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    Mighty Waters

    Well, well, this has been a spring to remember …

    Driving to Tennessee and back (about an hour and a half east and a little south of Memphis) afforded some astounding views of the recent flooding of the Mississippi and her tributaries.  Even though the river crested some days ago, in the Western TN/Eastern AR area, and waters are receding; floodwaters still cover the land.  Along I-40, from West Memphis, AR to the Mississippi River Bridge at Memphis, there was only water to see, as far as you could see.  Full-grown trees standing in water up to the lower branches is always astonishing, but some were submerged until only their topmost leaves were showing.  I can’t imagine what it must have looked like even a week ago.  The part of Memphis that we drove through was not flooded, but Mud Island still had sandbags and you could see remnants of the recent high water along lower-lying buildings.

    One considers the outcome of such devastation - to farmers, homeowners, businesses.  I remember two different episodes of major flooding in the Tulsa area when I was a child.  My grandparents lived across the street from a creek that was famous (or infamous) for flooding and their home was inundated twice.  Not just a squishy carpet kind of water damage, but a couple of feet of standing water.  The clean up and repair took weeks.  New carpet, floor and wall repair, even a new car after one event (grandma’s car ended up floating down the street and moored itself, nose down, in a ditch).  They were rescued by boat once.  The water came up so swiftly, there was no time to drive out.

    Changes were made to the major creeks and rivers throughout Tulsa and low-lying areas were re-zoned.  Mobile homes were moved and the acres turned into just parks.  Houses were torn down, and complete neighborhoods were abandoned.  It was sad - mother’s wedding dress was ruined as it lay soaking in creek water in the bottom of the cedar chest.  It was not fun - hot, humid weather followed and folks worked very hard to rip out rooms full of soggy, smelly carpet.  More than that, those times fostered togetherness, camaraderie, and fellowship.  Our church family worked with us to get my grandparents’ home livable, in very short order.  The city gave out supplies, vouchers, and other help.  The Red Cross did their usual great job.

    Some folks moved away, but most stayed.  Nothing was destroyed or ruined that couldn’t be fixed, replaced, or gotten over.  We were only sad and burdened for a short time.  The folks along the Mississippi and other rivers have faced this scenario before and they always persevere.  We all pull together and the work gets done.

    Like the rivers, life flows on.