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11 Signs That Spring Has Sprung

Spring fever is upon us all.
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The seasons are changing, and spring fever is beginning to set in. Here are 11 tell-tale signs that spring is on its way.

1. The days are getting longer.

2. The weather only requires a light windbreaker during the day.

3. The grass is coming back bright green.

4. Flowers are beginning to sprout.


5. Trees are getting leaves.

6. Everyone's mood is improving.

7. More people are outside going for walks/runs.

8.There are dogs everywhere.

9. Bicycles get brought up and dusted off.

10. Darty's start popping up on the weekends.

11. The smell of rain is always in the air.

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I Put My Grief Aside For My Community And Got A Surprising Response

The Beauregard-Salem community is the best you can find.

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On Sunday, March 3, 2019, my community and hometown was changed forever. An EF4 tornado came through the small community of Beauregard making its way through Salem, Smith's Station, all in Alabama near Auburn University and on over into Talbotton, Georgia. The storm leveled most homes in its path and left at this time 23 confirmed dead and dozens injured. It is going down in history as one of the deadliest of all time and the deadliest since 2013.

March 3, 2019 started a little gloomy for my family. On Thursday, February 28, my grandfather died so we spent more time on that fateful Sunday planning the funeral. I didn't go to church that morning and instead just stayed home with my grandmother looking through old pictures.

We looked out a window and realized our house was surrounded by gorgeous Orioles making their way back north. I remembered my granddad kept a large bag of birdseed in his barn so I grabbed it and spread it all around our yards to attract more birds to help brighten my grandmother's mood. Shortly after it began to be a light drizzle.

As I was coming down from the attic looking for more pictures my Aunt and Uncle showed up for my family to finish going over everything for the funeral the next day. I was washing a few dishes when my phone went crazy and said tornado warning and me and my uncle looked outside at a light drizzle.

We turned on the news about a minute before they said there was a Tornado touchdown just below Beauregard and the path they were showing had my house in its path. As we prepared for the possibility of the hit I continued to stay outside as heavy rain came and tracking the path on my phone. Minutes later on the horizon, because my front yard is a large field with two more large fields across the road from it and you can see for a good ways, I saw the tornado. It went just north of my home by about a quarter- to half-mile. By this time I'd gone in but watched it through a large window in my home and we knew it was definitely causing a lot of destruction.

As we continued to watch the news and wait for the rain to pass to access some of the damage a second tornado started to take the same path as the first but turned more south. This tornado ended up going about a mile and a half south of my home and didn't cause very much damage compared to the first.

My wife, her mother and my daughter started to come to my home from Opelika (just outside of where all the damage tools place luckily) and found there pretty much was no way to my house. I'm trying different routes to get them here I found more and more destruction of my neighborhood. That's when I realized I'm gonna go home throw on some work clothes and head to my neighbors who were hit and like family.

As I arrived everyone was more worried about me. They all asked how I was with dealing with my grandfathers passing and how was my grandmother holding up. It showed me how great of a church and neighborhood I'm from and I was just more worried about helping them and checking to see if my church was damaged before the funeral.

The first evening it got dark fast and provided cover for the true extent of a lot of the damage. However, I spent the majority of that evening and night mending fences and gathering cows to keep them in. As for broken windows on the first story, we boarded those up too. For these neighbors, I helped that night they lost both their barns completely, the roof off their old house on their property and all their vehicles. Their home was left but after being inspected had structural damage so it's now considered a total loss. Another neighbors house had the roof torn off with her inside, and another lost a lot of his storage buildings and some farm equipment.

On Monday morning, my wife and I went where they had finally cleared power lines and trees to where you could get to my church. There were large limbs fallen on a couple trees in the front of the church and a couple large trees fallen in the cemetery but the church was fine. That's when I truly found out that even though my mind was more with the neighbors and others who were affected by the tornado but some of my church family were more worried about my granddads funeral. They were out there clearing all the debris from the cemetery and churchyard. It was a lot to clear off but by the afternoon and the graveside service, every last bit of debris was cleared. The funeral home was very respectful in being able to change location for the services. And my church family was just so amazing in still helping and feeding my family even with all the destruction.

As we watched the news that morning preparing for the funeral we found out just how devastating it was. I had friends and neighbors lose everything. I knew multiple people included in the deaths. But I was outside of the true damage, however my high school community came together as one and has shown such great triumph with donations and volunteers to help. And as we continue to rebuild we will all be #BeauregardStrong

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