Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lucky Weather - vs. Windsor, Sichuan, and Yangon

In Oregon we all start to grumble about this time of year, when we start thinkin it's our god-given right to have a little sunshine come into our lives. Today it's grey and pretty f-ing gloomy and it pisses me off to see my sunflowers creep up in millimeter increments each day, instead of the inches they should be by now. But in reality we have it pretty good here. While we complain about the drudge -- we should be hailing what the Irish call our "soft days." This has been the worst year for tornadoes the U.S. has seen in ten years. Oregon sees none of that.

My sister's good friend just lost her home in Windsor, Colorado, and i talked to her about surviving the storm when i was back there last week. Candace and Dustin told me how Dustin drove from Cheyenne to Windsor in half an hour (normally about an hour and a half drive), to get back to his fiancee -- and his ravaged home. The last word he heard from Candace before he blazed down south -- was her saying something like "it's crazy right now, I think the tornado is coming toward me...." Click. Dead line. Dustin jumped over debris with his truck and arrived 20 minutes after the tornado took out his neighborhood -- then had to wield a big-ass stick to get a good samaritan, protecting the 'hood from looters, to let him onto his street. Candace was in the basement with her golden lab when the thing hit. They'd just bought the home a year before. Now they will rebuild on the same spot. Next door to their home was a day care with 135 kids in it. Some of those kids got some bumps and bruises -- from their teachers literally throwing them into the vault of a bank next door. I can only imagine what it must have been like to move more than a hundred kids like my squirrely preschooler, in the midst of a scary-ass storm. But they all survived. Similar stuff happened to both my uncle and my grandma over the past ten years -- who both have had to rebuild in some way or another because of tornadoes.

In China, my friend Satch is doing what he can to help the survivors of the earthquake, in whatever capacity he can. Off the coast of Myanmar, those U.S. military ships are still waiting to offload goods for the survivors of the cyclone. In southern California and Florida, fires are devastating large swaths of land. And Gulf Coast people are battening down the hatches for another season of 'canes. So when it really comes down to it, i will welcome the squish beneath my toes when i insist that this is June, dammit, and i will damn well wear flip flops on this day. Yeah, maybe i wouldn't think the Northwest was quite so safe, had i been here when Mount St. Helens blew her top in 1980, but for the majority of my lifetime, things here have been pretty good.
Here in 2008 -- bring on the drip-drop.

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