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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life In Tornado Alley........

If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm,
you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.

It was another gut-wrenching, heart-stopping, hand wringing night as deadly tornadoes tore through Oklahoma and our neighboring states.  This line of storms, containing numerous super-cells, extended across the entire state of Oklahoma with only a tiny gap in the monster. 
At least something is enjoying all the rain.
We do not have a storm shelter so many of our family, friends and neighbors called urging us to join them in theirs.  After seeing the devastating damage in Joplin and viewing the radar images, I was inclined to agree with them.  I am like a cat on a hot tin roof when storms approach.  My terror knows no limits. Such is my life in tornado alley.  I have gathered pillows, battery operated radio, charged up the phones and placed the flash light where I can find it.  The bathtub awaits our arrival.

A number of years ago, our home was hit by what the insurance appraiser called "straight winds".  The barn was destroyed, shingles torn off the roof and huge trees brought down in the blink of an eye (even though it seems like an eternity when you are huddled in the bathroom). Becky was in the bathtub with one of the dogs and I was sitting in the floor with my back against the wall (I could feel the wall shuddering under the pressure of the storm).  Scary stuff!

Becky, however; reacts in a logical (smarty pants), informed manner.  I'm walking the floor, looking outside, wringing my hands and worrying myself sick.  She, on the other hand, is doing laundry and reading a book.  What! What! Apparently, I see danger and she sees a storm miles away.  It makes for an interesting situation.  I want to wring her neck (she needs to show some concern) and she just wants me to chill out (I need to show less concern, I'm sure she would like to wring my neck).  When the storms finally arrived, it was as though the hand of God reached down and cradled our community (again).  The line of storms split, going on each side of us.  Giving profound thanks to God, I went to bed.

O.K. I've told you all this to get to my point (bet you thought I'd never get there, didn't you?).  Got up this morning, grabbed my coffee and cigarette (mediation, you know) and stepped out to the front porch.  At first, everything seems fine.  Lawn statutes still standing, tomato plants still in pots on bench, all outside animals just fine. 
And then:  Holy Cow!! Holy Cow!!  I rub my eyes to be sure I see what I see!  Our huge, long standing, much beloved willow tree is laying on the ground!  I yell for Becky (I'm highly excitable, so she does not become alarmed when I yell).  We both stand in stunned silence!  I really wanted to say "I told you to be scared. I told you so. Mother knows best" but I controlled the urge. 
Too much rain, shallow root system and wind equals disaster for our willow tree.

The remnants of Becky's meditation garden.

A little further over and it would have taken out the electric pole and transformer!
 We were fortunate to just lose one tree.  There are many others who lost so much more, including their lives in the deadly storm outbreak this week.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who are suffering.  Simple Living is about caring more for others than yourself and times of trouble can bring out the very best in some of us.  We can't give or help those in need enough.  God be with you.
"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 (NLT)

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