Friday, May 7, 2010

Flood Relief

It is amazing how it seems so long ago that the flooding process began here in Nashville. It is hard to believe that all of the rain had not even started in Nashville at this point last week. As many of you may know, Metro teachers were asked to report back to school as of yesterday. However, once we all arrived, our administration asked us to go out into the community to help with the flood relief efforts (if we were able). So, yesterday a group of gals from Cole headed over to Disaster Relief to load boxes that were to be delivered all over middle Tennessee. We got there early to make sure that we could get on the "assembly line." Guess who managed to get stuck with loading the dried peaches she had boxed into the food boxes? ME! I just can't seem to get away from those peaches. :) It was a really good morning and we managed to load 1,300 boxes of food and supplies! WOOHOO! It is neat to think that someone's needs were met because of our time there.

Today, we decided as a group to go to a fellow teacher's home to help clean out, sort items, and tear out the drywall and flooring. I was not prepared for what we found in this area of Nashville...



Her part of the street was closed off...for obvious reasons...

A home with all of its belongings in the front yard...

This area had flooded nearly to the rooftops. Basically, every house in the area looked like this. Most everything in all of the homes was beyond repair. As you walked up, you could smell an odor that I can only assume comes with flood waters. A mixture of muddy water, rotten food, and quickly mildewing furniture makes quite an aroma. It was truly humbling to see the destruction. I have a newfound respect for my dad and all the work that he did with the Katrina cleanup. It truly is some of the dirtiest work I have ever done.

As we worked, a million thoughts entered my mind. I thought about how God truly is in control of everything--sometimes it takes a natural disaster for me to remember that. I thought about how I need to put less focus on material things. I thought about how long it will take these families to fully recover from this tragedy. I wondered what Andy and I would most want to salvage from our home in a similar situation. I thought about how ridiculously little air-time we have been given on the national stage. I thought about how tragedy can bring people together. I thought about how proud I was to say I am a Nashvillian. To say the least, today's experience was eye-opening and mentally/emotionally/physically exhausting all at the same time. Please continue to keep the flood victims in your prayers. It is so easy for us to get back into our routines and to forget. They have such a long road ahead...

I have so many pictures to post of various home projects that I have been completing in the last week or so to prepare for the big graduation party tomorrow night; however, my ongoing feelings of guilt about our home being spared from the flood waters has kept me from posting. So be looking for the updates when I feel it is more appropriate!!! Wish me luck tomorrow--I will officially walk across the stage at Tennessee Tech and hope not to fall on my face. :) I'm also hoping we pull off this par-tay tomorrow night and fool everyone into thinking that I can decorate and that I ALWAYS keep my house this clean--HAHA!

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend!

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