Photo Friday: the aftermath

Here in farm country the roads are few and some travel the same paths they have since the early 1800s.  Granted some new ones have been added, but not too many.  Hence, no matter which road you travel you will inevitably run into tornado damage.

We try to avoid it, to not become a hindrance to the efforts to clean up and get on with life, but it is impossible, you see it everywhere.  We are being told to avoid the worst hit places and we do.  Though many do not.

The day after the storm broke with sunshine and the most brilliant blue skies.  We needed that warmth and brightness to sustain us…  it was a gift from God.

Even knowing He is with us we and our neighbors are nevertheless finding ourselves shell-shocked and depressed.  We are grateful of course to be spared the devastation of the storms, but we are deeply shaken in a way that you probably will not understand.  Though we did not suffer devastation, we are brought to an understanding of how it really was for others during the storm.  We knew it was bad, we now know that if the storm came to our home we would most likely have been taken.  We were the fortunate ones.   We spent almost a week with no electrical power, no gasoline, no groceries.   A week when we were running our generators, and trying to find out the news… find out where to go for necessities, for help…  We are trying to get back to our routines, to help those we can and to return to the “normalcy” of everyday life.

We see the pictures on television and realize there is no normal at times like this.  We fear the devastation, are grateful for not having to have suffered it, and our hearts are breaking for those who did suffer.

The wonderful news in all of this is that I found the owners of the “Storm Mail” and Mr. Garrison told me how much he appreciated that I called to check on him.  He lost a cousin who was swept away while at work on their chicken farm.  He told me his cousin “…didn’t think it was anything to worry about.”  Dale and his wife Marilyn have lost all they owned, home and business.  He said he had received several calls from people like myself who had found some of his things.  We talked for a while and he told me his story.  Before hanging up  he asked for my address.  I am so glad I called and that he and his wife are alive.

It is all so horrific, surreal, mind numbing to see.  The areas of worst devastation are blocked to all but those authorized to help and the people who live in the area.

Healing will take a while.  The reminders will be here for a very long time.

The ancient oak was possibly here when the Native Americans owned this land, It may have witnessed the first settlers, the cotton fields and slavery.  That it witnessed the Civil War, and resultant freedom of the slaves is a certainty.   It stood tall and sturdy through other storms that came and wentIt provided shade at the bend in the road and we all admired its beauty.  It grew less than one-quarter mile from our home.

No matter where you travel you will see the piles, carried or bulldozed to the sides of the streets and roads.  Everyone has a pile that is waiting to be hauled away…

A porch, its rockers, and a painted pony lay in a heap.  The destruction of the property of those effected is pushed to the curb as rubble.  Strange but true!  The power that took all of this, peeled the roof off of the barn,  leveled the garage, and pealed the brick off of the side of these people’s home…

left their bottle tree untouched.

Accompanied by a truck full of rubble, the old silo now lays in the field like a crushed soda can at the side of the road…  waiting to be carted away.


Needing a break from the sound of generators and the news on the television, we drove out and into Tennessee.  There we found that in spite of it all, the sun still came out and Spring continued to sing her song.

This pasture was filled with the sweetest scent imaginable.


You can help the victims of these storms both here in Alabama and in Mississippi by donating to the Red Cross.


An aside:  Want to know more about Bottle Trees?  What’s a Bottle Tree you ask?  Click on the link  —> HERE    You will find that Bottle Trees have an interesting tradition.

10 thoughts on “Photo Friday: the aftermath

  1. Thomas Tharp says:

    Thanks for sharing the tale and the photos. You are experencing the emotions of those in combat zones. Deeply moving events. Glad you and yours are safe.

  2. pixilated2 says:

    Thank you Tom,
    I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it is the very next thing to it. It’s been a rough ride and I know it will be better eventually. I see the old oak groves and how the wind stripped them clean, knocked them down, bent and broke them like toothpicks, and I am terrified to think of how our little cracker box we call home would have been taken in that violence.

    • pixilated2 says:

      I received a letter from Dale and Marilyn yesterday. They wrote thanking me for looking for them to see if they were OK. I had to reread it several times for the full content of their words to reach beyond my tears. It breaks my heart. I am so glad I did not give up. It made a difference to them that total strangers, myself and others, would reach out to them with concern and prayers for their well being.

  3. Anke says:

    It is just so sad to see that. Every time I drive through our neighborhood I have to fight back tears. So many people lost so many precious things…

  4. missusk76 says:

    You have been through a life-changing and life-affirming experience. Thank you for sharing it with us. I’m glad you found the owners of the mail and that that has given a positive feeling amongst the devastation.

    Thanks for the link on the bottle trees as well. I’ve never heard of them and was quite intrigued.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you Cindy. I have always wanted to make a bottle tree, just never got around to it in California. But I think I will make one in the flower patch out near the vegetable garden. Hope my neighbor won’t object. She’s kinda a “plain vanilla” person when it comes to gardening (grass, shrubs, mulch and rock borders). 😀

  5. pattisj says:

    So glad you made it through ok. The bottle tree is interesting. I think I saw one in a magazine, but had no idea its fandom was so far-reaching.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thank you, it was a rough time for so many here. Me neither (on origins of bottle trees)! I was so surprised, and pleased, to finally find out what all those bottles in the tree in the movie “Because of Win Dixie” were all about. (hundreds hanging down from the branches of an ancient tree) Did you ever see it? If not, you should. It is billed a kid’s movie, but I read the book and saw the movie and it is for all ages.

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