Here in farm country the roads are few and some travel the same paths they have since the early 1800s. Granted some new ones have been added, but not too many. Hence, no matter which road you travel you will inevitably run into tornado damage.
We try to avoid it, to not become a hindrance to the efforts to clean up and get on with life, but it is impossible, you see it everywhere. We are being told to avoid the worst hit places and we do. Though many do not.
The day after the storm broke with sunshine and the most brilliant blue skies. We needed that warmth and brightness to sustain us… it was a gift from God.
Even knowing He is with us we and our neighbors are nevertheless finding ourselves shell-shocked and depressed. We are grateful of course to be spared the devastation of the storms, but we are deeply shaken in a way that you probably will not understand. Though we did not suffer devastation, we are brought to an understanding of how it really was for others during the storm. We knew it was bad, we now know that if the storm came to our home we would most likely have been taken. We were the fortunate ones. We spent almost a week with no electrical power, no gasoline, no groceries. A week when we were running our generators, and trying to find out the news… find out where to go for necessities, for help… We are trying to get back to our routines, to help those we can and to return to the “normalcy” of everyday life.
We see the pictures on television and realize there is no normal at times like this. We fear the devastation, are grateful for not having to have suffered it, and our hearts are breaking for those who did suffer.
The wonderful news in all of this is that I found the owners of the “Storm Mail” and Mr. Garrison told me how much he appreciated that I called to check on him. He lost a cousin who was swept away while at work on their chicken farm. He told me his cousin “…didn’t think it was anything to worry about.” Dale and his wife Marilyn have lost all they owned, home and business. He said he had received several calls from people like myself who had found some of his things. We talked for a while and he told me his story. Before hanging up he asked for my address. I am so glad I called and that he and his wife are alive.
It is all so horrific, surreal, mind numbing to see. The areas of worst devastation are blocked to all but those authorized to help and the people who live in the area.
Healing will take a while. The reminders will be here for a very long time.
The ancient oak was possibly here when the Native Americans owned this land, It may have witnessed the first settlers, the cotton fields and slavery. That it witnessed the Civil War, and resultant freedom of the slaves is a certainty. It stood tall and sturdy through other storms that came and went. It provided shade at the bend in the road and we all admired its beauty. It grew less than one-quarter mile from our home.
A porch, its rockers, and a painted pony lay in a heap. The destruction of the property of those effected is pushed to the curb as rubble. Strange but true! The power that took all of this, peeled the roof off of the barn, leveled the garage, and pealed the brick off of the side of these people’s home…
left their bottle tree untouched.
Needing a break from the sound of generators and the news on the television, we drove out and into Tennessee. There we found that in spite of it all, the sun still came out and Spring continued to sing her song.
This pasture was filled with the sweetest scent imaginable.
You can help the victims of these storms both here in Alabama and in Mississippi by donating to the Red Cross.
An aside: Want to know more about Bottle Trees? What’s a Bottle Tree you ask? Click on the link —> HERE You will find that Bottle Trees have an interesting tradition.