Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's Good to be Back!

What a long, strange trip it's been.  We've all seen the aftermath of natural disasters on TV : hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods....and tornadoes.   I can honestly say, you have no idea how overwhelming it is unless you survive one and see the destruction first hand.  As I drive through town now, it is hard to recognize neighborhoods that I travel everyday.  Trees have been sheared off, homes destroyed, power lines down. 

These pictures were taken on our street, immediately after the tornado:

This house is across the street and 3 houses down from us.  

This is in the yard, next to the house above.
They are forunate the tree on the left fell into their pool rather than onto their house.

On the other side of our block, behind our house.
People were trapped in one or both of these houses for a short time.

I'm thankful that our power and internet were restored after a week.  I went 2 days without coffee before we got a generator.  It wasn't that bad, but it was nice NOT to have a "lack of caffeine" headache finally.  I had a headache from the stress of the situation so a little coffee was really nice.  Even the powdered creamer wasn't so bad.  :)   I didn't realize just how physically tired I could be from emotional stress.  I guess I suffered from an adrenaline crash.  When it goes, so does your energy.

What's left at the intersection where we turn to go into our residential area.

Steeple at the Baptist Church.  Lots of damage here.

This sign was bent by the sheer force of the wind; estimated to be as much as 175 mph in this EF-4 tornado.

Another sign, bent by the wind.  {Sorry this one is a bit blurry}

Traffic lights at a downtown intersection as they were tangled by the storm.
The sky was INCREDIBLY blue that next day with perfect puffy white clouds.

I quickly realized how peaceful life is with no power and before the hum of generators filled our neighborhood.  The was no light pollution so the stars were brighter than I'd ever seen them.  The weather was a bit cool at night; perfect for sitting on the screen porch with my family...talking; around the light of a single candle.  The only sound was the sound of our voices.  It was nice to not have the distractions of TV, internet, phones...the world.  Don't get me wrong.  I couldn't have been Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I enjoy my creature comforts, but a break from them makes them not so routine any more and makes you appreciate time with family even a little more.

As I hung hand washed clothes on a makeshift clothesline, I was SO thankful that I had purchased a bag of wooden clothespins when we were at the beach a couple of weeks ago.  I bought them to close bags of cereal and potato chips while we were there.  Little did I know I would use them for their intended purpose only a few days later.  It was a good reminder that God always holds me in the palm of His hand...even when I don't realize it or think about it.

Life is returning to more of a routine.  The SG Etsy Shop opened back up today!  School resumed after 8 days out because of the storms.  People are doing daily things again...going to lunch, shopping, going to Walmart {yes, even WM was closed for a time after the storm}.  Power is on in most of the city, but not all.  Some people are still on generators and have no internet.  There is still a long, long way to go.  Storm debris still litters the streets.  Power crews are still here from all-over.  The guys from Texarkana, Texas have been on our street alot.   I thanked one of these gentlemen yesterday and told him how much I appreciated all they had done.  I think he may have been embarrassed by the attention.  He smiled and said he was looking forward to being done so he could go back home.  I don't blame him.

Home is a wonderful place to be!

1 comment:

Jan M said...

I continue to be so grateful for the safety of your family and home, but so heartbroken for those that lost so much. Glad a little bit of Texas found its way to you and provided assistance! Prayers continue as your community rebuilds.