Sunday, March 12, 2006


I woke up this morning to the scream of tornado sirens. Always starts the morning off right, being forced down to the basement before I've had a chance to pop my morning squat. Nevermind trying to herd together a neurotic dog and two cats, one who thinks she's the devil's own spawn, the other who's afraid of every bump and squeek that goes on in this old house.

Round about the time I'd gathered the phone and the beasties and checked the weather radar on the computer, hail the size of doubled peanuts started sheeting down, covering everything in a layer of pebbled white.

Two minutes after they dragged my groggy butt out of bed, the sirens quieted. The hail stopped, the sun came out, and I heard the safety signal: a bird started singing in the back yard. I'm watching through the front window now, as the kids from the house opposite mine play in the street, throwing bits of hail at one another in between pushing twigs and branches off their dad's car. They're safe in the knowledge that the threat has passed, that life has returned to normal and that there's room again for laughter and games.

This morning's frenzy is a lot like my life's been for the past few months. All hustle and bustle, all bracing for and recovering from disaster. Four months after reconnecting with American soil, life is finally calm more days than it isn't. The worst is over. I've survived the storm.

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." (Theodore Roosevelt, Citizen in a Republic, Sorbonne, Paris; April 23, 1910


Anonymous said...

Seems like there's a lot of weather going on all over all of a sudden. I'd heard there were more storms in your area even after you'd written this (which seems odd - March is very early for tornado season, isn't it?). Up here, we had a nice Sunday evening blizzard that dropped about ten inches of snow on us - and not coincidentally made me very glad that I have a tradition of tipping my pizza guys well.

There are times that I absolutely wonder if the weather doesn't track my own moods and feelings - it was a fun but exhausting weekend, and a ten-inch dump of snow was just what the doctor ordered to keep me off my feet and give me a chance to recharge the batteries. (One of those times when I'm grateful to be a renter rather than an owner.)

More importantly, I look outside, and at least for a while everything is clean and white again. I know that all it'll take is a couple of reasonably warm days for things to get slushy and dingy again. But there isn't a lot of natural beauty to be had in a suburban setting, and it never hurts to be reminded of beauty.


Mouth said...

March is a bit early for tornadoes, but it's unsurprising, given the wacky winter weather we had. I mean, whoever heard of 70 degrees in January?

Okay, maybe in Florida or California, but certainly not here.

Yes, there were some hits nearby. I'd still rather live in Tornado Alley than on the gulf, where you get creamed by hurricanes every year. Tornadoes destroy neighborhoods; hurricanes level cities. Think I'll stick to the Midwest.


Real Mac Daddy said...

Actually, the hurricanes are only about every 5 years or so. But we still get our share of tornadoes. We're probably number two or three on the "Worst Tornado Area" rankings. Behind you, of course.

At least we don't get snow!

Mouth said...


I'll still happily take snow over a hurricane. In most cases, the snow won't cave in your roof, and I've never heard of snow-fall taking down a sky-scraper.

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