This morning I am glued to Facebook and the steaming video from WHNT 19, a television channel in Huntsville Alabama. Already this morning there have been tornado touchdowns in the north Alabama area and the day is only beginning. Do I really miss the weather of the southeast? Well, some days, yes, I do miss it, but today is not one of those days. Today I am enjoying a typical southeastern Arizona March day; crystal clear sky, light breeze, sunshine and temps expected to get to sixty (which is actually a bit on the cool side for this time of year).
In January I was able to repot my plants outside on my patio.
In February I was picking bouquets of pansies.
Winter can be cold here. Our first winter here (2009-10) was very cold, with too much wind and too much snow for my taste. But the subsequent two winters have been mild, with only a few very cold days and just a light dusting of snow on the Huachuca Mountains to the west of us. Spring and Fall are beautiful weather-wise and Summer here in Southeast Arizona is almost like living in the southeast, with temperatures in the 80s and 90s and a lot of moisture in the air with the Arizona Monsoon. Other areas of Arizona have more extreme weather; Tucson and Phoenix get very HOT in the summer, with days and weeks on end over 100 degrees and the northern areas of Arizona often get massive amounts of snow in the winter. So I am grateful that we live where the weather is quite pleasant most of the time, avoiding those extremes.
As you will have noticed, I got a bit behind in posting pictures this past week. I think I am now caught up to today and hopefully I’ll find something later today worthy of a picture! I also realized this morning that it is now May and time for an overview of April, which I will try to get done soon.
The last few days have been heart-wrenching and unsettling ones. For almost 48 hours, beginning late last Wednesday afternoon, I have been glued to the TV and the computer, watching the coverage of the devastation in Alabama. Most of Thursday I spent relaying information via text messages to my son Charles, since they had no power and no other way of getting news. We were very lucky that our immediate friends and family came through okay, but we do know that Bill’s IT manager when he worked in Huntsville lost their house to a tornado. And we also know that many relatives of friends in the area lost homes and businesses. Even this morning, five days later, I see the pictures and updates and I just can’t believe it. Some ask how one could live in an area where a tornado can wipe out everything in a second, but most of the time it is such a beautiful area to live. And I think it is human nature to believe it can never happen to you.
Interactive Maps of Tornado Activity, Deaths By County (Alabama)
Be patient. This loads slow but has quite an impact.
Lawrence County is where we lived and my Dad still lives. Morgan County is where Charles lives. The Tornado Activity tab shows a tornado touchdown in Speake, yet my dad said they had no damage.
In addition to being absorbed by the events in the Southeast, I have been spending much time updating Bill’s resume on the job boards and searching for opportunities for him. This weekend I printed off probably 50 possible jobs in Arizona (Phoenix and here in Sierra Vista) and Bill spent the weekend reading through them and making notes on them. Some we applied to yesterday, others are in a stack on my desk to apply to today, and many more were rejected for various reasons. Since his job ends June 3 and the contract has not been awarded yet (it was supposed to have been awarded the first part of April!) it is getting more difficult to see us staying here for much longer. Time to begin packing a few things, weeding out some stuff, and making plans!
When I wrote about all the activities the first part of March, I forgot to mention last week’s tornado! Imagine that! I guess that shows how crazy March has been if I can forget about a tornado.
So, last Friday. I had just finished frying Bill’s egg when he came out of the bedroom and said that the EBS (Emergency Broadcast System) had come on the TV and said tornado warning for Leon County. The warning stated that there was a tornado about 7 miles north of Woodville, in the south Tallahassee area, which is exactly where we are. It had been raining out, but suddenly it seemed as if the rain was coming down harder and the wind was blowing the trees about more fiercely. Bill looked out the window and said, “The sky has that funny green color. You better wake the boys and tell them to get away from their windows.” At about that time, the power went off!
So I went to wake the boys while Bill scooped up Miss Munchkin from her bed on the living room floor. We all met in the master bathroom, which we had decided when we first moved here would be the safest place in the event of a tornado. About the time the boys made it to the bathroom, it appeared as though the storm had passed. The rain quit and the wind quieted down. Our power was out an hour, but that seemed to be the only problem. Bill went to work, David headed to college, and we went on about our day.
Later, when I walked the dog, I only noticed one small area of the complex that had a lot of shredded leaves and twigs lying on the driveway. Bill said one street he takes in to work was littered with the same debris. And then we heard reports of damage in the Capitola area, which is about three miles from us. We figure the tornado must have been right about tree top level over us and then touched down later.
Here are some reports on the tornado:
What a way for Miss Munchkin to wake up on her second birthday! Luckily, the rest of the day was uneventful.