The Real Vertical House
vertical house records | white rabbit studios | hi-fi weddings | restoration website | photos | about

Day of the Twisters…otherwise known as: Blackout Snackout 2011 01.05.

Ten minutes ago I pulled my computer out of the closet under our stairs, as that was the last place we used it. Huddled in there with three kitties and pillows galore, we watched as the red took over North Alabama and our NOAA weather radio beeped and robotically told us over and over “tornado emergency”. Those words were completely new to me before Wednesday, April 27th 2011.

Let me back up – because Tuesday night can’t go totally unnoticed. Matt and I had our first show as Cute as Hell and it was awesome. My favorite part was seeing all of our friends that showed up and seemed to genuinely like the antics that were before them. Matt and I spent the two days before writing, recording, rehearsing, re-writing, re-recording, and re-rehearsing our “thang” before we had our first live show with 7 songs. I’ll be uploading it over the next few days and we can talk more about that then.

Anyway, the next day (Wednesday) started out with a Realtor continuing education class that ended at noon. Towards the last 30 minutes of the class, you could feel the tension grow thick as we all knew the weather was getting worse. Around 12:10, I made a dash for the car in the pouring rain before the next “real” round of storms blew in. I made it home as the skies grew more and more green.

The entire day was spent in and out of the stairway closet. At one point I remember my voice shaking as I told my dad we were under there when he called to tell me there was rotation over downtown and Monte Sano (our house is situated in between). We both said our I love yous and hung up the phone. My mom also called since she was still stuck at her work. I was so afraid that could be the last time I talked to them.

While guessing if the tornadoes that had blown through earler took out the warning sirens, we noticed police cars and fire trucks blazing through the streets with their sirens blaring. When our weather radio started saying “tornado emergency” we knew it was real…because apparently that means an effing tornado is on the ground coming towards you. Thankfully, after an entire day of anxious pacing and worrying and wishing and hoping, we woke the next morning with a roof over our heads and family units intact.

The past four days we had been without power, but that’s nothing in comparision to our neighbors across this state who watched everything they own get blown away. Let’s not forget the devistation and long recovery (that’s still happening) of Katrina. Or our friends in Japan who still have so much to re-build and are dealing with a nuclear threat, which is so intense that I can’t even wrap my brain around it. All in all, we had nothing to complain about.

The first night was a bit restless since we had no idea what the scope of the damage or what was going to happen next. The next day we walked downtown to attend the Mayor’s briefing, and it was a little easier to settle down and try to plan a “vacation”. We spent the next days walking, riding, cleaning house, doing garden work, BBQing, and enjoying every minute of daylight. It was nice to have no obligations online and to be able to unplug from the world for a while. Thankfully my phone worked pretty much the entire time…and you can bet if I wasn’t charging it, I was snapping photos. Here is an instagram documentation and bullet points of Blackout Snackout 2011!

Day One
Dustin shows up at 7:30am (phone charger! yay!)
We all walked to the Mayoral briefing at 8:30
Went to Star Market to get foods
Dustin wanted whiskey, so we walked to the liquor store
Ben pulls up!
We hop in his truck and head to Nico and TT’s for a lunch BBQ
Whitest BBQ ever: pizza rolls, salmon cakes, frozen burritos, veggies, etc.
Rode back into Five Points to a BBQ at the Carlton house where FOUR downtown restaurants had given them food
Home and bed early!

Day Two
Morning walk downtown
Totally cleaned our house
BBQ number 2 at the Carlton’s house
Played with a kitten (Mabel) and a baby (Vivian)!
Star gazed for an hour before calling it a night

Day Three
Morning walk
Free lunch at 1892 East (amazing!)
Cleaned the porch
Some garden work
Hosted a BBQ!
Star gazed, and then bed

Day Four
Morning walk with friends
Organized our upstairs…some
PB&J porch lunch
Weeded the garden
Cleaned the fridge
BBQ at Chris and J.D.’s house
Evening porch sitting
Heard shouts and claps from down the way, and then our power came on!

Now it’s time to play catch up! I have lots of WRS work (burning DVDs, editing a wedding and a 9 month old session, re-schedule meetings that were supposed to happen during the week)…and Andy has several websites he’s in the middle of designing. I’m beyond thankful that our only problem was lost power. It was actually a nice vacation, like camping in our own house. Honestly, it wasn’t much different than when we first moved in and squatted lived upstairs with no power (and no water for a while).

I must say, before I end the longest entry ever, that I am so proud of Huntsville! Everyone in my neck of the woods have been very hospitable and friendly. Restaurants were cooking and giving away food, neighbors were sharing and helping, and staffs of places were friendly and diligent. The workers and volunteers that have reached out and lent a hand. It warms my heart to see people unite in such times. This has been a rough time for weather…and I’m hoping the April showers are over and the May flowers will come play!