Sunday, March 4, 2007

Do You Feel Bullet Proof?

This is the first picture I took on Friday morning, about 7:30 a.m.

This was so bad I went back inside and made coffee. Like this.

Resourceful, she is. That's a four-wick candle, an upside down steamer pot, a cup of water, and a spoonful of instant Folger's. Now, if you know me, you know that real home-brewed coffee flows through my veins. That I would resort to this shows just how desperate the situation was. The cup got so hot I had to wrap a dishtowel around it. I was always a good Girl Scout.

To give you a better idea of just how big the tree is, here's my man standing beside it:

He's a sweet, kind, gentle guy who has slept with a loaded gun the past two nights. Why, you ask, is he sleeping with a loaded gun? Because of the looters, that's why. The tornado hit us at 9:15 Thursday night. Not a single road or highway in our town was passable. I'm talking about tens of thousands of trees down, twisted and tossed like Pick Up Sticks. By 10 p.m. the looters were out in force. There were H U N D R E D S of them going up and down and street in front of our house all night long. They looted a sporting goods store first, then two clothing stores, a supermarket, the local McDonald's (were they after the cups? straws? what? I just don't know) and emptied out the Video Warehouse in 7 minutes flat. They were calling each other on cell phones. It was a well-organized looting conspiracy. Thank you, Verizon Wireless.

Me? I loaded up the boys and went to my brother's house in a nearby town. Not only was he gunless, he had food, power, cable tv, and working bathrooms. And even though he doesn't have internet, he had the foresight to buy a house near someone who does. That's how I'm posting--I'm piggybacking with my laptop on some random person's wireless service. Thank you, whoever you are.

Not everyone is bad, though. These total strangers walked up out of nowhere, carrying chain saws, rakes, gas cans, you name it. There were 8 or 10 of them. All they said was "it looks like yall need help" and started working. They thought they were clearing our side yard, and were absolutely amazed to find a road under the debris. As we talked to them we discovered they were from a church in yet another nearby town. Thank you, kind strangers. We are going to buy you guys a new chain saw.

My front walkway is under here somewhere.

There were two houses here. Gone. With. The. Wind.

In the next photo, you can see part of the sign in front of our house. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places, as are 400 other houses here. At least one historic house was completely demolished, and 200 others suffered severe damage. A total of over 400 homes were completely destroyed, with thousands severely damaged. Our hospital is gone, totally destroyed, along with the entire fleet of ambulances. Three people died.

On the third floor of our house we have a big playroom with TV, home gym, ping pong table, and all that good stuff. We call it The Jungle because it is decorated with a jungle/wild animal theme. The star of the show is a large taxidermied wildcat, perched on a tree limb. That cat can perch on a real tree limb now, since one went through the roof and is now INSIDE The Jungle.

We were glad to see the National Guard arrive. There are hundreds of law enforcement and state troopers here, along with the DOT, FEMA, Red Cross, you name it, they are here. There are power companies from the Southeast and the East Coast here, too. I don't know where they are going to get light poles. Things like light poles, transformers, and vehicles simply disappeared. We found a piece of our porch furniture down the road--it had landed upside down in the back of a pickup truck.
And the media. If you happened to see the shell-shocked fake blonde interviewed on ABC and MSNBC who said she was standing on the front porch and heard the tornado and stated that (and this is a real live quote here) "it scared the heebie jeebies out of me," you know what I look like. That was me. If you're not Southern and don't know what the heebie jeebies are, let me just say that it's a good thing we took shelter in the bathroom. I also talked to the nice folks with Georgia Public Radio and NPR, too.

Most roads here are still closed off. When I can get out and take more photos of the town I will post more.

1 comment:

CandlebyNight said...

So many thoughts!!!
Funny when I told dh about your house, I said to him that it looked like a historical victorian.
I can't believe it about the looters. When my dh went down south to work after Katrina, he said the looting was terrible and dangerous. Times like that make me glad you can still have a gun in the house! UGGG
Well girl, I said a prayer for you all. I do hope your life gets back to normal asap.
I tried to look at the news archives on cnn to see if I could get a glimpse of you, but no luck.
(I'm kind of nosey that way)