Friday, May 6, 2011

Home Sweet Home (125)

 When I am away from home, there a few things I miss most. I must admit, to me they are pretty strange and random. 
This past week I was up north visiting with family and friends and making more decisions for our wedding... which is less than five months away! Will I get everything done?! That's a whole different post though. 
Our visit up north was great. It usually is. Any time spent with family and friends that we don't see often is always special. This trip though was a big stressful and emotionally draining. As I am sure all of you have heard, home to us was greatly damaged. Thank God our home itself was not hit much at all, but the property surrounding our home has over 100 trees down. Before we left, we had heard the weathermen on all the stations predicting bad storms for that coming Wednesday. They say that frequently so we didn't think much of it. Maybe some severe thunder and lightening and heavy winds and hail, but we never thought what happened, would actually hit home for us. 
On Wednesday morning I was woken up by a call from Mono. I thought, hmm... it's pretty early for him to be calling, but how sweet that he is thinking to call me before he headed to work..... wishful thinking. Instead of a sweet morning call, it was a call with fear in his voice. He told me about the terrible weather that just ripped through our property and he told me of all the damage done. After it had settled down, he went outside to evaluate the extent of the damage and he took some pictures and sent them to me later on (I'll get to that in a minute). When we looked at what he sent, we were in total shock. From the moment of his early morning call, I watched our local weather streaming on my lap top. Mono ended up driving to work (it took him a very long time and round about way due to the damage in our area), loading pictures and charging up his phone. We had no power back at home and the cell phone towers were pretty much down and we had horrible connection. That call in the morning took multiple tries to get out what was going on. We kept losing the calls. Actually, the first things I could make out was bad weather and tornado. I was pretty frightened. Everyone heard me up with the weather on and was sitting with me watching the news. 
As the day progressed, Mono had been at work for less than an hour I think and he was sent home due to the threat of worse weather coming later that afternoon. I didn't even want him leaving for work knowing more was coming, but he did go, and thankfully he made it home safely. Later that afternoon, much worse did happen. He went to our house instead of his since ours has a little storm room and his does not. Being that Mono did not have electricity, I was constantly in contact with him to let him know why the weather sirens were going off. He had no way of checking what was going on. We told him where he could find a phone that didn't need electricity and thankfully we were able to keep in touch via phone. Around 3 pm, we were making a quick visit to a friend and he called telling me the sirens were going off again and asked me to please check the live feed online. Like the rest of the day, I went on the same website that showed live radar, videos, etc... All the coverage I'd need. When the site loaded and came up, I saw something I never expected to see, nor wanted to see. A very large sized tornado in the town right next to our little town that we live in. It is the same town I go to to do my grocery shopping, banking, cleaners... you name it... all my weekly errands are done there. As soon as I saw that, I just started to cry. I was afraid for Mono's safety, to know what was happening to the path that the tornado was taking, to wonder what my home would look like when it was finished.... so much was going through my mind. I called Mono and told him to get downstairs and I would call him when he could come up. I was so scared. I don't know what was worse... being there and not knowing or sitting hundreds of miles away, watching every single second and being helpless and fearful for my Mono and my home. Throughout the night, more terrible weather made its way through our area, including a huge tornado wiping out much area in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham (Mono works in Birmingham and I am there weekly). It was so unsettling. I didn't sleep well at all that night. I had wanted to go home and take Mono and bring him somewhere safe. That night, before bed, tornado warnings were popping up in the town I was in up north. How crazy is that? They weren't expecting anything bad, but a warning is a good possibility for bad weather to come. Between that and the constant thoughts of back home sleep was not something that would happen that night. At some time a little after 3 am, the tornado sirens were going off in town. I got up to check the radar and it was heading right for the town we were in. We got the kids up, took a pillow and blanket, grabbed our purses and I stayed glued to the weather coverage. Thankfully the storm passed us, but did not hit. We didn't go back to sleep at all that morning. Warning after warning just came popping up. Boy, I was so glad when I saw the sun shining the following day and I heard from Mono that all was okay. A lot of damage, but all was safe. Here are a few pictures from the destruction. I have not been out to just take pictures, so these are blurred from driving in the car. 

These pictures look real good compared to what it really looks like around here. I can't get anywhere near the bad stuff. This is just the outskirts. Eventually, maybe I'll get some decent pictures and put them together nicely. We shall see. It's not something I even want to take pictures of. It's just too sad to see. Entire buildings are completely gone. It's all just so sad. 

While I was gone, before the storm hit, I was already missing home. Not to take away from how much I love being with everyone though! Like I said in the beginning, there are just some things from home that I really miss when I am gone. This time, even though there was so much tragedy at home, I was still kinda wishing I was home, even with no power or anything. 

The random things I miss while I am gone... 
My shower... Oh, my shower is so wonderful. The pressure, the shower head... It's lovely!! Real lovely, in fact. :) Add to the shower/water issue... I am allergic to the water in Maryland. My face breaks out instantly. It's awful. 
My bed and my covers. While I am in a hotel, I miss them even more. I get so grossed out sleeping in hotel beds. It doesn't matter how nice, expensive or clean it may be. Thankfully we rarely have to do that. We have family and friends that like having us stay with that so it is very enjoyable to be able to sleep in houses I know. :) 
I miss the speed limit in the South. I don't drive real fast, but I get used to going a faster speed down here (we have a 70 mph limit on the highway) and when I go back up north and have to drive 55, I feel like I could run faster. 
These are just a few and real random, but I think about them most. 
And of course, whenever I go away, I miss my Mon. Thankfully, in between the time of the storms and the time I went back home, he was able to come up for a quick visit over the weekend. He was able to visit with my sisters, his family and my extended family. We had a special occasion in our family that his parents came to so we had a great time and they were able to meet more of my family! It was wonderful. 
I miss everyone back up north, very much, but it is always nice to be home... sleeping under my covers, showering in a high-pressure shower, while not breaking out, driving at my normal pace. ;)

So... Did you think this post was finally over? It's actually just beginning. ;) Just kidding. I do have one more thing to write about, but I promise not to prolong it. I'll save the details for another post.

This is our new home!!! 

I haven't written anything about it until today. We closed today and I wanted to wait until it was ours... for sure. :) Today is my Popa's birthday so I will never forget the date we closed on our very first home.

We won't be moving anything in until closer to our wedding and we won't be moving in until after our honeymoon. I am sooooooo excited! It's amazing how things worked finding this home and it has all been absolutely wonderful. I look forward to many happy and healthy memories to be made in this special little house! I will post again soon to tell you a bit more about it! But for now, I just wanted to share the exciting news! Finally!!

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