Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tornado Stories

I just wanted to share a few quick tornado stories. One from my cousin at the University of Alabama, one from a co-worker, and one of my own.

Moving Out
My cousin is a freshman at the University of Alabama. This year she lived on the 14th floor of 'Tut' and watched from her window as a massive tornado destroyed Tuscaloosa. The university lost power & water, was forced to move graduation, and cancel finals. I can't tell you how much my cousin hated that. She stayed 2 nights on campus with limited food and water then moved out. The move out process is the story I wanted to share. Picture in your head a 14 story, all girls dorm. Then add some Alabama heat. Then take away all power and sources for clean water. Then think about all of these girls trying to move out at once. In order to avoid as many trips up and down the crowded stairs as possible guess what happened? Lots of clothes and bedding shoved into garbage bags and tossed out 14 story windows, exploding as they hit the ground. Call me whatever name you want, I think that's funny.

'Nilla Waffers
One of my co-workers lives in 'downtown' Ringgold, and his home was hit in the storm. One day last week his son, a local teacher off work due to the closed schools, was clearing brush at my coworkers house when he saw some people walking up the street. It was a father and his 4 year old daughter pushing a stroller up the street and talking to each person she passed. When she approached my co-worker's son, she asked him if he wanted anything. He said no, he was fine. She pressed again, asking if he wanted a cookie. He said yes, and she handed him a Single Vanilla Wafer cookie, and walked away. This 4 year old girl saw all of the devastation around her, had a box of 'Nilla Wafers, and wanted to share. She knew how many people were suffering, so she gave only one cookie so she could give something to as many people as she could. How FREAKING CUTE is that!

The Coolest & Saddest thing I have ever Seen
This is not a very good picture because I felt HORRIBLE taking a photo of these people and not stopping to help. I was in this area because my uncle owns some property on the south end of Clonts Road in Apison TN, and he asked my dad and I to come by and help him make some decisions about his barn that was flattened in the tornado. He was running late, and since we were coming from the GA side, he told us to drive up to the end of the road and come back to meet him. It looked like a war zone. It was worse than the other areas I had been through because of how concentrated the population is. As we passed the painted "We Survived" and "God Bless Our Community" signs and came to the end of the road, we saw about 12 cars parked on the corner. The neighborhood coming together for a bonfire. The sense of community in the middle of all the destruction was overwhelming and encouraging. When we stopped to make our turn, we looked closer at the bonfire and realized that the fire was burning what was left of a home. I have never seen anything so sad in my life. The sense of intrusion on something so real and painful, it made my heart slow down, wanting to minimize my impact on the scene. You just knew if you weren't helping, you shouldn't be there. What was happening was not to looked at from the outside like an exhibit in the zoo. The bonfire reminded my dad of a refugee camp you would see on TV. It was not something I was expecting to stumble upon less than 5 miles from my parents undamaged home. It was so great that the community was coming together to support each other and work through the destruction, but the work that had to be done was beyond sad.


  1. wow, that would definitely be a bittersweet sight to see.

  2. Wendy - It was, but as you get to see the cleanup and rebuilding process unfold it becomes more sweet.


Sooooo, the spammers have finally discovered my blog. I'm not sure if that means I've 'made it', but it does mean that I have turned on comment moderation for my older posts. Don't worry though, I get the notifications quickly, and promise to read and publish anything that doesn't include random comments or suspicious links.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...