Live from the 205

James Spann saved my life (with a little help from my Mom)…..

As many of you may know, I’m obsessed very interested in the weather. I’m stalking good friends with several meteorologists here in my area and my only Twitter list consists of fellow weather goobs SkyWatchers. I’ve posted here before about my adventures in weather , but this time was a doozy…

Five years ago this week James Spann saved my life. For realz.

It was a few days before Thanksgiving and I was still living in Mississippi at the time. Gregory and I were talking and he suggested I come up on Tuesday instead of Wednesday so that not only would we have an extra day to hang out but also the weather was supposed to get bad. So Tuesday morning I got up early, dropped Ted off at doggy camp and headed to the 205. G and I spent the day at one of our favorite hangouts and just chilled out. I then reluctantly went to my parents and he went to Cullman to be with his mother for the holiday.

My dad was coming in the next day from the shipyard so I spent a relatively quiet evening with my mom, helping her prep some dishes and watching TV, and in between stayed on the phone with G. Between the two of us I think we burned around 3000 minutes a month, LOL – if we weren’t together we were ALWAYS on the phone. We watched the news and she went off to bed and I stayed on the phone with G some more and went to sleep around midnight.

Around 5am she came to my room and woke me up and told me I needed to come downstairs with her because her weather radio had gone off and there was bad weather around. The bottom of their house is all brick and built into the side of the hill, so that’s the best place to be in severe weather. I grabbed my phone and sleepily padded downstairs in my pajamas and took up residence on the couch while my mom put the TV on Jame’s live weather cast, all the while listening to me moan and groan about wanting to go back to sleep. In Alabama, James is a weather legend. When he is on TV, you better pay attention because some weather juju is going down somewhere, and if it’s near you, you want to know. At the time I did not heed my own advice.

After about 30 minutes of listening to my sleepy bitching and thinking we were in the clear, she agreed to let me go back to my nice warm bed while she stayed up and watched the news. This was around 0540. I got back in bed and was just drifting back off to sleep when the power went out. I had enough time to think “oh great they’ll never get it back on in time for us to cook.” Then I started hearing thuds and things hitting the side of the house. Then I heard my mother screaming.

The next thing I know, the door is flying open, she’s SHRIEKING, glass is shattering and we are headed down the stairs to the lower part of the house…with her pushing me all the way down….how we didn’t roll down the stairs and break our necks I have no clue. We barely made it into a closet at the bottom of the steps, and as I was pulling the door shut I could feel the suction trying to pull it open. And I can’t say it was scary because actually, it happened so fast. Afterward, I was terrified.

People always ask me what it sounded like. Some say it sounds like a train. To me it sounds like Betty Trimble screaming her head off in one ear with a side of raging wind and breaking glass in the other. When it was over we went upstairs and pretty much all of the front glass was blown out. And though we didn’t know it, the house had shifted about half a foot off it’s foundation. My brother was pounding on the door because when he looked down from his house he saw this…..

And I walked outside and saw this……

where there used to be this…..

and this…..

Where my room used to be……

Good thing I wasn’t in the shower….

My bed that I had been nestled in so comfortably moments before was on an island across the lake…… My clothes were all over the place…and they found my laptop, still in it’s case, soaking wet about a mile away…..

And somewhere under there are three boats and a few jet skis…..

….but we were alive, and had the love and assistance of family and friends to help us get out, rebuild and start again.

And for that, I am forever thankful……

5 Responses to “James Spann saved my life (with a little help from my Mom)…..”

Author comments are in a darker gray color for you to easily identify the posts author in the comments

  1. Robin says:

    WOW! It's a miracle that you and your mom weren't hurt!! James is the man!!

    Your parent's house is gorgeous!


    Robin :o)

  2. Jay says:

    Great story! I wonder how many lives James has saved during his career? The house was awesome in the before pics but WOW it's unbelievable now!!

  3. Fran says:

    I love this story. I do. But duh, it took a second for me to figure out who Betty Trimble is :)
    I oughta send James a thank you note, because I'm really glad you're still with us!!!


    and yeah… nice digs :)

  4. HEATHER says:

    Whoa!! Living in tornado alley in KY, I am impressed that you all survived that!! What category was the tornado? I lived through a cat4 when I was three years old and we lived in OH.

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