Watching in horror from 14 hours away

It happens to every writer at some point — you just are not motivated to write.

It’s not writer’s block by any means. I’ve had plenty to write about. I have just had a hard time sitting in front of the computer for the past week to actually write a blog entry.

I think part of the lack of motivation had to do with the stress from last Wednesday’s tornado outbreak in Alabama. It was one of the most frightening days I’ve had in years.

Growing up in Alabama, tornadoes are a common place. It seemed like every summer I would spend several nights in the closet underneath our staircase when the weather alarm would go off in the middle of the night.

Most Alabamians are like me. While we take tornadoes seriously, we don’t really freak out about them. Wednesday was different, though.

I knew the weather was bad because my mom had called me earlier in the day. She was pretty freaked out, but she usually is with severe weather.

Boogie and I went swimming that afternoon, and when I got back, I checked Facebook. A lot of my friends were making comments hoping people were safe.

Then, on Twitter, someone posted a video of a tornado that had just ripped through Tuscaloosa. I turned on the weather channel and watched in horror as an EF5 monster was destroying one of the biggest cities in the state.

Shortly afterwards, I found out Cullman, the old town where I used to work, had been hit by an EF4 twister. That tornado barreled through downtown and wiped out the street that I used to drive on every day to get work.

Some tornadoes also hit north Alabama, leaving both sets of my parents without power.

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think it was a terrorist attack with so many of the major Bama cities being hit.

The videos were horrifying, especially the ones with the weathermen nearly speechless watching the tornado in Tuscaloosa gain strength.

Once the tornadoes cleared the area, I started texting all my friends who I though might have been in the tornado’s path to make sure they were OK. I got a hold of Patty and Stalk first. That was followed by Angry Patrick, Nick and Big Joe.

One person who I struggled to get a hold of was Andy. He’s back in Alabama training for a new job. I wasn’t sure which part of town he was staying in.

I texted Andy’s wife and she hadn’t heard from him either. She was freaking out.

However, Holly did know that Andy was staying with Winslett. I was able to track down his number and pass it along to her.

A few minutes later, she texted back and let me know he was OK.

Andy had a good recount of the experience on his blog.

I experienced a powerful hurricane back in 2008, but that wasn’t as bad for me as Wednesday was. I think part of the reason was because we had warning of the hurricane and were able to get out of harm’s way. The poor people in Alabama didn’t have much warning at all.

It’s been nice to see some celebrities work to bring awareness to the situation in Alabama, especially since CNN was ignoring it because of royal wedding coverage.

Charlie Sheen has been one of the biggest supporters for Alabama, even starting his own donation website for the tornado victims.

I’m glad all of my friends made it through the storm OK, but I can’t imagine what some of the other people are going through. I hope we don’t see any storm of that strength for a long time.

Mad ramblings

• America! Fuck yeah!

• In less than two weeks, I am going to see Bon Jovi in concert in Houston. However, it looks like guitarist Richie Sambora won’t be there, as he checked into rehab late last month.

If he isn’t playing, it will be a shame. He’s an awesome guitarist and is as much a part of the band as Jon Bon Jovi. Should still be a good concert, but it won’t be quite the same.

• Not worried at all about the Bulls. Sure the Hawks won Game 1, but they were also hitting ridiculous shots. They can’t do that for four games. Bulls in six.

• That said, if Miami keeps playing the way it is, Chicago has no chance in the conference finals.

• The Lakers are done.

• So are the Celtics.

• If I ever feel bad about my golf game, I only need to watch this video.

• Latest Xbox game I am playing is “Alan Wake.” It came out a few years back. The game has an interesting story, though the levels feel overly long. I’m on the last “episode” now.

This can’t be good for McDonald’s business.

• Somehow my fantasy baseball team is in first place, despite the fact that I have no offense. That is going to catch up to me soon.

• Likely sometime next week there will be an entertaining blog for everyone. So that we all feel comfortable with each other regarding Boogie, Yeh-Peu-Dah is meeting Tejada and I am meeting Tejada’s boyfriend. This should be….AWKWARD!

Bear Down and Keep the Faith!


About Joshua Buckley

I used to be a Sports Editor. Now I'm the Media Relations Manager at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.


3 thoughts on “Watching in horror from 14 hours away

  1. Yeah man, it was quite the way to celebrate my return to the heart of dixie, to say the least.

    Posted by southernmaninindy | May 6, 2011, 3:28 pm
  2. I was out of town when the storms hit, and didn’t return home for a full week, so I experienced similar anxiety. Everyone I know seems to have been safe, though many of them saw their homes destroyed.

    Did you see the photo of the Cullman Times itself? I know they weren’t hit as bad as some other downtown buildings, but it was weird to see the debris and think, uh, that’s MY old office!

    Posted by Carla Jean | May 7, 2011, 11:33 am

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