Storms of Life

I sit on the back steps, a storm brewing, inside and out. Where a blanket of humidity cloaked me a few minutes earlier, a strong breeze has now cleared the mugginess, and the mosquitoes. 

I think of injustices, of those who are down and out and the kicks keep coming. 

The clanging of the neighbor’s chimes increases. Acorns being hurled toward the ground bounce off the fiberglass patio cover with a bang, along with a few weakened branches, mortally wounded by Irene’s visit. 

The wind continues to pick up, leaves are tossed briskly about, across the yard, across the neighborhood, maybe. 

The birds chirp a rapid warning song amidst the darkness that gathers over their habitat. A cardinal pair stops by for a quick meal before the storm arrives in fullness and they must flee for cover. 

The rhododendron were damaged when the neighbor’s oak was removed. They didn’t like their new environment, baked by a relentless summer sun. I tired of crunchy leaves appearing daily, and today, I put an end to their suffering. And my suffering, by cutting back the ugliness. Now they are nothing more than bare sticks protruding from the ground like a modern sculpture.

All that's left after a branch fell on it

The injuries to the butterfly bush, beaten and broken by Irene, are becoming more evident as the leaves wither. My mind’s eye compares the now-torn-to-pieces perennial to it’s pre-hurricane plushness. I mourn its loss.

I walk nearer, for a closer look. What I find, is life. Fresh blooms, bees, butterflies. Though its soul has suffered, its spirit thrives and gives life to those who come seeking sustenance. Looks can be deceiving. What might have been cut off and cast aside, beckons with all it has left to offer. 

Once again, my mind returns to the still-increasing wind gusts, the darkening of the sky, and I look heavenward.  

And my spirit is renewed with hope. The butterfly bush still manifests life from its weary, storm-battered branches, so can I. And so can you. 

Hungry and thirsty, they fainted; their lives were near to being extinguished. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses. Psalm 107:5-6

 

A Week to Remember

Was last week crazy, or was it just me? You do not have to answer that question. Especially if you’re going to be painfully honest! 

Early in the week we had an earthquake, unusual for this part of the continent.
Later in the week, we had a hurricane, which is rather typical for our area; however, Irene had a mind of her own, and had to do it “her way.” We were totally blessed in that we didn’t lose electricity for any length of time, and the only damage outside was to a trumpet vine and the butterfly bush, and a few twigs from the oak tree. And we give God the glory for this testimony.   

Somewhere, either on a blog or Facebook comment, someone said, “Now all we need are the locusts.” Well, here ya go!

Actually, it appears to be a Differential Grasshopper, but it will be more than happy to attack any green leafy thing–or anything else growing in your garden. (I know this because I recently bought ANOTHER BOOK, a field guide to insects and spiders of North America.)

Did I mention that you will no longer find ME outdoors? Well, not until tomorrow, anyway. I have some other wonderful treasures from today that I’ll be sharing this week. I can’t wait! 

Addy’s Blog

Hello! My name is Addy.

Today is Aunt Patti’s birthday, so I took her up on her offer of guest posting on her blog so she could have the day off. Earlier this month, my mommy ran away from home to hang out with some other relatives. Aunt Patti had mercy on me and took me in, and fed me, and let me sleep in Uncle Linn’s chair.

 It was the least I could do. I was a little leery at first, but she told me about some adorable cat (which I deemed to be an oxymoron) who posts sometimes. I figured if a cat can do it, a dog can do it better!

At home, I can only observe the birds and squirrels from the confines of my room. But at Aunt Patti’s, I can clear them out of the yard in no time flat!

Well, that’s it for today. Monday you will be returned to your regular programming. If Hurricane Irene cooperates!

Lions and Tigers and Bees, Oh My!

Ok, I admit it, the lion part was fiction. Unless you consider I was “lion down” on the job, preoccupied with earthquakes and hurricanes. 

Before our little earth-shaking adventure, I was out in the yard and found not one, but TWO Tiger Swallowtails on the butterfly bush. 

And a bumblebee, too!Tomorrow, I’m going to have a guest posting my blog. I can’t wait for you to meet her! 

 

 

U.S. East Coast Earthquake August 23, 2011

map.jpg

If you saw the news yesterday, you already know we had an earthquake, magnitude 5.8, on the east coast of the U.S. This is very unusual for this side of the continent. It was 1897 the last time this area had one this strong.

And no, I wasn’t here for that one.

The epicenter was approximately 140 miles from where we live. 

I was sitting at the kitchen table when I noticed a swaying sensation. The hard-anodized cookware hanging on the pot rack clanged together, mimicking the sound of heavy wind chimes. Next, I heard water splashing in the kitchen sink. Earlier in the day, I’d left a baking dish to soak; the water was sloshing out of it.

We live in a high traffic area, and it is not unusual for a heavy vehicle to cause the house to shake, but not for this length of time. I wondered if this is what an earthquake feels like.

I peered out the window in the front door, not quite knowing what I expected to see. The chiming noise from the pans was slowing as I turned to a local tv station to see if there was any mention of this phenomenon. They confirmed it was an earthquake.

I returned to my computer and logged onto Facebook. This was big news to share! Status updates were coming in from all around Virginia asking if anyone else felt it. It was surprising to learn that people as far north as Canada experienced the shaking.

Cell phone service was intermittent, and it took three tries before I was able to connect with hubby at work. 

The nuclear power plant in the vicinity of the quake safely shut down. That was a big concern for a lot of residents in light of Japan’s recent tragedy. 

We are safe and sound in this area at the present time.
There is a possibility of Hurricane Irene visiting this weekend, but I hope she changes her mind and vacations elsewhere.