Twisters, Flintstones, and Pink Alpacas!

| 3/6/2012 11:05:57 AM

Tags: Alpaca show, alpaca obstacles, Beech Grove Cemetary, Suzanne Cox,

Suzanne HeadshotSo what do twisters, Flintstones, and pink alpacas have in common? They all played a major role in our family weekend! No, I really haven’t lost my senses. I was asked to judge performance for the 2012 Southern Select alpaca show in Shelbyville, TN. Since Shelbyville is just 1½ hours from home, Andrew and I thought it would be nice to take the family. The kids have been to an alpaca show before, but never one where I was judging. As the week progressed and our travel date approached, the weather was not looking so good. The weather reports were calling for severe storms, tornadoes, hail, and high winds. We decided to leave early Friday, to try and get ahead of the storms.

Friday morning we hustled to get farm chores done and get everyone packed up and on the road. Macey and William were so excited to be going on “vacation.” The first sign things that day may not go so well was the high winds. When wind speeds are high enough to collapse your pig shelter, you know things are about to get rough! So we get on the road and head on out. We get to Shelbyville just as the skies are turning grey. When we pulled up to the hotel, I ran in quickly hoping to get our things in before the storm came. However, when I told the desk clerk who I was, he found no reservation for us. After calling another nearby hotel, we discovered our reservation was on the other side of town in the direction we had already past. A funnel cloud had just been spotted 16 miles from us, and the desk clerk suggested we go as quickly as possible to check in before the storm hit. So back out I go, and once again we were racing across town.

When we arrived at our hotel, I ran in to get the key, and Andrew and I collected as much as we could carry and raced in with the kids. As he opened our hotel room door and I stepped inside, my mouth dropped open. Our tiny room held one bed. I asked the desk clerk for another room with double beds, only to discover there were none. With only a few hotels in the area, and all of them booked for the alpaca show, our options were nonexistent. So I headed grumpily back to the room to settle in and ride out the storm. 

With three kids and two adults in one very small room, we were all a little tense and restless. We kept the TV tuned in to the weather and watched as weather warnings popped up all across the state. When the storm reached us, we could definitely see it coming! With tornado sirens blaring, fire trucks racing up the road, and the kids huddled in the corner, I began snapping pictures out our window. Here you can see the wall cloud passing over us. I had to step away and close the window when the hail came.

 Wall Cloud 1 

We made it through the storm, and thankfully Shelbyville only experienced high winds, hail, and rain. By the time all of the weather warnings were over, we had all been cooped up in the room for six hours. Now it was bedtime, and there was the problem of having 4 people and only one bed. The baby was in a playpen, which took up the only available floor space wide enough for a cot. Ever heard the song about the Little Monkeys in the bed? Well, we all laid across the bed and curled up to sleep. During the night, when I got up with the baby, Macey and Andrew quickly took up my wee little space. So I tried to sleep in the chair. By morning, I was not feeling so happy about our little trip. 

mary carton
3/8/2012 5:15:54 AM

I had a tornado warning in my area of NW AL. It didn't touch down and hit over in the Athens, Madison & Huntsville areas. I had to work late and we had a couple of inches of hail. I was so worried about my RAM truck, but didn't look like I had any dents.

suzanne cox
3/8/2012 4:36:09 AM

We have already had so many bad storms this year, I hate to see what our actual "storm season" brings! Hopefully we will get the storm shelter done quickly before to many more bad ones. I hate to think of our family being un-protected through another season. We thought the smokehouse on top of the storm shelter would make maximum use of a single space. It will also be easier to run the electrical and all to that location. Check back with us next month to see how it goes! Hopefully we will be getting it started in the next 6-8 weeks.

alexandra reel
3/7/2012 4:56:50 PM

Suzanne, your plan for a storm shelter sounds awesome, I love the idea of a smokehouse on top. Nothing says spring like storms, huh?

suzanne cox
3/7/2012 4:20:08 AM

Dave, I have always been afraid of tornado's. Since moving here, we do not have an appropriate safe place from them. We are hoping to get started on our storm shelter by the end of April. With Andrew and his father being masons, we are fortunate to have the skills in the family to build a strong and safe shelter. I plan to chronicle the buildling of it with pictures for our blog. Andrew is wanting to put a smoke house on top of it, and wire it for electricity eventually. I'm glad you have managed to avoid damage as well. We have had some wind damage, but nothing compared to those hit full force by the recent storms. I heard today that there were so many volunteers they had to be turned away! That does make you proud doesn't it? We should help and encourage our own.

nebraska dave
3/7/2012 2:51:47 AM

Suzanne, some times the best laid plans, huh. I have to thank my lucky stars that the bad weather has not hit my area either. This has been a terrible year for weather and the bad weather season is just getting started. However, it really makes me proud to be an American when I hear that so many volunteers are showing up that it's a problem getting them all organized. It was the same last year with the devastation. I'm glad to hear that you made it back home and all was safe there. There's no place like home. Have a great alpaca day.

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