Monday, May 24, 2010

The Nashville Flood

I have been putting off writing this blog, because it is one of those moments in life that is impossible to put into words. I am going to try my best to summarize what happened in Nashville 3 weeks ago.

I drove to Birmingham on Saturday May 1st. When I was leaving Nashville, I had to drive through some of the heaviest rains I have ever been in. I (along with everyone else) was going about 30 mph on the interstate. The rain stopped about 45 miles out of Nashville and the rest of the drive was smooth.

In Birmingham, I spent the day with my mom, visited with my grandmother, had dinner with my grandfather. The usual. That night I got on Facebook and saw crazy posts about flooding in Nashville. I was mesmerized by what I was seeing. Then began my search of when to get home the next day. I decided my only chance of making it home would be by leaving early in the morning.

Sunday morning I woke up and headed out. The skies were cloudy, but no ran until I hit Nashville and then the skies opened up. The same rain I had driven through the morning before besides for this time, many sections of interstates were flooded and I meandered my way around the city to finally make it home. As I was pulling into my neighborhood, a neighbor informed me that the house at the end of the street needed to be emptied of contents because the water was rising. So, I dumped my bags in the house and headed out. We unloaded the house with every passing the water getting deeper and deeper. Then it was on the the basement of the next home. Then there was a little bit of a break. The rain even stopped around 6pm, but we were only beginning.

My neighborhood has people who lived in during the great flood of 1975 and so they knew where the water might come up to. We slowly began getting word that this was going to surpass that. We continued to move cars further and further up the street. By night fall, we came to realize that it was going to enter many more homes and so by canoe we got to the homes and began to move furniture to the second floors (of the homes that had second floors). Then there was an emergency rescue of the people in the house one street behind us where the water was now entering their second floor. And then some neighbors walked waist deep through water with a canoe to get some neighbors (2 sisters and their mother), who just moved here about a month ago, out of their house. The mother was recovering from a hip replacement and required a walker. They only had one floor and so there was no where to move their furniture. Around 3am, we decided we had done all we could and it was time to try to sleep.

I got a couple of hours of sleep and woke to find the water creeping into our yard. Neighbors headed back out to move more furniture to second floors of homes further up the street. I continued to go out and help and then return home to see where the water was at my home. At this point, we hear that there is a possibility of the river rising 5 more feet. This would mean our home. We decided to move our tenant out completely. Trucks and trailers pulled up and her place was unloaded. I got the instruments and important papers in the car in case I needed to evacuate. Then it was back out to helping others. The water finally peaked Monday afternoon, coming within 10 horizontal feet (1 vertical foot) of our home.

During all of this, I had not turned on the tv and so I had no idea what was happening around the rest of Nashville. Come to find out, we are only one tiny piece of what was happening all around Nashville and Middle TN.

We have since been trying to recover. It will be a long road ahead. Here are a few photos of our street.

A home close to the end of the street as it normally looks.

The house close to peak.

The water coming up into our yard.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Update on the Birdies

So, the robin sometimes has been in her nest, but it seemed like mostly not. The only time she really seemed to be there was at night and she must have been sleeping at night because she would not fly off until we were unlocking the door. This was quite startling every time, even knowing that it was coming. I have not been turning on the back light because I don't want to disturb her which only made it more startling.

This is how every night goes...We come home and pull into the garage. As I am walking towards the door, I call out (not quietly I might add) to the robin to let her know that we are home and that she should leave her nest for a little bit. I creep up the stairs hunched over in case she flies out she won't fly right into me. At this point, I begin to convince myself that she is not on the nest tonight. I put the key in the door and then she is off. It gets me every time.

On the other hand, during the day, I hardly see her. Until today when I came home and she was perched on the edge of the nest with a worm in her mouth. I am sure she was aware that I was there, but I just watched. Once the worm disappeared, she flew off to a nearby branch to watch me enter. I immediately grabbed a chair to look up in the nest and this is what I found...

3 little birdies!!! I have been listening for them for days, but had not heard anything. I wish I had been checking everyday because I wish I knew how old they are. I will be checking in frequently now:D