MY sincere heartfelt thanks for your thoughts, prayers, and voices of concern during our recent devastation here in the Deep South. MY Stae of Alabama suffered devastating losses last Wednesday, April 27th when a series of F3, F4, & F5 Tornadoes ripped through our state and my own community. Me and my family spent over 2 hours in a storm shelter which was built back in 1974 after the super outbreak of tornadoes killed 7 community neighbors. This "storm shelter" resembles more of a "storm pit" rather than the newer models of storm protection on the market. In the south, basements are rare so storm shelters are either built in the ground, under garages, as a safe room in new home construction, or above ground reinforced structures.
I am safe, my family is safe, but we have suffered so much loss of life and property all around us! To say we are grateful to be alive is an understatement. During our stay in the storm shelter, we had a battery operated radio and we could hear tornado warnings coming almost every 20 minutes for over 4 hrs. Tornado forecasting and tracking is a real science down here and thanks to the incredible work of local meteorologists, thousands of lives were saved. Even so, over 300 have died state wide and approz. 11 have lost their lives in my immediate community. Ladies, it looks like a war zone...no other way to describe it.
Google or YOUTUBE the following: Tuscaloosa, Birmingham , and Harvest Tornadoes to get a first hand look at what I'm describing. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and in this case, "they" are so right. From Birmingham north, most of the power was out for several days and in some cases, power is STILL out!! I was out of power for 6 DAYS!!!!
6 DAYS is a L..O..N..G time to be without electricity and phone service. Grocery stores ran out of battereis, and many basic supplies. People stood in line for hours hoping to grab one of the few generators available. Size C batteries were GOLD. Fortunately, I keep a good supply of various batteries on hand so I had enough to play my old fashioned radio!! Would you believe, few people have a plain old fashioned radio/CD player??? My son kept laughing at me when I told everyone at Christmas that I wanted a PLAIN RADIO, no computer, MP3, Ipod, whatever...just a plain old radio!!
Guess who had THE most popular item during Stormageddon 2011???YEP...GRANDMAMA with her quaint Boom Box CD Player/Radio. It was our ONLY source of information for 6 days!! The first 2 days of the storm, the local TV stations had very spotty coverage until they got MAJOR generator power. Cell towers were down, land lines didn't work and #1 husband had to drive 10 miles to get a signal in order to make a phone call.
Talk about going back in time...we DID!! However, with the exception of the huge sadness over the loss of life and property, a LOT OF GOOD came out of the storms. One lady told a radio announcer she had no idea there were so many children living in her neighborhood until the power booted all the kids outside and off their video games, cell phones, and other electronics. She noted kids were playing outside and the sound of children laughing was good medicine after so much devastation!
What did I do for 6 days without power? PRAYED a lot!!!! Everyone of Faith and even some without Faith found a renewed relationship with the Heavenly Father. When you face death in the eye, it tends to humble you!
My family loves to camp and last summer we renewed our interest by purchasing a pop-up camper complete with Propane stove!! Can I say a big Whoop Whoop here! I actually camped out in my own yard/driveway. #1 H fired up the stove and cooked breakfast every morning. He had my HOT coffee/Tea ready when I rolled out of bed. Not only did he cook for the two of us but for his mother and several elderly neighbors.
I cooked up some awesome chicken fingers one night. I had to quickly use up the meat in my freezer (lost the contents of TWO FREEZERS and ONE DEEP FREEZER) so I found some cornflakes and chicken tenders. I rolled the salt peppered chicken in crushed corn flakes and fried those babies up! We weren't concerned with eating healthy, just eating anything available was our focus. With some corn from the freezer and the last of the salad, we ate like Kings. After canned spaghettios and bologna sandwiches, I do believe it was the best meal I've ever had. Funny, how you learn to appreciate the small stuff in times of crisis!!
OH How I enjoyed having my stitching & quilting to keep me company for long hours. I even stitched by the light of an oil lamp at night!! It was hard on the eyes but satisfying in some strange way. Sewing became my companion and I dont mean machine sewing...Hand Sewing gave me many hours of pleasure this past week.
Aren't these some adorable embroidery patterns I found for free on line??!!!
PROJECT QUILTS FOR HUGS
I'm collecting quilts for children who have lost everything and there are hundreds in this situation. Many injured young children are in our local hospital! I'll be talking more about this in future posts. Won't you PLEASE help me??? Do you have some charity quilts ready to go or can you stitch up something quickly??? These quilts will be used to comfort a child or infant that has lost everything. I'm getting names of children and will make sure they receive these quilts or hand knitted blankets.
If you are interested in helping with this project, make a comment and I will send you my mailing address.
I will be Guest Blogger at Sew We Quilt @Stash Manicure on Monday, May 9th and I will mention my project and then direct interested parties to my blog.
That's all for now...my appreciation for your sweet comments while I was GONE but not forgotten. It's amazing to me that I have cultivated a group of friends I've never met but feel so connected to via blogging. Don't you??? Tell me how You have met a friend from blogging??
Will you donate a quilt?? Will you??? Your donation will be so important in the heart of a child.
In some small way you can "volunteer" your talents by making & donating a quilt or knitted blanket!
I had a similar story when I was 9 yrs. old but that's tomorrow's story!