Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Continue To Be Alive!

While I was sitting in my driveway, with a blank look on my face, a couple of older adults with Salvation Army aprons on approached me cautiously, asked if I was the homeowner. I acknowledged that I was, and they handed me a single page with a graph on it about the stages of emotions I'll be going through. They explained I was 'here' on the graph, climbing toward a peak, (as the y-axis grows, as do they 'happy feelings'), and that at the top of the peak is the 'grateful' feeling, but that I would soon plummet down toward a horrible valley of anger and desperation. Well, it sounds really dramatic, but I'm pretty sure I'm still in the "well, I'm alive!" category of gratefulness.

Here are some more pictures of my house. I don't know why my house was one of the ones that was focused on, I guess it was on CNN,, several Michigan newspapers front pages, Univision (some Spanish station/network? my cousin told me...), etc. I think because the front face of the house is brick and the brick is untouched, it makes the house look stoic or something. The fact that the front is untouched does not reflect what it's like inside.

On my street, we're the 3rd house in, on the right side of the street. On the left side of the street, houses # 1, 2, and 3 are completely demolished. House #1 was leveled by the tornado, House #2 is the same floor plan as our (except not brick) and basically the entire top level of the house was blown off/away, and House #3 (directly across the street from us) is demolished as well.

On my side of the street, House #1, #2, and #3 (us), and #4 are all uninhabitable, will take 4-6 months to gut and rebuild from the inside and outside. But our houses will not be demolished, they will be restored. I'm not sure what's the better scenario, but that's our deal.

So here are some pictures of the house. This is mostly for shock factor, I admit. But it's unbelievable! I'm still slightly in denial!

My bedroom. OK, I won't lie, it didn't look much nicer than this before the tornado... :P
See that bookshelf? That's where my engagement ring was sitting. It was still sitting there when we went up there for the first time. Can you believe that?? The roof was torn off but my ring didn't get picked up. Bizarre.

Our family room

The kitchen eating area. You an see the debris all over the backyard.

Our backyard. The lower level windows on the right... I was sitting about 5 feet from the windows on a couch that faced the windows and about 10 seconds before the tornado came through I ran from the couch to the corner of the basement, then the tornado hit our house and the windows exploded inwards and the railing of those stairs went through the window. You can see the railing still there sticking out of the window on a diagonal.

This is the view from the basement window.

This is our garage. My car was in the garage, the garage door was down when the tornado hit, but was wrapped around the car in the aftermath.

Another shot of the basement, right where I was sitting before it hit. I honestly didn't know what was about to hit.

All boarded up.

I feel a little weird posting pictures of my neighbor's destroyed house. This is the "House #2" across the street from us. They have the same floor plan as us, their entire 2nd floor was blown off. They were out of town when this happened, so thankfully they didn't have to endure the actual tornado. They have a 2 year old as well.

This is House #1 across the street from us. The entire house was leveled by the tornado, so this is post debris-cleanup. I don't know the story behind why this toilet is the only thing left standing? There was an 87 year old man who lived here, his care-taker got him to the basement in time and he walked out of the walk-out basement without a scratch.

Our deck, post debris-cleanup.

Our family room

Family room

Bedroom, this must be after it was boarded up. But before it was cleaned up, obviously!

This one makes me sad. :(  My 2 year old's room. Obviously you can't see much here, it was just really sad to see it.

Across the street neighbor's (House #2) bathtub, with our house in the background. Here you can see the garage wrapped around the car.
OK, almost done with the pics. 

This it the deck chair from across the street House #2, which went through our front window. Nucking futs!


Stephanie Hain Torres said...

I cannot even fathom what you are going through - but it's such a relief that you made it to the basement just in time. In the grand scheme of things, that's what matter most. Your pictures... I just cannot even imagine. Thanks for sharing, and I'm so so so happy that you and your little one made it out of the storm safely!

Grace said...

Wow, the power of the tornado is really unbelievable! It's great that no one was hurt.

You must be feeling a little overwhelmed by everything: I send good thoughts to you and your family.

Jessica said...

Unbelievable! You are such a brave person Lindsay! I hope things get better sooner than later as far as your house rebuilding. We miss you here too! Take care.