost done,'” laughed Melissa a month ago.
She said the girls look forward to having a garden to play with again. Melissa was excited to surprise Luna and Terra with a Power Wheels car for Christmas so they could take full advantage of the outdoor space.
The Mosbeys still have a lot to do before they are fully settled in, but they spent their first night at their home on December 20th. Melissa said the girls were happy to be reunited with the toys stored and both of them slept through the night for the first time in months. The kids haven’t taken advantage of the back yard, but Melissa said the dogs enjoyed it.
“It was emotional and it was a relief and stressful at the same time,” said Melissa. “But overall we are happy to be home again.”
Melissa said they were looking forward to enjoying a slow Christmas day at home together. And then it’s time to look to the new year.
“We paid our dues and we won’t owe anything in 2020,” said Melissa.