Today's post has absolutely nothing to do with gaming, but it is something I needed to write down.
First a bit of background. . .
I live in North Georgia, just about 15 miles south of where the Tornadoes hit so hard a couple of weeks ago, and about 30 miles south of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
I had to make a trip to the doctor yesterday (my Doctor is in Chattanooga) and it's the first time I've been up that way in about three weeks.
The night of the Tornadoes, our house got a bit of heavy wind, some lightning in the area, basically nothing more than a stout thunderstorm. I knew things were getting hairy nearby because the wife had the news station playing all evening and I could see the constant radar updates.
The next day, actually the next several days, We heard a great deal about what happened, and even saw the aftermath on the news. It was a terrible thing to see, but at the same time, even though it happened nearby, and people I know were affected by it, I still was not AWARE of how bad things were.
My mother-in-law's house was untouched, while half of her neighbor's house was gone, but I heard of this second hand. A friend of mine who lives in Birmingham Alabama had to go stay with friends in the Atlanta, Georgia area while power was restored, but he and his family were physically fine, although there was some concern since the last word on Facebook from him was that he, his wife and daughter and their pets were hunkered down in the hallway by the stairs while the storms raged.
Close to home, but still, unseen.
Then, I saw the aftermath first hand. . .
Yesterday afternoon, after visiting the doctor, and a local used book store to sell off some excess, unused gaming books, we decided to take the back way home through Apison, which is not far from Ringgold.
I could see some damage from the Interstate on the way up when we passed Ringgold, but not closely, and it was passing at 70 miles an hour, so it was only a few seconds glimpse.
Apison, on the other hand. . .
Looked like a war zone. There were trees, large trees, splintered and twisted, the debris scattered everywhere. This was a sparsely populated section we were going through, but it WAS populated.
The first house I saw had walls, and portions of the roof missing, the house behind it untouched. Across the road a bit farther on, there was the debris that at one time was someone's home.
At that moment, I truly understood the word devastation. I was looking at it, seeing it's aftermath, and this was 2 full weeks after clean up and recovery had begun. I know many people died during this event, and up until that moment, it had seemed quite unreal. There were houses that looked like they had exploded, debris scattered everywhere. Along a small stretch with a large curve, there was debris that had obviously been a home strewn by the wayside, in an area where I know no house had been.
I've driven this route innumerable times over the years. I've lived in this area all of my life, and this is the route I usually take to go to Chattanooga. Even after it's cleaned up and people return home, I don't think this route will ever look the same to me.
For the first time in fifty years, I know the true meaning of sorrow, horror and sadness.
I hope I never have to see this type of devastation again, and I hope none of you out there do either, although I know that such a hope is in vain.
On a more positive note, I must say publicly how proud I am of my daughters. My youngest is studying nursing and the day after the tornadoes, she and her sister went up to Ringgold to see if they could volunteer to help. They were turned away there, as things were still trying to be organized, but they went to my Mother-in-Laws and helped her as they could that day.
Kudos to all those who are helping in all the areas hit by these storms and other disasters.
And to those who have lost so much and will in the future suffer these losses, I offer my heartfelt prayers.