Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thankful, Thankful, Thankful!

Well, it is good to feel back in civilization again.  We just got power back this afternoon after a full week, wow!  I am NOT complaining, though, so many people lost so much from the tornadoes and please continue to pray for the families who lost their homes and for those who lost family members.  It is heartbreaking and very sobering.  We live in Harvest, Alabama and the last tornado that went through our area was the F5...we were extremely blessed that it skirted our neighborhood, extremely blessed.  

We barely made it out of school and I don't mind saying, we've had our share of duck and cover but last Wednesday was unbelievable.  We had a delayed start of two hours but as I pulled into the parking lot, the sirens were going off.  We went straight into duck and cover and other than a time of about 45 minutes, we remained in duck and cover for over four hours.  Our babies did so well.  No one cried, no one complained.  My class was in the boy's bathroom (I know... but it did feel very safe) with newspaper on the floor to put their little heads down.  It was funny, during the brief moments we were able to let them sit up, they just sat thumbing through the paper looking as if they were waiting for their second cup of coffee at Waffle House.  :)   Precious.

At one point, though, it was serious enough that the teachers were told to duck and cover as well.  I've never had that happen before. I'm thankful there aren't pictures of that...  That was the only time, I truly felt some fear.  It passed though and a peace came knowing that the Lord was in control and we would be alright in a few moments one way or another.  He kept us safe and I am so very thankful.  We were finally able to dismiss between the tornadoes-we had to wait for a window of time long enough to get the buses out.  We have app. 1100 students so dismissal takes awhile on a normal day.  Bless our parents, though, they hustled to pick up their children and we were all out of there before 2:00.  It was already flooding and trees and power lines were down all the way home before the next series of storms hit.  I was glad to get home.  My husband and youngest daughter were already home and we spent the better part of the rest of the day in a very small guest bathroom with our two dogs.  Do you know that I had not charged my cell the night before and it barely had any power but that it held through until the very last tornado passed through so that we could maintain contact with my oldest daughter (away at school) until it was all over?  Thank you, Lord!  

I learned a few things this CAN live a week without electricity (email, internet, blogging, etc!) that having water truly makes all the difference.  You can live with cold showers, you can log an unbelievable amount of time reading, you can sure put those girl scout skills to work with cooking outdoors, that Lean Cuisines don't taste all that great cooked over a campstove (blech!) and that your family really are some pretty cool people to spend time with.  No experience is ever a waste of time, effort or energy.  There is value in every single moment of every single day. It is a gift from God.

We went to a hard hit neighborhood to try and help on Saturday.  I would like to say we actually contributed a great deal but the truth is, we just felt like gawkers.  We wanted to help but most people looked so stunned as if they didn't know where to even begin. We tried to help people collect belongings from the rubble but the truth is there really wasn't much left where we went.  It was very humbling. 

I think the best way anyone can help right now is to donate to the red cross and to give blood.  I think Tide Loads of Hope is a good idea, as well. 

Thank you for letting me have this time, I feel as if I just needed to talk.  I hope this finds you all well and it will be good to get back to the classroom tomorrow.