Where were you on April 27, 2011? If you don’t live in Alabama, you probably have no idea where you were. But, in the south, the memories are clear as day. 
One year ago today, I was in Pell City covering a story on a woman who lost her life in a trailer park. There was a line of storms that swept through our state in the early morning hours, and Pell City was one of the places that took a direct hit. The woman had three small children. She was hunkered down in her bedroom, covering her children. A massive tree snapped and fell on their home. Her three children survived, she did not. 
Little did I know, she was one of hundreds, that would lose their life on that dreadful day.  
I worked on my story at a nearby fast food restaurant that had WiFi. I was trying to work as fast as possible to FTP my story back to the station, so they could put it on-air. I asked the restaurant manager if I could flip on the old t.v. in the back of the dinning area… when I saw it. 
Our meteorologist, Mark Prater, standing on the green screen. Behind him, the largest tornado I had ever seen in my life. Something you see in movies. At first, I thought it was old footage, or a YouTube video… when I noticed the Live bug. LIVE! This tornado was ripping through our state on LIVE television. It was in Tuscaloosa at the time. 
I immediately was sick. I was scared. I tried not to cry, because the other people in the restaurant were just as shocked as I was. I had a CBS42 shirt on, so people were asking me questions. Is that coming here? Are we safe? I had no idea. 
A million thoughts ran through my mind… but one thought, I couldn’t shake. People were dying. My neighbors. People, I may know. The elderly, children, pets. Tornadoes are not prejudice. They have no claim over age, race, or gender. They don’t pick and choose which neighborhood to hit, and which to spare. Hundreds of people were dying, and thousands were losing everything. 

April 27th, 2011, is a day that will forever be engraved in the minds and hearts of Alabamians. Massive tornadoes swept through our state, cutting a giant swath through the landscape. The raw emotion from that deadly day are still so vivid. I went up in a chopper on April 28th, to survey the damage. I was in the field, attempting to get first hand testimony to what it was like to survive an EF4 or 5 tornado. I met hundreds of people who lost loved ones, lost homes, lost personal items, pictures….memories. Every single person I met in the days that followed, were just thankful to be alive. Everyone looked at life, differently. 
Watching a community, an entire state, rally around one another is humbling. I had always loved my job, and living in Birmingham… but after the April tornadoes, I realized I never wanted to leave. I am proud to call Alabama home. 
One year later… Alabama continues to stay strong and rebuild. But, there is a long way to go… please continue to pray for those affected by the storms. 
We will never forget, the mass destruction of April 27, 2011…

Someone said to me the other day… oh, this time has gone by very quickly! I’m sure to outsiders, my recovery time went by like the blink of an eye. For me, the time didn’t drag on, but three months is still three months.

I have one more week left in my wheelchair, and then I start physical therapy to learn how to walk again. My legs are weak, thin, and frail. The bottoms of my feet are tender, but I am very prepared to begin my quest. 

I know I will look like a baby giraffe the first time I raise up from the wheelchair and put one wobbly leg in front of the other… someone really should be video taping that mess. 

We had discussed at work possibly putting together a story on my road to recovery, so to speak. I do want viewers to know where I’ve been for the last 3 months… that I didn’t miraculously pop out a baby… one which I gained no weight on producing. But, I’m not sold on the idea. We’ll see… I’m going to talk to my news director more about it this week. 
 
We felt like a total married couple this weekend, we went to Home Depot, Lowe’s… but didn’t have time for Bed, Bath & Beyond. We decided, instead, to go streaking in the quad. 

Have a great week, all! 

I want to tell you all a little about my husband, against his will. Jeff and I met in 2009 at our friends’ wedding in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Jeff coached soccer in Montgomery, and I was a morning anchor at CBS42 in Birmingham. I don’t think either of us expected more out of the relationship, than friendship. We had several things working against us…the distance, he traveled all the time, and I was living my life as a zombie… in bed at 6 p.m. and up at 2 a.m. 

Soon after our first date, I moved to weekend anchor, and my hours became more manageable.  Jeff kept my interest, because he was unlike anyone I had ever dated before. Not to mention, he didn’t shave often, had crazy long hair, and wore these worn out cowboy boots.
We’ve never been a publicly affectionate couple. I don’t post a million status updates on Facebook about how awesome my husband is, and you won’t find kissing pictures… but that doesn’t mean he’s not beyond amazing. 
Jeff is everything I’m not, and that’s usually how marriages work. Sure, we have a ton in common, but there is also a lot to our relationship that’s very different. Our entire dating relationship was long distance, and so were the first six months of our marriage. Most would agree, we don’t really do things by conventional standards.
He has gone above and beyond the call of duty during these last three months. He dropped his career, and moved to Birmingham immediately following my accident. He has worked two jobs, kept the house clean, done laundry, cooked, cared for our dogs… without a single complaint. You can tell the difference between people who do things because they have to, and people who do things because they want to. Jeff is the later.
I’m telling you all of this because sappy love movies make me uncomfortable and are ridiculous examples of how relationships really are. Life isn’t a fairy tale, and love isn’t found in the enchanted woods.

But, happily ever after… to some extent, does exist! You just have to be patient. Don’t settle for Mr. or Mrs. 80%. Wait. Wait. Wait. I PROMISE YOU, the perfect person will come along.

Think about that special person in your life. Now, imagine you are in a serious car accident…one, many say, you should have died in. How would that person respond? 
I’m not saying Jeff is perfect, (and we all know I’m not), but he’s close enough to perfect, for me. 
Awwww…. hopefully, you’re not too nauseous, because I am a little. Here’s a bit of humor to end the clog of the day….
I received this picture via text from my mom this morning with no explanation….. I’m pretty sure this is Bud’s foot scrubber he went on and on about to me at the beach during our #kidnapping. 

“Do you think we should take a picture of me and you so you can clog it?” Bud asked me as we left Destin. “I’m afraid people reading this have me pinned for an Archie Bunker crossed with a James Dean. But, once they see the picture, they’ll know I’m more like James Dean.” So, this picture was taken as soon as we returned.

As I was delivered back to my house in Birmingham, I couldn’t help but laugh. It’s hard to let the beach go, even if I don’t have my #sealegs back yet. This little getaway was so good for me. It helped me get out of the comfort zone of my house, and forced me to use more strength in my legs. I only have two more weeks in the wheelchair, and I couldn’t be happier.

Here are some more highlights of the kidnapping….if you are a Twitter-er, you can follow me: @shanistymyers

Coffee Thief
  • @shanistymyers: Someone stole #bud’s flip flops he’s walking thru the hotel barefoot. “you can smell them from a mile, why the h*ll would someone want them?”
  • @shanistymyers: Bud: “I’m making my truck as handicap accessible as possible, so I stopped locking the doors.”
  • @shanistymyers: Bud on edamame: “I hate that stuff. The skin is terrible and it has weird looking hooks on the end.”
  • @shanistymyers: Bud on sushi: “Shana, you remember those little gnarly looking bastards I ate last time we did the raw stuff?”
  • @shanistymyers: Bud on breakfast: You can’t take that to the room! “watch me!”  **(see photo)
  • @shanistymyers: “it’s okay to eat raw oysters because April has an “r” in it. It has something to do with the moon and illuminations.” #bud
  • @shanistymyers: Bud to lady on t.v.: “I wouldn’t let my kid hang out with you, with your kinky hair and voodoo badges.”
  • @shanistymyers: Bud on weight loss: “I can’t wait until I can tell the difference between  the top of my t-shirt and the bottom.”
  • @shanistymyers: Bud on phone to Nance: “Listen, I only have 68% power left on my cell phone. I’m not going to waste it on you.”
  • @shanistymyers: Bud: “Lemme tell u something, your mother puts on a big piscade.” #facade 
  • @shanistymyers: “My mouth is dryer than a mouse pi**ing on cotton balls.” #bud
  • @shanistymyers: Bud on buying bottled water… “well, since you asked, I’m kind of boycotting water bottles with green lids.”
  • @shanistymyers: Bud as we pass Verbena: “I grew up with a big ol’ fat woman named Albeena Shereenie. She was related to Mono and LaLa.”
  • @shanistymyers: Bud calls his bro-in-law: “Did that Mickey Shereenie ever get married? He always had that snot running out of his nose.” #confirmation
  • @shanistymyers: Apparently this Mickey Shereenie was shot twice as he delivered papers in Wainwright, OH.
  • @shanistymyers: Bud: “And Joe McGonie shot Mickey with a bow and arrow. I never threatened to shot Mickey, but I did set off a firecracker when he delivered at Gma’s.”
  • @shanistymyers: Bud: “That mickey did get married, he had 3 children. I bet they’re ugly as sin. Hell, If they’re anything like their ol’ man, they’ve been shot too.”

Bud and I are already planning our next big adventure. This time, we’re thinking something a little more country, with our own flare of rock and roll. 

Stay tuned…

Nice anklet

“This is the easiest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Bud said. He’s finally warming up to the idea of me clogging and tweeting about him during my kidnapping. 

We woke up Friday morning, and the saga continued…

  • @shanistymyers: Bud: “How did you sleep?” Me: “Eh, so, so.” Bud: “yeah I didn’t fall asleep until I sat up straight in the hotel chair.”  
  • @shanistymyers: Bud got $60 knocked off our hotel room bc of a ticking noise, he described as a time bomb. #buddontgivearip
  • @shanistymyers: Bud just handed it to some sales guy who called his cell asking if he wanted a free sample of herbal cream. #buddontgivearip  **(See video below)
  • @shanistymyers: Bud: “like my ankle monitor? I’m officially on house arrest away from your mother.” **(See photo)
  • @shanistymyers: Bud steals cushions from hotel lobby…Lady says he can’t. Bud: “What’s it to you lady, my daughter has a broken pelvis.”
  • @shanistymyers: Bud is finally cracking an egg… He said, “if you ask me to do one more thing, I’m gonna be on suicide watch.”
  • @shanistymyers: Bud on hygiene: “I bought this foot cleaner on t.v., you seen it? It has bristles, a foam brush, and sandpaper.”
  • @shanistymyers: Bud jumps in pool: “That pool is too d*mn cold, not even a whatcha call…man who was in Batman… would get in that.” #penguin
  • @shanistymyers: Bud on traffic: “my God, looks like they upset the circus bus.”
  • Chrome grabber: check
  • @shanistymyers: Bud thought someone stole his chrome grabber. It was found. “Let’s go tell the hotel staff to call off the search team.” **(See photo) 

Saturday Bud decided to ride his Harley to Panama City. I spent the day by the ocean. Bud was really concerned about leaving me… because I’m in a wheelchair, but more importantly, I would have nothing to clog…. oh, but I did. 

To Be Continued…