Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Another belated update or Almost Gone with the Wind

I know, my last post might have given some hope that I would show up here more frequently. I confess I even thought I would. However, there is no way I can let recent events go unchronicled . I will start with the biggest event... the one that made national (international?) news this past week.

Last Wednesday, April 27, our state was hit with a record-breaking number of tornadoes. One AP story quotes statistics of 226 tornadoes in one day and 334 deaths in the 24 hours between 8am that morning and 8am Thursday morning. We also had many severe thunderstorms accompanying the tornadoes, with hail and strong winds. The storms caused a 2hour school delay in the morning for schools in our area; as tornadoes began to form in surrounding areas, most schools wound up letting out early (my children's school has a tornado shelter, so it did not; my kids spent about an hour in the shelter).

Noah and I were out in the storm at one point (had an appointment that we didn't know had been canceled due to the weather) and stopped at a local fast food restaurant just moments after a tornado had been sighted less than a mile away (unbeknownst to us). Only a minute or two after we placed our order, we were ushered to the kitchen of the restaurant, where we got to wait out the storm for 30-45 minutes. During that time, there was an area-wide power outage; most of northern AL had its power knocked out, including where we were sitting and here at home. We were able to get home during a lull in the storm. Emily had gathered our candles and flashlights, so we were not totally in the dark.

Brian was still at work in Decatur (tornadoes were at work near him as well); the hospital was on emergency generator power. He wound up having to stay thru the night and next day, as the hospital was taking in storm victims from surrounding communities. Another regional hospital south of here in Cullman had taken a hit from a tornado, so could not provide care to victims.

To make a long story short.... we were without power from Wednesday afternoon until sometime during the early morning hours of Monday. Thursday morning dawned sunny and beautiful. We had absolutely gorgeous weather, temperate and clear for the remaining days. It wasn't until late last night that another set of thunderstorms rolled in.

Our time without power was merely an inconvenience, a slight one at that. Yes, we lost some food in the refrigerator and freezer. That's really about it. The boys spent more time outside than they ever do, getting to know the neighbor kids more, riding bikes, hanging out... We played board games by candle- and flashlight. Halle and I cut up magazines and made collages together. (Definitely therapeutic.... I think we'll be doing more when our magazine stash is built back up!). On Sunday afternoon, Brian and the boys accompanied a group from church to help clean up a home that had been hit by one of the tornadoes. The following newsclip includes a short interview with Joel, and you can catch glimpses of Brian (bald guy in maroon shirt) and Noah (tall kid in light blue shirt and basketball shorts with backwards baseball cap).

There are still some areas without power. So many lost homes, lives, and loved ones. I read an article today about one congregation of believers whose meeting place was demolished by a tornado. They met Sunday afternoon in a neighboring congregation's building. The article stated that "8 people rededicated their lives" during their service. I can't help but wonder why it takes a tragedy to bring about a revival. I guess it is just one more instance of the upside-down nature of the gospel. Sorrow can bring about joy, pain can bring about healing, and death can bring about new life.

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