Well it's been 5 days since tornadoes went BUCK wild through Alabama, and it will be many months before people even start to realize the magnitude of what actually happened to the state. People have come together, other states have stepped in to help with our power, there's been a lot of kindness through the disaster... but there are also looters and crazy people that do not have the capacity to be civil kind human beings. Alabama actually stated... those people can be shot on scene. I wish that was always the rule. Honestly.
I am a bit disappointed in the way some of this is being handled, but hey... I suppose that's life. Let me tell you about the good parts.
When the weather was about 30-45 minutes out, the schools called (at 11:30 am) to tell us kids needed to be picked up from school by 12:15. We had coworkers in town from Washington D.C. and we were at lunch (we had taken Russell's truck). I relayed the message that I had 45 minutes to pick up the girls, so we haul tail back to the office. As we are getting there to drop of our coworkers, the sky is turning a freaky black/green color... like a week old bruise.
He looks over at me... he still has a meeting to go to.... he asks if I will be okay driving in this... I look a little nervous towards him... and he jumps out of the car and goes and collects his things from the office. We leave my car in the parking lot and head towards the kids school. This is what is moving toward us at a scary alarming pace:
As we start to head down the highway, the first wall hits us, hail starts pelting the truck, barricades from the road work are flying across the street and then flying back the other direction as quickly as the went right... they went left again. Signs began blowing down, trees bending at alarming lows. I was so incredibly thankful he left with me and we were in his truck and not my car. After the remainder of the day panning out in similar terrifying moments followed by a break in the clouds and spots of sunshine... we were left totally in the dark with no cell service at all.
It wasn't until the next day when we got up... we started to realize how close we had been and what was complete devastation around us in both directions. Here is what one side of our main street looks like... and within a half mile on the other side of us... it looks the same. This is so close to us it's still freaking me out.
Now I am not one to throw out that, "God was looking out for me line..." because then it sounds like He wasn't looking out for any of those other people who are experiencing an insane loss in their life right now either losing family members or their homes and all they own. I do believe all things happen for a reason though, and we'll leave it at that. It could have been us. That's the real reality of it. But it wasn't, and I feel very humbled in that fact.
Since the storm... we emptied the fridge and freezer into the garbage, and headed south where there was family and electricity. The last couple days have been a really great bonding time for Russell and I as well. I cannot imagine going through that without him. He was absolutely there for me and the girls. He calmed us, prevented any panic, and made sure we felt secure. Drove to Florida until nearly 3 am in the morning... woke to make us breakfast Saturday morning.
Then he did something that maybe I shouldn't share... but made me feel... that warm sweet girlie feeling that I have thought was hopelessly locked up in my head somewhere and unachievable.... I was feeling dirty and grimy from the past two long days... very stressed out but relieved we were all together and safe.... once i was in the shower he washed and conditioned my hair for me. He took his time, rinsed it thoroughly, running his fingers over and over again... the stress poured off of me... as I relaxed... we spent Sunday checking in with friends and making sure all of our peeps in Alabama were doing ok... but we were also able to take a nice little walk and dig up some blackberry bushes to take home to our yard... Headed back to help our neighbors out, now that we won't be hindering them. Keep Alabama in your thoughts, cause you really never know when it will happen wherever you are standing.