Frozen Tundra

The wind

It washes away the sins of a brutal winter’s making

Dirty snow

Forgotten trash

It blows mercilessly across the colorless wasteland

Without purpose

It gives freedom to rotten leaves buried by a previous torment of snow

And leaves a pattern of waves and valleys in it’s aftermath

The wind is all powerful

And knows its own strength

As it commands us to yield to its whim

 

 

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…

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One-one thousand,two-one thousand,three-one thousand…

I can’t wait for the approaching thunderstorm to hit. Whenever I get the opportunity, I sit in my family room and listen for thunder and look for the flash of light that signifies one of my favorite shows sponsored by Mother Nature.

My heart beats faster and I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. I mute the music on the stereo (you know-the box that you turn on and  hear a variety of music through old speakers) and focus on listening for the sound of the thunder, from the first rumble all the way through to its end. I stare out the tall windows searching the sky for that sliver of light that magically appears, then disappears as quickly.

I love storms.

I have a very healthy respect for weather. I love watching Storm Chasers and am envious of the folks that are in the souped-up storm chasing vehicle when they are out stalking a dangerous weather event. Truth be told, I would be too terrified to ever participate if I got the chance, so I live vicariously through those on the television shows. I wish I had the guts to be a full-time storm chaser, but this was not meant to be.

When a storm is predicted, I will turn on the weather channel and watch the radar in real-time. Yes, my inner (or not so inner) geek is showing, but I can’t help myself. The knowledge that something so powerful and completely out of my control is coming to get me is thrilling.

My favorite storms are those that bear a distinct front. I’m as giddy as a teenager in love when I see a dark blue line of horizontal shelf clouds aggressively advancing towards me. It feels like a long-awaited online order that I eagerly await at my front door. As I have the good fortune of living directly next to a large area of open land, when I hear the first mention of possible bad weather, I am out in my yard looking to the west. I will stand patiently to watch and listen, feeling gutsy when lightning flashes and I’m standing out in the yard.

When the first few seconds of rain start to fall, I retreat back into the house and sit down with a book. The rain hits the glass of the windows in diagonal patterns, like a wallpaper,the patio pavers begin to take on a darker hue, and the unmulched dirt turns to mud. The rain falls harder, now making the distinctive noise that heavy rain makes. It seems like the grass is greener in the twenty minutes since it actually started to rain, and that the trees have grown just a little taller.

The excitement of the oncoming weather, the comfort of sounds recognized since childhood, and the renewal of dormant landscaping are all factors in my love of a good spring thunderstorm.

I hope that there’s another one on the way.

My Faith in the Goodness of Human Kind is Restored (At Least for Today)

With so many daily occurences of rudeness, bad manners, and downright nastiness (National Nasty day is OVER people!), sometimes it’s really hard to have faith in humankind. Being cut off in traffic, being flipped off for not hitting the gas immediately when the light turns green, having to listen to the person in front of you yell at the barista (yes, I spend way too much time at Starbucks) for not hearing her voice over passing truck traffic. There are just some days that I want to pack it in, move out to Montana and leave all of the “bad” people behind. In this, I know that I am not alone. Who’s in?

I am truly appalled at the way people behave- what happened to civility, kindness, and simple good manners? ThoughtFULness instead of thoughtLESSness. What’s up people?!

I digress.

There are some days where you witness things and you know that goodness still exists. I was shopping in a dollar store and as I came around the corner, a woman and her son were suddenly there with a cart. I looked at them both and said, “Oh, excuse me.” The woman kindly replied, “No. Excuse me,” and gently grabbed the cart that her son was pushing to help move it aside. As they continued down the aisle, she spoke to him and it became apparent that her adult son had special needs. She spoke to him respectfully and patiently as she reminded him that he needed to hold onto the cart. As I browsed the shelves in the next aisle, they came towards me from the other direction. She continued to remind her son to hold onto the cart while she begged the pardon of other shoppers in the aisle. Each person she passed replied with the same, “Excuse me,”or “Of, course,” and moved aside to let them pass. Can you imagine? People being nice to each other. AND respectful. I truly stood still for a few seconds to watch. Was it because the people in the store recognized that her son was “different”? Or was it because they were raised to understand that you should always try to be polite? Does it really matter? They were pleasant to each other and everyone was happy. As I moved along on my way I immediately thought of my grandmother. She was always polite and insisted that were we, too. If she had been with me, she would have said, “That’s how things should be.”

It is how things should be.

Next time you’re about to let the door swing closed as you leave a restaurant, hold it open for the person behind you. Next time you’re at the grocery store and try to beat out the elderly lady moving towards the line you’ve scoped out, let her go first. The next time someone reminds you that all you need to do is to try being nice, just say,”Thank you” (and mean it).