Autumn Sunday


Thursday, May 20, 2010


Moving to a different region of the United States is always a lesson in cultural difference, but stranger still, is the adjustment to vastly different weather patterns...

Growing up in Colorado, I was accustomed to huge snowstorms in October, and failed spring vacations because of snow piled so high we couldn't even exit our street, and the ever persistent snow in May. Snow storms are always fun-- they stop the normal patterns of life and remind us "who is really boss." But I must admit that Colorado's May snowstorms grew irksome after awhile. I grew tired of snow in May, when the rest of the world was enjoying spring weather: new flowers, budding trees, and fresh spring rains.

I was glad to move, then, to Kentucky to experience a true spring... baby horses on every farm, rolling hills the most brilliant shade of green, and the smell of lilacs and cherry blossoms on the most beautiful old streets. I miss Kentucky springs.

Now that I am in Arkansas, I am experiencing a whole new kind-of spring. I try to run every evening here, and my most common path takes me around the cutest little lake and up a beautiful path through the forest where I have seen two cotton tailed rabbits, various birds, and some rather boisterous squirrels. The path is laced with the most aromatic honeysuckle I have ever smelled, and my eyes wander up to a huge tall canopy of trees, the sun glinting through the pine, maple, and cherry trees.

But as much as I enjoy the beauty of this place, I wasn't prepared for the amount of tornadoes that seem to strike the surrounding area almost bi-weekly. The first weekend we were here, Tommy and I spent our days moving and our evenings dragging our tousle haired two year old and baby in and out of the shelter under our stairs. Normally, I wouldn't necessarily even be aware of a tornado approaching in the middle of the night, but here, on the military base, the command post bellows a loud tornado signal, and warns us to "find shelter immediately." Supposedly, a family of six had their base home torn apart by a tornado three weeks ago. The knowledge that they were safe simply because they had taken cover, has me making sure to heed caution with each and every tornado warning-- 8 warnings in all since we've been here. The warning last night had Tommy and I out of bed at 3:45am, dragging the kids and the dog, again, to the shelter under our stairs.

I guess every area has its weather ups and downs. In Kentucky, it was dramatic freezing ice, crystallizing the trees and streets in the most beautiful display of crystal prisms I have ever seen. The downside to the beauty was that trees toppled over under the sheer weight of the ice, smashing into homes and breaking power lines-- a fearsome display of might. Here, the storms come often, smacking our home with rain and lightning storms. But the tornadoes are something I have never experienced to this degree. They come without warning, in the middle of the day when the kids are napping, in the middle of the night when we are sleeping, and once when we were on a walk. We were playing at the park, and within minutes, the command post issued a warning to take cover. We ran home with the kids and spent the rest of the evening in and out of shelter. There were 20 tornadoes in the area that evening. All of this takes some getting used to for us. We were accustomed to Kentucky's weather, but this is all new and more than a little weird.

Well, I think I'll sign-out now... I need the extra sleep since I was up part of the night.

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