Saturday, August 27, 2011

In the Front Door

(Momma's house summer 09)

Walking in the door today from a morning of errands, I instantly thought, "I am so glad to be home." Basic, simple, everyday statement, I know.  But for me, it was huge.  There were many years that I never enjoyed walking in my door.  Well, that's not totally true.  I did enjoy being at home, but I never liked my home.  I'm not in love with where we live right now ... I don't feel like I've found my place to nest, but for the first time ever I really enjoy walking in the door.  I feel ok here.  I've been through a lot of mental battles over the years and tough situations and flat out crappy houses, and I just feel good here; thankful here.  When I thought about all of this today, I also thought about Momma and Daddy's home.  It's been four months since the tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa and there neighborhood in Alberta City.  Their house is coming together nicely and Momma moved back in a couple of weeks ago.  They were very fortunate in many ways.  But I know it has been hard to be patient and content constantly.  You know how somedays you can take the toys everywhere and the laundry piled up and then one day it is like you just wake up and "today is the day."  You're just at your limit and you spend the day putting things back in their place and cleaning.  Well, I know Momma's had those moments.  I know she's been so thankful, but I also know the whole situation has just gotten to her every now and then.   I can't blame her.  I understand. And I can't imagine not being able to do a whole lot more than be patient.

notice the shade ...

I never did a post on the destruction in Tuscaloosa.  I don't know.  It was powerful to me.  Tuscaloosa is my hometown.  There has never been a year in my life that I have not spent time in that town.  I went down right after the tornado and just couldn't believe what I saw.  Places I knew, but didn't recognize.  You hear people saying that, but it was true!  

Daddy took my brother and I for a walk down University Blvd, which runs perpindicular to their street.  My elementary school was gone.  I remember Grandaddy meeting my brother and me after school and walking us back to their house.  We used to watch the flinstones and I can remember eating buckeyes out of the refridgerator during commercials.  :)  

The gas station that was first a Krispy Kreme when I was in preschool (and Momma used to get me a chocolate iced donut every morning on the way to preschool from there:).) was destroyed.  So many memories on that one street.  Memories that I hadn't thought of in a very long time.  My Parent's house is across the street from my Grandparent's house.  Grandma and Grandaddy's house was destroyed by the tornado.  Daddy wanted to walk us over to take a look.  I guess I hadn't been over there (even though it is right across the street from Momma and Daddy's) since my Grandaddy died.  Maybe 11 years at least.  Wow, I was not prepared for the flood of emotions that I would feel as soon as I stepped on their paved drive.  I instantly remembered all of the long drives from Orlando and Tallahassee that we used to make "home" during school holidays.  (We moved to Orlando when I was in the first grade and Tallahassee when I was in the 5th grade and after my 10th grade year we then moved back to Tuscaloosa.) I remembered the long drives and stepping out of the car and onto the pavement and trying to walk along the edge like it was a balance beam and then jumping off of it onto the sidewalk and running up to hug my Grandparents.  I was so caught off guard by this memory.  I almost burst into tears.  I just left the drive then.  I know it was just a house, but that house was a huge part of my life and now that chapter was another chapter in my life closed.  I don't know if sad is the best word ... maybe powerful is better.  I have a lot of great memories there!

Seeing so many "sightseers" was powerful, too.  I didn't like it.  I know people were curious and I can't blame them, but I don't know, Tuscaloosa is my town and it just bothered me to see people riding through snapping images of the destruction of people's lives, basically.  It seemed rude.

I took photos, but not that many.  I wanted to remember what I saw ... what had happened to my town.  But I also wanted to respect those still living there ... or those who a couple days before lived there and now were just trying to figure out which direction was forward.

So I never did a post.  Just didn't have a feel for how to go about that.

When I started to think about all of this this afternoon, I was reminded how much I have to be thankful for.  I hope that you are thankful when you walk in the door today.  And when you start to wish for more, may I suggest you pray for those still rebuilding in Tuscaloosa.

(more images)

Momma's house after the storm.

the front yard side where the girls love to play in the sprinkler and roll down the hill

tree that fell on their house ... gives you an idea of the size of the trees that filled their yard

Windsor Drive from about a month ago ... Daddy used to go on walks up this street with the girls and it used to be shady ... not anymore

back drive that used to be lined with tall pines and lots of other beautiful trees ... looks like Southern California to me now ... nothing against So Cal, but it just isn't "home"

So much to be thankful for, yet so much still to be done.  It's going to take some time still ...
Thank you for your prayers!

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