Wednesday, May 4, 2011

First Day Back

Today was our first day back to school since the storm.  I was pretty apprehensive about it last night...I just didn't know what to say, what to do.

Umm, you wouldn't have known that a THING had happened by listening to those kids!  We went around the room this morning and gave everybody a chance to tell their stories.  It blew me away - they talked about it like it was just some other storm.  I realize that most of it is just childhood ignorance, but I'm thankful for that - they're too young to know what's going on right now.  Even the ones that lost their home just talked about it like was no big deal.  Totally shocked me!

I'm glad they had a chance to come back to school.  They needed it - the normalcy, the routine, something they knew.  I think it was good for all of us.

I am worn slap out tonight.  The first day back took more out of the adults than the kids - I think we were just all so concerned about the kids all day that we were in "go mode," and didn't worry about ourselves.  We also had to get all of our May handouts done today, reschedule a field trip, get everybody home safely (a HUGE task in this city right now) was a tough one.

I did go on my weekly grocery trip this week.  It is actually therapeutic for me!  I am going to keep on doing my grocery posts every week, but I'm going to start putting up ways you can donate/help your own community.  I think there's just no sense in having anything past what can sustain your family, especially with something like this going on.

Speaking of which, these are the most asked-for donations today:
  • Mops/Brooms
  • Pet Flea and Heartworm Medicine
  • Diapers (newborn and size 1 are especially in need)
  • Latex Gloves
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellant
  • Any baby products (lotion, shampoo, formula, baby food, activity centers)
  • Sleeping bags
  • Tarps
  • Tents
As much as we LOVE getting clothes, many places are running out of room for all of the clothes right now.  If you're sending any clothes to me, I'm either finding a family I personally know in need to donate, or I'm holding on to it for the time being, until the collection centers thin out a little bit.  So if you're buying things, you might want to focus on the things above!  Not that I am not SUPER appreciative of anything sent (and that it won't be used eventually), but if you're going to spend the money, I want it to be used the best way possible.

I got 2 huge boxes full of many of those things above today...have I mentioned I love you guys?  I'm working on thanking everyone who is sending something...maybe in a few weeks I can actually complete that task! :)

And guys, please don't forget about the other areas affected by last week's storms.  I know Pleasant Grove and Pratt City in Birmingham were really hurt, as were many other areas in the Southeast.  I know I preach about my beautiful town, but there are so many other areas that need these things.

Just to give you some perspective, I wanted to show you a pretty amazing before and after.  This video was shot just minutes before the tornado hit.  This is probably the busiest intersection in Tuscaloosa (15th and McFarland), at about 1-2 minutes in (where they are stopped at the traffic light).  You might want to mute the video because of language, but this shows the storm very well.

OK...look at that intersection at 1-2 minutes in...this is it 10 minutes later. 

If you look closely, you can figure out which buildings are which in the second video (as compared to the first).  They are both looking in the same direction for the first 30 seconds of the second video.  It's incredible for me to watch even now.

BUT WE ARE RECOVERING!!! It looks better every single day.  Thank you for all of your support and prayers!!