Friday, April 07, 2006

too close for comfort

I'm sitting at home today at 2:15 and I knew there was a tornado warning for my area. I told Caroline, "it's too quiet" and looked out the window in my Den and saw it getting black. Suddenly, I heard a sound like a train and Caroline and I ran to get in the closet under the stairs. We were only in there about a minute, crying and praying, and I could tell it passed by. I looked out my back windows and some large hail was coming down, then steady rain for about 5 minutes. After that, peace.

The electricity went out at the very minute we hit the closet so I was getting bored and hungry. My Mom called about 30 minutes later to tell me her power was back on. Caroline and I jumped in the car in our pajamas and decided to head over there. When I got to the end of my street, my heart about stopped. I gasped when I saw two houses LEVELED one street over. They were blown completely off their foundation. This is literally five houses down from mine! The neighborhood behind that street looks like a war zone. One house is blown to smithereens. I was in shock! I had been hearing sirens for about 30 minutes but I thought it was coming from far away. There were large old trees across our main road and it is totally blocked. Fire engines and police cars were everywhere along with most of my neighbors who were just as shocked as me. I cried, said "oh my God" about a hundred times, called Mike, called Annie, called my Mom and just sat in shock. I had looked out my back windows after the storm but not the front. You can see the beginning of the destruction from my house. I kept asking myself, "how did I not realize this had happened?"

We weren't able to get out for several hours. Mike had to walk about a mile to get home to us. Finally, we set out in my car and tried to go another way and were able to make it to my Mom's. It's so good to have electricity again! I am just in shock that this has happened. My neighborhood looks like footage from Hurricane Katrina. In the middle of my town, there is no damage, just right in my neighborhood. The next town over (Gallatin) has horrible damage, including leveled houses in the $400,000 range, car dealerships gone, McDonalds blown down, gas stations leveled and more.

When we built our house, I went out to it one night before the walls were all the way up. I stood in the top floor, by myself, in the dark. I remember not feeling scared at all, even in the darkness. I had total peace. I prayed that God's hedge of protection would be all around the house and since then I have prayed at the doorway of my child's room and other doors. An oak tree was pulled up at my back fence and then across the street there is devastation. So it hit behind and in front of me and passed me by. I know it is by God's grace that we were spared.

Please say a prayer for everyone in this area if you can. I am continually praising God for our safety. I just wanted to update everyone. When my power comes back, I'll post pictures of the end of my street. You will not believe it.

Love ya! (the pic at top is from the news site - it was taken in the town next to me)

13 comments:

Gina Bolling said...

So glad to see that you and your family are fine. I saw the news story on Foxnews.com and knew this was close to where you live so I was glad to see this morning that you posted. I'll pray for your community. It's ironic how we can watch hurricane coverage, etc. on tv, but we are not ammuned to tragedy in our own backyard whether it be weather related or otherwise. Trust in God is the only way to get through a hard time like this. Take care.

Seanna said...

Very glad you and your family are OK, Tracie.

Michelle Woods said...

I was worried about you Tracie but talked to Sherri and knew you were ok. I had the news on all afternoon the storms kept going just north or south of us here. They showed those large brick homes leveled on the news and I just could not believe it. So glad you and your family are safe and still have a home!

Sarah said...

Tracie, I was praying for your safety yesterday afternoon and last night. I'm so glad ya'll are safe and sound. God be with you as you are a help to your neighbors.

Tonia said...

Tracie, I am so glad that you and your family are safe. Isn't God's love and protection amazing? We will continue to remember everyone in our prayers.

Gwyn said...

Seanna sent me. These storms are amazing in the seeming randomness of their destruction. Having been through them myself over the years, I know.

I'll keep you and everyone in TN in my thoughts. I visited TN for the first time ever last fall for the Storytelling Festival, and wonder what took me so long to discover it!

Jann said...

My sweet friend...I rejoice in your safety. I know that the trauma of seeing the devastation will continue, but I pray for God's peace to remain with you.

I missed you so much last night -- I always enjoy when you are there -- but I particularly noticed your absence because I knew what was going on in your area. I realized I want years and years more to get to know you. I thank God that you have been spared rebuilding -- and that you, Caroline and Mike are safe.

You have such a tender heart to spiritual things, so I look forward to seeing what this experience leads to in your life. Perhaps if you scrapbook your feelings, one day Caroline will be in a scary situation and be able to read what her Godly momma felt and how you dealt with it and it will equip her in her moment of need. I don't know -- just was thinking about it.

Know I love you...and will continue to pray for you.

Hugs...HUGE hugs!

Anonymous said...

i am so glad you are ok...how very scary!!! Christine Traversa

Chelle said...

OH my gosh! I have chills and am crying. I'm so glad you are ok. How terrifying!

jennifer said...

I've not seen this picture! It's amazing! That is the parking lot of the bowling alley, so I'd call about your field trip on Monday!

So thankful you all are safe!

khuddle said...

wow.. I sit and read this and can not help but be overwhelmed by God's wonderful protection over you and your family!

Renee Graham said...

So glad you are all safe! If more people would spend time on their "hedge of protection" instead of their shrubbery-they'd be so much better off.
Glad you're you baby!

stephanie said...

I am so glad you guys are ok!

I will keep the neighbors' in my prayers.