After the Storms

I’d love to see your smiling face
I really, really would,
But coming up to Fayetteville
Won’t do you any good.
There’s armed guards at some stations
Where they are selling gas,
The traffic is backed up so far
Alabama’s here en masse.
But if you really need something
Don’t hesitate to call,
‘Cause traffic going south you see
Is nothing much at all.
Rick filled his gas tank early
He’s heading south right now,
To check on special people
Called from the road said, “WOW!!!
We’re thankful to the Lord above
That no one we know was hurt,
That the sun is out and without a doubt
We’re sheltered in His love.
So do call if you need us
There’s nothing we’d like more,
Than to lend a hand, where ere we can
That’s just what friends are for.

The storms that ripped through nothern Alabama and southern middle Tennessee yesterday were real doozies. The weather man said that this weather event was possibly the worst ever since records have been kept. The weather service thinks there were over 100 tornadoes of various degrees spawned from the storm system.

We were very fortunate here. No major damage, no power outage. About the worst we had to deal with this morning was a section of driveway being washed out. I think Nathanael has already gotten the rake out and remedied that situation. Yes, Rick and Victoria have taken off to check on some folks we couldn’t get ahold of by phone to see if they were all right first and foremost and to get a shopping list of anything they might need.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to have gotten complacent these days and find that I just assume everything will be as it is every day without fail. In the winter I do get concerned about having an ice storm like some we’ve had in the past that knocked out electricity for days and days. Before we moved the shop into the first floor of our house we had a woodburning stove so we didn’t worry too much about keeping warm. Our kitchen stove runs on propane gas so we can cook, and it’s always colder outside than in the refrigerator so we can put anything that needs to be kept cold in the sun room. That’s in the winter time.

The rules change just a bit during storm season. If there’s no electricty we can always open the windows to get a breeze and some fresh air, provided it’s not raining. But what do you do about the food in your refrigerator? There’s no amount of ice that’s going to keep it cold for very long. What about food that doesn’t need cooking? We don’t have a stockpile of food because the grocery store is less than two miles away and we tend to go every day or so, sometimes two and three times a day when we don’t plan or communicate with each other well. Thankfully, this go around we still have electricity and can cook, otherwise we’d be eating peanut butter and crackers and those would have to be rationed.

My thoughts this morning have been racing with how we need to get ourselves better prepared for these types of situations because we never know when we’ll be faced with the prospect of no electricity even without a storm being present. I believe it was David who said, “Give me the old paths…” and I can’t help but think he knew what he was talking about. While they didn’t have computers and such in Bible times I’m sure there were all manner of new fangled things being invented and new ideas surfacing that made him say that. I wonder how many people younger than myself could manage should we need to go back to a simpler way of living. In business now, for example, everything is computerized. Without electricity to run the computers large stores cannot operate unless they have large generators. I’m glad that I learned how to write up sales with a pen and paper long ago. If we had no electricity I could still sell fabric and such because I know how to write out a sales slip by hand. I also know how to count back change without the aid of a cash register telling me how much to give. Man! I’m beginning to sound ancient here. But my point is this, skills that our parents and grandparents had still need to be taught to our children today. We’ve not been involved with the public school system so I don’t know if they have a class on basic survival tactics, but if they don’t they may want to start including one in the lineup of requirements to graduate. After all, they surely want to turn out well-rounded young people who can take care of themselves in an emergency situation. Some of the things that I’ve heard that are taught in public schools aren’t going to help them too much when it comes to figuring out how to feed themselves.

OK…enough rambling. Nathanael has been out picking up trash that blew into our yard yesterday. He brought in a health record for a black Cocker Spaniel who lives in Hartselle, AL. It looks like it might have come from a mobile home because there is a lot number associated with the address. Actually, now that I look at it a little closer the dog who was nine weeks old on 2/11/89 may no longer be alive, but the owner had obviously kept the beloved pets vaccination record.

He also found a 1992 baseball card for Derek Nathaniel Bell of the Blue Jays. I thought it was interesting that they shared the same middle name even though they are spelled differently. It’s also interesting that 1992 was the year my Nathanael was born. Where on earth did that baseball card come from? Things that happen in our lives are often strange and amazing…aren’t they?

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