About Me

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I am a 42 year old woman that is about as happy and content as one person can be. My husband of 21 years and our 15 year old daughter live on five and a half acres out in the country. We moved from the city four years ago and never looked back. I homeschool our daughter. We also love our animals. Our daughter has a miniature horse and two rabbits. We also have a border collie, two cats (again), two pot belly pigs, four peafowl, three emus, 2 llamas and an undetermined number of chickens, lets just say ohhh about 200. I have many breeds, from layers to fancy chickens. I love poultry shows, I love fowl in general as I have come to find out through having more than just chickens. Chickens will always be my first love though. I do show some of my birds occasionally.

Monday, March 17, 2008

What Happened Saturday

First let me clear up that this was not the tornado that ripped up Atlanta on Friday. This was another system entirely.

Saturday morning early, about 6 am we had a thunderstorm come through. Had a lot of lightning..lot of rain. It went on through and was just cloudy for hours.

An egg customer came by...I happened to have the radio on in the kitchen. They reported a tornado warning right over in Alabama across from us. We were standing in the kitchen while I washed up her eggs when we heard this report.

I turned on the tv...they had already started tracking the storm. It started to have rotation. It was going straight across west to east..and we were right in the line of it. I dont mean a couple of miles from it, I mean right on the line.

Shelby gathered pillows and comforters and readied our walk in closet. She got Tip and I got a small carrier and put Phoenix in it. Ian was on the front porch looking for the tornado. The wind was unbelievable. I handed Shelby Phoenix. Everyone else would just have to ride it out and I just had to hope everyone was going to make it through.

I was standing at the front door and he came running from the west side of the porch yelling ITS HERE ITS HERE. At this point his clothes looked like they were going to be blown or sucked right off of him. We ran for the closet and huddled down.

What went on next was something I never want to go through again. Ever.

It came right over us. He saw it. I didnt. You could hear the wind, pressing hard against the house. You could hear things flying around outside. It was all over in a matter of about a minute. 

Let me say, I dont know how, but we sustained very very minimal damage. About 700 yards behind us...they were not so fortunate. Huge barn down, huge trees uprooted. You could see the path it took once it was on the ground. It went over us, not touching the ground until right behind us. One house totally demolished at the end of Bon Loop. A man and woman thrown 50 yards from their house. She was dead, he is in the hospital. We couldnt get through to check on Linda and Jim our neighbors that we love dearly like family..on Old Wax Road. They had it blocked and were giving no information. Later we found out that Lindas best friends husband was killed in the tornado. I had tried and tried to call Linda, but the lines were down. We were so worried about them. We could see their house from where they stopped us from going through...see there had been damage.

The next morning Linda and Jim came pulling up in our driveway. You cannot imagine our relief. They lost the barn and the garage. The house is okay. The cattle are okay. Two hours after the tornado a cow gave birth! A new baby, right after all that.

Her chicken pen was destroyed. We went to Lowes yesterday to get roofing shingles for us. I also had to get wood and other things like screws and hinges. I made her chicken pen first and took it over before dark last night for her three hens. Ian lit the pilot light on their water heater so Linda could have a hot bath last night. We will be going over there all week at least if not longer to help with the clean up.

We had shingles gone, a gutter came off the house. Two chicken pens completely destroyed. The chickens are okay, but they are all in little holding cages right now til I can get their pens built over the next two days before rain comes in Wednesday.

Believe it or not, we didnt lose any animals. Everyone was in shelter.

Ians friend Tex (from work) that lives in Talking Rock came over along with his wife. They are such good folks. Tex helped Ian with the roofing and his wife helped me with building the pen for Linda and Jims chickens. Tex also brought his chainsaw so we could help with downed trees today at Linda and Jims. We had unexpected company later in the day as Doug and his wife stopped by. Doug is retired but he did work with Ian and Tex. They jumped right in and lended a helping hand on both ends with the roof and the pen also. I was so thankful for all the help, so grateful.

We got the pen over to Linda and Jims and helped get the chickens in it. They had the road blocked off with tape...like that is going to stop anyone. We went through, unhooking the tape from the orange reflector on a sawhorse thingie.

I didnt know exactly why they were blocking the roads the way they were once the debris was cleared...but Linda said the police were expecting looters to try and go through the damage and rubble so they were trying to keep everyone out. I just didnt think about that kind of thing going on out here in the country. I guess it could though. The police havent had any of that kind of trouble so far.

After it went over and it was all over...I thought I was okay. I guess the stress and the realization of what had happened was hitting me hard and I didnt know it.

Ian said I was yelling a lot. Not mad yelling, but everything I said I was yelling, like I wanted to make sure everyone heard me. I even snapped at Mama while we were on the phone, and it was really for nothing. I never snap at my Mama like that. Ever. I had asked them to look at the tv, they were showing the damage up the road and to turn it on and look. Then Daddy put down the phone and didnt come back, and didnt come back. I was like HELLO HELLO HELLO...becoming overly agitated, by the time Mama picked up I was like what is going on, where did yall go? Freaking out, over nothing.

I settled down later..I got whatever was going on with me under control.

You may see the pictures on tv of the damage and devastation...but to see it first hand, that is a whole other experience.

I never want to go through this again, ever. This was my first time, and I hope it is my last.

Its getting daylight now. Got to let the chickens out and get this day started.

I do have one baby emu...the male, Joe still has to catch the female. Maybe by Tuesday as he has a doc appointment today. I have named the boy Boo and the girl will be Baby. Cute little names for what will be big old birds! I am holding Boo a lot and taming him down. I do have a few pictures I took...I will post them after I have taken care of things outside this morning. I also have two chicken pens to build and I need to go look for a big dog house for the goats to sleep in at night. Plenty to do, so I will post pictures later. We will be going to help clear and clean up this afternoon over at Linda and Jims, so I dont know if I will have time today or not. I have to get everything around here back in order before the rain on Wednesday. That said, with it raining on Wednesday I should have time to sit and catch up on some journals and make another entry here with some pictures.

Love you all, and thanks for the emails of concern. We were so very fortunate. It came so close to destroying everything. Just right down the road...a house lays in nothing but rubble, another with the roof torn off. That could have just as easily been us. Just yards away.


specialadyfink said...

God sure has  blessed you and yours.You are such a nice neighbor and friend .
So sad for those who lost loved ones and those that are hurt.
Take good care


mosie1944 said...

Don't forget to turn in all damage to your insurance company.  Even downed trees have a value.

wwfbison said...

This sounds like a horrible nightmare, I am so sorry for the loss of lives..how very sad.  I don't blame you for being stressed, you most likely had (have) some sort of post traumatic stress sydrome.  What you went through was horrendous.  The one thing you said just fired me up to no end...looters going through the debris of houses!  I cannot believe that anyone would stoop so low - you know I had not thought that people would actually do that.  Well once again, very happy to hear you, Ian & Shelby and the animals are okay.

browney44 said...

Oh Kelly, how scary!  We have storms coming in today. I am so glad everyone made it okay at your house, sorry about the friend that died.  Tornados are what I worry about most in the spring, living in tornado alley you watch all spring for them.


madcobug said...

I am go glad thay you all didn't get any more damage that you did. Glad that God kept you safe. Sorry about all the damage to homes near you and and the lives lost. Hope you get everything in order before it rains again. Lovya, Helen

mcknansmom said...

so glad you are okay!!!!!!!  my prayrs go out to all who were lost...take care

nelishianatl said...

I am so grateful to see your post and to receive your call.  Just hearing your voice knowing you were ok made me so happy.  This was awful.  AWFUL.  You all are such good neighbors.  Sounds like you had a little bit of PTSD going on.  I hope it doesn't resurface later as sometimes it does.  Glad you three are alright. Thank God you didn't lose any animals.  Looking forward to talking to you again.

Big hugs,


bhbner2him said...

Sorry to hear about the lives that were lost.  Praising God it wasn't more!  Chances are you won't ever have to go through one that close again.  -  Barbara

sunnybethe said...

Oh hunnie, so gald you and your family (critters, too) are okay.  YOu must have been scared out of your wits.~ Bethe

ally123130585918 said...

Kelly I am glad you all came through that with little damage ~ it must have been so frightening ~ glad your chics are OK ~ Ally x

schoolgal040 said...

I'm so glad to hear that all is ok. God does work in mysterious ways my good friend. I was thinking of you and Nelishia & Dirk the whole time.

Again, I'm so glad that you and the ENTIRE family (animals are family too :) are all safe and sound.

God Bless,

geocachelinda66 said...

I thank God you and your family weren't hurt.  I am sorry for those that were...  Linda

nay0114 said...

WOW I'm glad you guys are okay. I would have died I've never been in a tornado. Some have passed over, but never landed around my house. Glad you're there to help your friends out and so sorry for those that weren't as lucky.
Take care, Chrissie

jimsulliv3 said...

I haven't quite figured out if you sell chickens (to eat), eggs or raise exotic birds. Suffice to say I stopped by via another journal link which Old Timer's Disease will not allow me to remember.

When I was a kid, we raised chickens and also sold eggs. I always liked the chickens except for throwing mash (my job) 'cause I never wore shoes and you know what that means.

I'll stop by again. Happy Saint Patrick's Day.


gen0507 said...

I'm so glad that you all are alright.  Sorry to hear about your neighbors, & the people that lost their lives.  It's just so sad.


breakaway1968 said...

OH wow Kelly I am SOO happy you guys are ok and so sorry to hear of the few deaths around that area. How sad!  That had to be SO scary!   I hope that everyone who needs help in your area will get it!  Take care!!!  

plieck30 said...

I'm glad you three and the animals are okay. Sorry for the loss of others. Paula

solace223 said...

I'm very glad everyone is ok.  It's scary when something like that happens.  (Been there more times than I can even remember)  I doubt you will ever have a twister knocking at your front door again though.  Freak of nature.  pst..pst... just don't forget to post all the great stuff about getting the goats and emus... when you have time of course.  ;)

magran42 said...

I praise God for your safety!

robinngabster said...

How did I miss this entry?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I had no idea this happened.  I am so glad you are okay, that is so scary.  When I lived in NM we had several close calls with tornados and I HATED it!  I feel so badly for your neighbors that lost loved ones...homes can be rebuilt but lives...so so sad.