Monday, May 2, 2011

My Home's In Alabama

To quote a great country song by one of the best groups(Alabama), My Home’s In Alabama. Yes! It sure is!

I just couldn’t blog today, without thinking about my beloved Alabama. As many of you may know, this great state was hit with some extremely severe weather on Wednesday. Tornadoes that were massive in size and strength.

Many people may think that tornadoes are more apt to happen in the Midwest. Places like Kansas, Nebraska,Iowa, etc. and I’m sure they get their fair share. But being born and raised in Alabama, I know we get our fair share too! My husband still doesn’t really “get” why many times I will be glued to the t.v. or constantly checking the internet if there is severe weather. I’ve always been afraid of storms. Not as much anymore, but it’s still there. I was scared Wednesday. I was scared for those that had been hit that morning in the first wave of storms in northern AL. Places that I grew up in like Moody and Odenville. I was scared when I saw that huge tornado approaching Tuscaloosa as I was watching the weather via Ustream. My heart ached for the people in it’s path. Then to hear that same tornado was heading for the county that all my family(parents, sister, cousins, grandparents) live in , well, it sent tears flowing. I wanted them to be okay and to be safe. I had said my prayers earlier that day, but I said a few more as I saw that beast of a tornado. I am firm in my faith and know that our Heavenly Father loves us all and that he would be with us all, no matter the circumstances.

I knew my sister, her family, my mother, grandmother and other friends were in a neighbor’s basement. I felt that they would be safe. Later in the night, I found out that their were trees down near my sister’s house and down the road from them, but everyone was fine,including their houses. However, if you keep driving down the road they live on to the other end of the “valley” as we call it, many were not as fortunate. I haven’t seen it, but they tell me of the houses that are just gone;brick houses, mobile homes, 2-story houses. You name it. Their was also many who lost their lives, as well. I just watched a video of someone interviewing a man who lived in the valley, telling of how his father died trying to protect all of his kids.

I was also scared when later in the night we heard the weather man say,”Elmore county. You should be in your safe place now!”Ummm. That’s my county. Where I have many friends that I love. Needless to say We went to our hall bath,(I so want a basement in our next house) which is an interior room away from windows. The kids went with their pillows and PSP’s to wait out the storm. It ended up going north east of us into Eclectic, which is about 20 minutes from my house.The storm just totally devastated that area and killed 6 people. I didn’t know any of them personally, but my heart still just aches for their families. I tell you about these little places in AL, and there are more, that you probably won’t hear about. But it happened here too. Very close to home. Most people will only hear about the bigger places like Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Cullman, etc. Likely so. The devestation there is just awful. It’s hard to fathom that parts of a Tuscaloosa, where I was just 3 weeks ago for U of A’s spring football game, are demolished. It’s heartbreaking! While I tell you that I was scared, I know that my Heavenly Father was watching over us all. That gave me comfort. Whatever the outcome, He will give us our peace and comfort.

While I’ve shed tears of sadness, I’ve also shed tears of joy. I’ve seen my community and heard of many more come together to help wherever they can. Donating clothes and food, sorting clothes, cleaning up trees, picking up personal items from the ravaged areas, and the list goes on. That makes me happy!My son, Trent, and I went to Eclectic on Saturday to help wherever we could. As we rode on the bus out to the affected areas, my eyes just welled up with tears. Until you see the trees snapped, only a porch standing, but no house, a 100 yr old church reduced to rubble, parts of houses in trees, and tents pitched so homeowners can safely guard their belongings, it’s just not as real. I feel so very spared, thankful, blessed……I wanted my son to see that this is real.We have a home, clothes, beds, video games, computers and kids 20 minutes up the road just don’t have those comforts anymore. I think he got it. Although, we didn’t get to actually work as much as we had wanted, I was happy that he was so willing to help his neighbor and show compassion for people he didn’t even know.Laci and I also went to sort clothing on Sunday with other ladies from our church. She was so eager. She said, “Are we gonna go mom? I really want to help.” Thanks for having a giving heart Lace. I saw many kids,adults, young and old, just wanting to help their neighbor. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about.

I am a proud southerner. I love Alabama. Always have and always will. I feel for all the states affected by this storm, though. It just makes you hug your kids a little tighter and makes you take a look at your life. Or at least it did me. What can I do? Where can I go the extra mile? How can I better serve my neighbor? How can I better serve my family? I’m so thankful for the gospel in my life and for good people in the world.---Sorry for the long post, but I had to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard ; ) and tell my feelings . ……..My Home’s in Alabama. No matter where I lay my head.

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