Monday, May 23, 2011


I spent the weekend in my lovely hometown of Tuscaloosa attending a wedding with a dear friend and celebrating Grandad's birthday. It was a joyful weekend, but a cloud was hanging over my head the whole time. You see, I've been to visit several times since the tornado hit on April 27th, but I'd only seen bits and pieces of the damage. The National Guard was out in full force the last few times I was there, and rightfully so. Now that life is moving on, the most heavily damaged areas are back open.

Daddy very kindly agreed to be my driver so I could take pictures. We set out just after sunrise yesterday, and my life changed. Such intense sadness. I hated every second of seeing my hometown this way. I don't think it sunk in until last night, and I tossed and turned for over an hour thinking about all that we'd seen. I'm so glad my Daddy was with me.

As we drove through Alberta City, which is mostly leveled, this song (which we both love) came on my XM radio and it seemed like a movie score playing during the scene from a movie. Such a surreal moment in time. Click to play the song and then keep scrolling.

Picture-laden post...just so ya know.

{Forest Lake}

{Daniel and Olivia were right across the street from this at her apartment when the tornado came through.}

{H&W Drugs...we used to sell yearbook ads to them when I was on the yearbook staff in high school}

{Cedar Crest off of 15th St...Daniel lived here two years ago.}

{Two houses down...Daniel's friend Russ sat in the bathtub with his dog and made it out alive.}

{Rosedale Courts housing project}

{what's left of Full Moon Barbecue, Chuck E. Cheese, and Tuesday Morning}

{Mimi and Grandad's church in Alberta...the church Grandad grew up in...the church Daddy grew up in}

{neighborhood in Alberta}

{the ruins of Alberta Elementary School...empty of schoolbabies thanks to an early dismissal}

{twisted steel on Crescent Ridge Road}

{in the grace of God, indeed}

{I love a sense of humor, especially in ugly times.}

I still can hardly wrap my brain around this. My goal isn't to be depressing; I just don't want people to forget. The news teams have moved on, the charities will soon follow, but the work won't be done. It won't be done for a long, long time. Please say a prayer every now and then for those all over the Southeast dealing with this. I promise they won't go unnoticed.

PS--After hearing about the tornado that tore through Joplin, MO yesterday, I came up with an idea. I'm going to found The Society for People Who Hate Tornadoes and Want Them to Go Away Forever. You in?


  1. wow. these pictures are amazing.

  2. Put me in! That is just terrible. Wow.

  3. I'm in, sweet friend!
    I love the song you posted....a very poignant pictorial essay to bring awareness to the struggles and suffering in your hometown. Beautiful post. And I will pray.

  4. Lauren, it's just something else, isn't it? I'm so glad your college casa was okay. That was definitely a bright spot in an overwhelmingly sad day.

    Thanks for stopping by, friend!


  5. Val, I'll even waive your membership fees 'cuz I like you :) I thought about you yesterday with all the storms rolling through Texas. I don't know where you live there, but I hope you and yours made it through alright.

    Thanks for stopping by!


  6. Annesta, I'll waive your fees, too :) I've always loved that song (because my dad loves it), and it was indeed such a poignant moment when that came on while looking at the ruins in town. Thank you for stopping by, reading, and praying. All you do doesn't go unnoticed!


  7. I will happily join your society! These pictures are amazing. I attend the univ. of Al years ago - can hardly believe the devastation.

  8. Laura, I don't know how you found my blog but I'm glad you did! I'll be glad to welcome you into my anti-tornado club :) The damage is just jaw-dropping.

    Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again!



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