Sunday, May 1, 2011

Much to be thankful for ...

I have much to be thankful for this first Sunday in May. Last Wednesday, April 27, parts of my town of Ringgold, Georgia were mangled and in many instances destroyed by an EF 4 tornado. A short fifteen minute drive from my home and my daughter's, Ringgold is where we do most of our business - my grocery store, bank, chiropractor, pharmacy, beauty shop, etc. - and there are many lovely older homes. Eight members of our community, four from one family, were killed.

But here at my home we simply had very high winds and much lightening. My husband was out of town, leaving me home alone with three dogs, a hamster, and a fish, and me trying to figure out, amidst the many watches and warnings, how I was going to get a muzzle on the forever battling Eva Jean and Charity, or attach little Oliver to my body (maybe put him inside my shirt?), and getting the four of us in the tub, in a split second. Melody and I were in touch every little bit via text and phone calls, but the four minutes between our homes seemed very far indeed under the circumstances. After one of our calls I told her with a catch in my throat that I loved her, and she, with a shaky chuckle, said she loved me, too. Neither wanting to voice the real fear beneath the surface, that 'just in case this is the last time ...' fear.

Meanwhile, Julie at Midlife Jobhunter was worrying about her son, Ian, who is a freshman at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. And Dinah at My Aimless Infatuation was dealing with her own fears near heavily damaged Rainsville, Alabama. I'm glad to report that they are both fine, and I'm sure Julie and Dinah will both have a post soon on their experience with this historical storm.

We still aren't allowed into Ringgold because of the damage. In the meantime, as I walked my yard this weekend, my heart was full of wonder at how lucky I am to have an intact yard, especially in light of seeing the forever changed landscapes on the news. I took these photos before the storm, but all remain as you see here. Spared. And I am so grateful.













(As a side note...can you find the camouflaged object in this snow photo?)


18 comments:

My Aimless Infatuation said...

Oh,I see that pretty white baby and thanks for posting your beautiful flowers. Linda,even in these devastating times you do have a way with words. My heart is so full with sadness over all this tragedy that I just can't put it into words right now except that I am forever grateful for those that were spared. Stay safe my friend.

Jeanie said...

It is so good to hear from you, Linda, and especially with the good news that you are safe and your home is intact after the storms. It is heartbreaking to see the damage that was done in your part of the country.
I grew up in Oklahoma so I know a little of how scary and awful tornadoes can be.
I hope we will see you back here soon.

Timoteo said...

It'a a pooch! (I had to enlarge the photo to seem him, though--looks like there is snow on his head!)

Glad you're okay!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I see the dog face. Linda, that second to last phone is most beautiful. What kind? Clematis?

Yes, the storms so destructive. My son sits a few feet from me right now, playing cards with my mom. Welcome sight to see him pull into the driveway with his entire dorm room tossed into the truck. He has now seen a tornado two blocks from him. So hope all will help with those in need now.

yaya said...

I'm so glad you are OK and all is well! My brother lives in Georgia and his daughters live in Alabama, but all is good there too. It's times like this that we find out what's really important. I'm glad to have you back posting too! Missed you! I saw the pooch in the pic right away!

Michele R said...

I am so glad that you and your family are OK. My heart aches for those other families. It was absolutely shocking to happen to have to drive past your exit for work the next day and see the hotel next to the highway with its second floor ripped off and the rest of the destruction. So many tornadoes and so many towns--it is mind boggling.

Wine and Words said...

I'm glad you are safe, and so sorry for your community. What grief there must be at the loss of people and landmarks.

dana said...

You and Coffeypot were my first concerns and I'm so damn glad you finally posted.

Where you had unbelievable good luck, I had the bad. Two trees in my Indiana house that we had "sold" but the papers weren't signed yet.

On a happier note, because of the trees in my house....the buyer decided NOT to buy. And the buyer was my ex-husband's family.

I NEVER would have been able to move forward with them in "MY" house.

kobico said...

Linda, I am so glad that you and the dogs, fish, hamster and garden are all safe. I hope the town recovers quickly.

Donna B said...

Hi Linda! So good to hear from you and know you are safe. I have been so concerned for so many over in your direction and so grateful for the majority of them not having any damage.

I see your white baby poking out of the trees...Is that Eva Jean?

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Linda,

Do you have an update on the safety of those in your area? More info on life after the storms?

I so need to post on this. I wrote an essay on my off hour while subbing/babysitting, but haven't transposed as yet. About the innocence lost in my son. Been a tad distracted by Ian coming home, my mom and brothers here, Jordan moving to Wyoming, end of school teaching with all the layoffs for school fund cutting (just what Texas needs.) Anyway, trying to figure out if I should go political on my blog. Have always tried to keep my views elsewhere, but maybe in need of a purpose. What do you think?

Do you want to know I'm in support of women's rights?

Anyway, if you can update on your community and any information on their current needs for those of us to contribute -- appreciated.

Missy B. said...

I see Eva Jean in the snow!!

I am so glad that you "weathered the storms" so to speak. We had bad weather and tornadoes here in NC, and luckily, they went around us, and our home is fine. I know that you must have been glad when your husband returned home~

Donna B said...

I posted the interview of Miss Judy from Tuscaloosa who was running into her hallway with her 3 cats when her roof blew off. When the roof detached, the walls fell in upon her and the two of the cats. One cat had not been seen in almost a month since the tornado hit April 27th.

While being interviewed, her ten year old cat Cadie came casually walking on camera...I had a huge lump in my throat and got misty eyed.

She said she had everything she wanted or needed...her three cats. During devastation like this, we are reminded what the bottom line is...our loved ones safe and our pets found.

glnroz said...

How have you been Ms. Wanderto the Wayside? I don't know how i missed commenting on this when you first posted. I have been a lot of "hit and miss" with blogging lately. Let us hear how you are doing,, glenn

rosaria said...

Oh, you've had your hands full this year. Love your flowers, and your visits are always welcome.

Lorna said...

Glad you are okay amidst all this wild, wild weather affecting friends all over. Lovely dog in the snow :)

ethelmaepotter! said...

Eva Jean, you silly! Get out of the snow, don't you know it's 100 degrees out there?!

Good to know you're safe. It's been some tornado season, hasn't it? I have many family members in hard hit areas of Alabama, but everyone is safe. My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones and friends, though, as well as those who lost their homes. The worst we had, thank goodness, was a couple of trees down.

Ginger said...

So glad you are okay and that there wasn't any damage at your house. Pretty scary.
I like reading your posts just as they are. I always enjoy the pics from around town that you show.