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    Entries in weather (3)

    Wednesday
    Jun012011

    Amblings, possibly Ramblings

    I’m always surprised at how much hotter it is in Texas.  Well, not always hotter than Tulsa.  And since our home in Northwest Arkansas is almost due east of Tulsa, that seems strange.  More trees in our area?  More hills, less humidity?  Hhmmm…  The air conditioner runs all the time and I even want some ice in my water.  A nephew from my side of the family is in New Mexico for the summer.  Maybe it’s hotter there than here.  Maybe.

    Aldo’s funeral is Friday afternoon and family is already starting to gather.  Three of the four sons are here, as well as one daughter-in-law (me!); another daughter-in-law stopped by on her way to Tulsa from Houston (her father is having a medical procedure tomorrow) and a daughter, two granddaughters, and one great-granddaughter live here.  More family will arrive throughout the day tomorrow, including our sons - one flying in from NYC and the other driving in from western TN.

    It’s late, with GB and his two brothers conversing the night away as I sit typing.  They only see one another a couple of times a year, so no time is wasted sleeping.  While our children were visiting us last week, we drove down here to see my in-laws.  We are so very glad we did.  Just a few days after we left, Aldo slipped away to his heavenly home.

    It was so great to have our little family together for a week.  We miss our sons very much and are so proud of them.  We are thankful for our daughter-in-law and loved the time spent getting to know her even better.  Besides our trip to Texas, we went bowling with the extended family, had a family fun night at my parents, prepared a home feast of shrimp and scallops, and spent many hours talking.  The highlight, for GB and me, was an anniversary dinner gift from the kids.  They took us out for a fine, fine meal of excellent hors d’oeuvres, steak, seafood, trimmings, and dessert.  I must say that it was the best steak I’ve ever had.  No offense to GB’s grilling skills, but it was excellent.  Grilled asparagus and roasted brussel sprouts were my vegetable choices, and the steak was topped with a dollop of truffle butter.  We also enjoyed salmon, ahi tuna egg rolls, and fried calamari for our pre-meal feast.  I chose homemade blackberry ice cream with English walnuts for dessert.  Wowser!

    I think there are several morals to these amblings and possible ramblings - enjoy life.  Go with the flow.  “Mourn with those who mourn, rejoice with those who rejoice.”  Count your blessings.  Be thankful.

    Friday
    May272011

    Yes or No?

    While major storms moved through the Midwest Tuesday and Tuesday night, our excellent youngest son and his lovely wife were traveling I-40W from Memphis.  They were coming to our house for a visit, and knew about the line of storms heading our way.  Upon reaching Russellville, AR, they could see, in the distance, lightning, and the approaching storm.  Little did they know then that two super cells were converging around Ft. Smith, only an hour and a half drive north.  Wall clouds, funnel clouds, storm rotation, as well as tornadoes, were associated with these severe thunderstorms.  When they reached Alma, AR, a phone conference was held between father and sons (our fantastic eldest already here from NYC).  Should they hole up in the Ft. Smith area or make a mad dash for northwest Arkansas?

    One of our nieces left NWA in the late afternoon, headed for the Dallas, TX area.  She knew the forecast and the anticipated severity of this weather event.  The storm overtook her around Atoka, OK so she called her parents for storm information and advice.  Atoka has a Wal-Mart Supercenter, as well as hotels along US 69S.  Should she get off the highway and seek shelter; or drive on through, hoping that the Red River valley and points south was clear of bad weather?

    We don’t have the weather channel, so we were glad to get a phone call from my parents letting us know that GB’s mother was about to be affected by a section of the advancing storm front.  She lives in Sherman, TX with her husband, who is in declining health.  GB discussed with his mom the options she has for storm safety - the hall closet, or a small, rectangular room originally built as a bar.  They are both in the center of the house.

    Decisions.  Some are made almost unconsciously.  Stepping over the shoes lying in the floor verses plowing through the middle of them doesn’t take much thought.  Other decisions require more time and consideration.  Which university to attend, choosing between two jobs, or a move can all have life-altering consequences.  Some decisions are really inconsequential - fish or chicken for dinner?  Others weigh very heavily on us; and the results of some decisions affect not just us, but all those we know and love.

    Good decision-making is, really, a learned skill.  Most folks are not born with the ability to make sound decisions.  And, having to do that quickly can be especially difficult.  Looking at all sides of an issue, gathering information, and listing pros and cons are important for decision-making common sense.  Developing clear and calm thinking is also helpful.  A rational, levelheaded approach to most dilemmas will garner profitable results.

    GB and our eldest checked the available storm information and advised J&A to come on north, post haste.  There was a window between the two cells that was clearly visible on radar.  The massive front, and even one tornado on the ground, was still several minutes west of them.  High winds and rain were just beginning in our area, and the tornado warning had been cancelled.  They ran into their first taste of strong wind and heavy rain about 30 minutes out, but made it on to the house just fine.

    Southern Oklahoma and northern Texas were not in the clear, so our brother-in-law found (online) the designated storm shelter for the town of Atoka, one of the Junior High schools.  They guided our niece there over the phone and she stayed put for two hours.  Later, her brother directed her onto I-30W, around Dallas, to keep her on the backside of the huge line of storms.

    My mother-in-law decided on the hall closet, as the small room has two mirrored walls, glass shelves on the wall, and glassware on the glass shelves.  The storm passed over Sherman without much impact, but they were as prepared as possible.

    Accessing the available information, discussion, and a little common sense enabled good decisions to be made.  The traveling kids (we still call them ‘our kids’, even though they are adults) made it to their destinations safely, and we are thankful.

    We continue to pray for the families impacted by our wild spring weather.  That Tuesday night, cities and towns across Oklahoma and Arkansas were disastrously affected.  Communities, once again, are picking up the pieces.  Other communities, once again, are lending a helping hand.  Good decisions are being made, and those suffering will reap the benefits.

    Wednesday
    May112011

    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.