Posted tagged ‘storms’


September 11, 2017

Many of us know someone who lives in Florida,  or we’ve visited Florida ourselves and know some of the places that we’ve been seeing on television.

Here’s a street I’ve driven on many times before:

Alligator on Strawbridge 370

A battered and tired alligator making his way . . .  home, I guess.    This is Strawbridge Rd.,  a residential and small business street in Melbourne FL.

My sister,  who lives there,  came through just fine.

Irma Nancy 4 370

This is her front yard.  Note only small branches down.   No big trees this time.   Her truck is parked  crosswise to protect the garage doors.   I wouldn’t have thought of that.  But then,  I don’t have to,  up here in the Far North.

Here’s her back yard:

Irma Nancy 1 370

Just small branches down.  One year, during Charlie in 2004,  my sister stuck her cell phone out the window so I could hear the hurricane overhead.  It was pretty impressive.  And then there was a huge crash.    The next day they discovered part of their neighbor’s roof in this back yard.

I don’t mean to diminish the destruction that some people are suffering.  Irma’s winds were strong and long –  it was overhead for a long time with Tropical Storm force winds and Hurricane force gusts, so some areas sustained much more serious damage.   I’ve heard more than 60% of  people in Florida are without power, and will be so for weeks.

My sister’s horses?   Apparently the barn held in the winds and the horses, according to my sister, seemed more concerned about their late breakfast this morning than anything they had heard during the night before.

My neighbor’s condo and  his son’s family is in Pinellas county,  Tampa-St. Pete.     All is well there too.     However,   his son says next time he’d evacuate –  he never wants to go through another night like that!

And one more:  my in-laws, or uh,  whatever you call my son-in-law’s parents who  live just north of Ft. Myers.    —  no word yet.   Perhaps they were out of state.    Perhaps they haven’t returned to see . . .  anything.

I know of many prayers that were being said.   I know that referring all things,  all destruction,  all danger,  all feelings to God, can make things go better.

Deo gratias.


I don’t usually like written-out prayers, or sugary sentimental thoughts,   but I picked this up from a bulletin of a church I had to go to this weekend,   and although they don’t mention Harvey or Irma specifically,   there was flooding, and I think this is a nice thought,  a thoughtful prayer — and so I’ll post it here:

Flood Prayer 390





April 9, 2017


Sorry I couldn’t get back here right away after the storm.  I’ve been “perturbed.”

But we’re still here:

2nd Tree and moon

That tall tree that twisted and turned so menacingly in our big storm is still standing.  The sky the next day was gloriously blue.  Innocently blue:  “What?  What storm?”   The pond level remains high but the raging torrent has returned to a normally high spring-level creek no longer uprooting trees and gouging out the creek bank.

Nature is calmer,  but this week becomes one of “perturbations”  and turmoil in the spiritual world,  during which Christians try to enter into the experience of Holy Week,  Jesus’ last week of life on this earth.   Try to enter into;  try to figure it out;  spend time  uniting in the experience, the story, the details.

The time approaches.

2nd Tree and Fist


Next to the photo of the top of the tree is a moon becoming full.  Not just any full moon;  the Paschal Moon,  for it is always full on Passover, and therefore on the Thursday of this particular week.    I put up my fist to measure the height of the moon.   One fist = 10 degrees.  The moon was about 50 degrees high in the sky.   As Thursday evening comes, it will be about that high,   but it will be just about at its highest point later in Gethsemane,  where Jesus had his  unspeakable agony,   sorrow beyond our understanding.


2nd Waves

So, the storm that Mother Nature gave our area is past, but the wind still blows little waves and ripples across the pond to accompany our unsettled feelings during our Holy Week meditations.

And now there is the storm our politicians are giving us in international affairs.    “Russia threatens war,”  the new headlines say.     Well,  yes.   We attacked a sovereign nation.   One which Russia was working with to defeat ISIS.   They would be “perturbed.”

And   “Perturbations in Egypt.”     Palm Sunday today, and 43 Christians were killed in their churches by Islamic bombs.    “Innocent children and women  should not be killed in that manner”   . .  .  to use the words of the American president commenting on events in Syria.    I hope he is not so perturbed that he takes advice to retaliate against Egypt.   And if not,  why not?

(Maybe an unnamed “chemical gas”  is supposed to perturb us more than a more familiar bomb-attack.)

“Perturbations” as Islam advances apace in the Western world.

This week, after a few months of listening to a lecturer from Yale present Late Ancient and Medieval history,   he suddenly began giving lectures falsifying  (and sanitizing)  the history of Islam —  I could have thrown fifty books at him that tell a very different  history,   and consistently different throughout the centuries of experience with Islam,  some of these books written long before this man was born.   I suppose he has to agree to say these things or else lose his tenure.

But, gee — if you can’t trust a history professor from Yale,  who can you trust?   (That’s a joke, my friends.)

But again, “Islam advances apace.”     Look up that word “apace.”


March 13, 2017

(Fetching:  going out to get something and bringing it in)

Been “disabled for a few days” – so no posting here.   It all began one “Dark and Stormy Night”  last week,  Tuesday,  about midnight.   The only light came from above my desk where  I had all my books and notebooks  spread out,  studying and writing,  when all of a sudden I heard a big   noise in the basement  (I thought).

Something – big – had shifted or collapsed  in the basement –  and I didn’t want to go down there to see what had collapsed,  or what critter had caused it!

But the next morning,  I glanced out the window and saw this:

PO 1 Tree in pond 390

I didn’t use the panorama mode in my camera,  so that’s only a portion of the approximately 60-foot tree that had fallen into my backyard pond.      It had been dead for a while,  and Son had picked it out as one he’d have to take down soon.

Our big wind storm here in the Far North took care of that!        And the ducks enjoyed the new feature in their pond,  trying out  various positions on the floating tree.

PO 2 ducks on 380

The wind continued, and after more 60 m.p.h. wind gusts,  the power line and telephone poles around here came down too.   Temperatures fell,  and “mister”  gently corralled his lady-wife into a sheltered little cove:

PO 3.5 Cuddle ducks 370

The lady fluffed up her feathers and slept for a couple hours,  with mister watching over her.     (I think we’ll be seeing some duck eggs soon.)

RECORDER   I went off to play recorderat my friend’s house while her lamps “browned out” once in a while.       And Son  texted me that the power had gone completely out at my house –  and to be careful driving home because things were flying all over on the roads.

pinned under

I arrived home to find a happy,  busy Son pulling the tree out of the water.  I helped – and although I’m usually not clumsy,  as I was pulling on my end of the tree,  my feet slipped in the muddy bank just as the tree pivoted over me and I got pinned under the top of the tree.  The narrow end,  only about two inches in diameter,  but I couldn’t extricate my legs by myself!    Kind of a creepy feeling.

We got  me and tree out onto the grass and son got busy with the chainsaw :

PO 7 Son w chainsaw 380

As the house cooled down,  I got my revenge on that tree –

PO 6 burning that tree

We burned those round logs that had pinned me down that day!

And there began a few days of “fetching.”

Fetching firewood periodically as the temperatures plunged to 12,  15,  17 degrees.

Fetching water from the creek for certain  “necessities”   in the bathroom.

Fetching gasoline for the generator which we kept running to protect the refrigerator and the freezer,  light one lamp for the evening,  although we had a beautiful source of light on the table for the nights:

PO 5 beautiful night lamp

Light was always necessary because we lived among cables connected to the generator for a few days:

PO 4 cords

We were “ugly,”  inconvenienced,   and unclean for those four days,  but eventually power came back on and it didn’t take long to  get all the mud off the floors (from all our “fetching trips, in and out  of the muddy backyard),  clean the grime,   and put things back in their proper places.

And the heat from the furnace  feels so good!   And a warm shower feels so good!   And bright lights at night is so good!

And freedom from all the hours spent  just fetching!!     So good!

See,  I did okay during this power outage –   I’d be a good Luddite.

But I’ve experienced “modern technology” –   and it can feel   so good!!

LDY pc














April 28, 2014

Well, trapped may be a little dramatic,  but if you drew a diagonal line on a map cutting off the American southeast,   that’s what the weathermen did today, effectively trapping me in Florida. Map of weather line

The line is unfortunately made up of extremely strong storms and tornadoes.    The Weather Channel is pointing out towns that I normally drive through, towns that I sleep in sometimes on my way home.

So I’ll have to spend a little more time in this almost-paradise of palm trees and ocean beaches and withering hot temperatures while I wait out these storms here in Florida.   I need a little more time visiting with my Mom anyway.

This probably doesn’t look like much of a picture – we drive by nursing homes without a second thought –


–  but one of those windows contains everything that my Mom’s life has become. She spends her time working hard to make sense of each present moment and find the words to communicate fleeting impressions.

I brought her photos to look at today, old family photos.  She was once a beautiful young photographer’s model and art student in Chicago.  Then she was a professional “career woman,”  as they used to say,  and my own Mom.   Then she and my Dad owned and operated a music store in a shopping mall. . . . .

Cousin Lois from the Far Far North Skyped with us tonight.     Mom comprehended that someone “live” was talking to her on the computer,  but she doesn’t remember her own computer-using days.   She liked the pictures I showed her, but it was very tiring for her to remember all these things.  Even my relative “youth” and strength and health was actually a world apart from hers, behind that window.

I left her and went out to find a new home for myself for the next couple of days, while the storms pass.

Tuckaway Front view

It’s a nice home-away-from-home.


Complete with kitchen….


And a nice view from the dining area.

Through the Blinds

I opened my back door  (or is that the front door?)  and went out to the beach.

Stairs to Beach
And then just stared and stared.   I wasn’t elated, as I thought I would be.

Beach view

Maybe I’m tired too, or maybe my thoughts were getting heavy.  What happened to my Mom?   What happens to our lives here on earth?   What’s left that’s important here?   How important are these things?

Beach surf

I looked down at my feet in the wet sand and thought of all the centuries past and the people who walked these shores then.   Family after family, human after human,  men and women stayed alive and lived lives as best they could and then – their lives were over.   Disease, old age,  a sudden spear in the back,  a shark or a riptide,  and their souls left this earth.

Like an upward rain,  souls fly upwards at death, all leaving this earth.  As my Mom’s will some day.  And mine.  And yours.   And newer generations will walk over the same ground as we have walked, and they will walk on to the end of their lives and join the flow of souls, upwards, back to their Creator to account for the precious time of testing that we call this life.

Perhaps I’m hearing the background noise from the Weather Channel telling us of death and destruction tonight.

Once when my daughter and I were on our way to a happy shopping trip,  we came across a traffic accident, and she said:  “Every day is a bad day for someone.”

DeckI’ll be pondering that for a couple of days while the ocean surf pounds out its rhythms.

Such a beautiful planet to live out our lives on.    I’m here now to be with my Mom towards the end of hers.


In Christendom,  personal evening prayers often include prayers for those who are struggling with their dying moments each night.    And it would be good to pray tonight for all those in misery and despair as they survey their losses from these tornadoes.

We’re all sons of Adam and daughters of Eve – not quite yet in a real Paradise.




July 5, 2012

Our turn for the big midwestern summer storms.

Woke up in the middle of the night to a mighty roaring overhead.   Strong, steady, straight-line winds that roared through the treetops and sounded like a parade of bull dozers on my roof.   The rumbling and vibrations went on for almost a half hour in the heavy rain.

Lost a tree top:

That looks like brush at the edge of the pond, but it’s not, it’s the tree top.    Plants and chairs blew off my deck.   There is tree debris all over the yard again.

Found a tiny little tragedy on my driveway:

That would be “one less robin.”

So fast can bad things strike.

Life is precious.


November 9, 2011

Outside of my own immediate life there is a Hurricane Evacuation going on .   Right now!


We live in such a great big wide world, that it wasn’t until the trees above my own house began roaring in the wild autumnal wind gusts  that I remembered that  far away, far up north,  the people in Nome, Alaska, and nearby coastal villages have been evacuated because of the approaching hurricane.

Upwards”  was my last posting.    I really meant that.

But today, before I start writing about these past few busy days,  I’d like to remind myself to also look “Outwards.”   There is a lot going on out there, and I’m not sure I understand it all.    Sometimes trying to take a closer look doesn’t help much.

If you try to take a closer look at Nome, Alaska, from their live webcam,  you’ll  just see foggy air and rolling waves.

If the people of Nome looked “upwards” into their sky,  they won’t see much there either.    I hope when this is all over for them,  they’ll be able to look beyond this ‘up”  and see “Upwards and Beyond”  for their strength and perspective.

We could remember our fellow-Americans in our prayers.     This world and all its forces is so much bigger than we humans are.