As I was not provided with any contact numbers, I simply took out my Cecil County road map, which was a mass of shredded paper by the time I finished my tenure at that newspaper, drew a line where the tornado had touched down, and drove off on a Thursday afternoon to knock on as many doors as I could. Of the 10 or so people I talked to, three assented to have their quotes appear in my story (quick tip for all you would-be journalists out there: ask the interviewee if they don't mind being quoted before you start asking questions. Many a reporter has wasted precious minutes talking to someone, only to have them end the conversation with, "oh, I don't want to be in the newspaper."). The last person I talked to that day, a man in his 30s who had taken the day off work to make additional repairs to the roof of his house, which had nearly been ripped off, didn't mind being quoted at all. He gave me a blow-by-blow account of his encounter with the tornado, and near the end of the interview he said something that has stuck with me since then. I'll paraphrase him here: "Mother Nature can be downright mean sometimes. She doesn't care what you have going on, whether you just paid off your house. She'll tear it up. When the tornado was shaking my house, I've never felt so small."