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    Entries in Tennessee (2)


    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.


    Good Morning!

    It is beautiful here - warmer temperatures, no rain, and cooler evening breezes.  Grandma has been moved to the Hospice wing of her nursing home and is about the same.  She is really neither awake nor aware, most of the time, but there are a few lucid moments.  She is comfortable, pain-free, and family is with her almost around the clock.

    I have been thinking about hot weather, being outside, and care for our skin and hair.  I’ve also had ideas for journal entries on sunscreen, and after-sun care.  Natural, of course.  Summer activities with the kiddos, inexpensive vacation ideas, and more on gardening.  Being with grandma brings to mind family stories, as I’ve had the privilege of transcribing her journal.  So, posts on legacy and history are also bouncing around in my head.

    We travel to Tennessee this weekend for our daughter-in-law’s college graduation.  We are very proud of her and it should be a great trip!  GB checked out the I-40 driving conditions since Memphis and areas in western Arkansas are flooding.  There are a few closed roads and some detours, but I-40 eastbound is now open.  The bridge over the Mighty Mississip’ is one, high, scary drive - if you are fearful of bridge driving.  My sister and I always say that you should roll down your windows when you drive on a bridge over a river.  Just in case you fall in and have to get out of your car quickly.  The rest of the family disagrees, but it’s always on my mind.  I even dreamed about going off a bridge in my car, and my sister was with me (along with each of our youngest sons), but we floated down to the river (which was full of alligators) instead of plummeting like a rocket.  We landed with a soft bump, half in, and half out of the water.  Our car windows were down (being smart and prepared for such eventualities), so we were able to avoid the alligators.  Whew!

    Our niece’s college graduation is Saturday as well, and that will take place in Texas.  My sister’s middle child.  This year, for us, will be one of many milestones.  It’s harder than I imagined seeing my nieces and nephews grow and mature - they are becoming fine young men and women.  It is bittersweet when your children step out onto their own life’s path, and step a little away from you.  Rightly so.  We pray that they will remember their roots, make good decisions, and “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).

    My brain is in high gear since it has been a few days without writing on this site.  Hence, the mish-mash of thoughts.  I do miss it when more than one day goes by without posting something.  Enjoy today’s articles (all pages have something new) and thanks for being part of this journey.