One year ago today, April 27, 2011, I woke up and turned on the news to see what the weather would be like so I could pick my clothes accordingly.  The weather man predicted rain and there were Tornado alerts scrolling across the bottom of my tv screen but I continued my day as usual.

When I got to work we kept hearing these alerts, and the rain got worse. However, I just continued my day.  That day my job was having a special luncheon and I went to the luncheon as scheduled, then the sirens went off and we were called into the hall of the building.  The President of the institution assured us it would "blow over", we sat for awhile and then we continued with the luncheon.  After the luncheon I went to my Godmother's office to see if we were going to stay at work, we carpool because we live in the same neighborhood.  We watched the rain for a minute and then we decided to leave.

On the way home it wasn't raining hard but trees were down everywhere, my daughter's school had called to say they were closing.  She kept calling me to come get her because everyone was leaving, there was no power in our area and the buses were not transporting children.  I couldn't get my car out of our garage because there was no power so I drove my Godmothers car to get her, but a simple 5 minute drive to her school turned into a 30 minute drive because trees were down all over the roads.  When I returned I tried to take my Godmother her car but she told me to just park it at my house, she would get it later.

We didn't have any power but everyone was looking outside at the strange sky.  There was an uneasy calm, I can't really explain it.  There wasn't any rain, it wasn't cloudy but it wasn't sunny.  Then we noticed things flying in the air and got a call that the tornado was hitting our area at 4:18.  It was 4:00.  We still stood looking out the back door until he told me and my daughter to run to the closet.  I grabbed my dog in her carrier and my Delta line jacket and joined my family in a closet.  There was the loudest noise, as if we were on a train track, then the house shook for a while.  Silly me, tried opening the closet door because I thought the windows in the house had been blown out.  Thank goodness for the balance of the Libra scale because he kicked the door closed & called me crazy.

When things finally calmed we came out of the closet and my house was standing but when I looked out of the window I saw lights..... The neighborhood I once knew was gone......

With all of the houses torn down it was hard to find my Godmother, phones weren't working, we just ran in the direction of where her house used to be.... When we got to it....

Luckily she was safe, sitting on her steps with her dog in her arms, pictures of her daughter and a bag of shredded cheese... We still don't know why she had that cheese! lol

The one thing I remember is going to Publix to get something to eat and I couldn't swipe my card because of the power outage, and the manager of the store paid for our groceries.

Today half of my subdivision has come back and rebuilt, and their homes are even better than what they had before.

Yes when it rains we all get nervous now.  It has brought us closer because now my neighbors are now on my daughters check out list at school and vice versa. But there are still reminders of last year when I stand on my front porch....

Or when I peek out of my bedroom window....

And even when I walk the dogs...

Homes were destroyed but only one death occurred in my neighborhood.  One man was thrown miles away into an empty field but he only suffered from minor injuries.  I had minimum damage to my home, and we didn't have power for over a week but we have our lives.  Now I'm cautious when I hear those tornado warnings.  I am grateful that me and my loved ones were covered during the midst of the storm.  Like my Bigma says.... "I don't know about YOUR God, but MY God!!!!!" .... Sometimes it seems like saying Thank You isn't enough.

~Dee

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