On Ballgames and Hot Nights

Wow.  It’s hot in Arkansas.  
We have tried to stay inside but couldn’t stand it any longer
and ventured out to see our local team, The Arkansas Travelers, play Frisco last night.  
Go Travs!
 Here are a few shots of my over-heated kids all sugared up on cotton candy 
(which they aren’t supposed to have,) 
frozen lemonade, popcorn, and peanuts…
Enjoying the forbidden

Ice Rings

Cracking up at Dad’s Heckling

Arrows to Show Us The Way to the Car  (Chalk is a Handy Thing)
When we came out of the game it was probably 9 PM (almost dark) and the car thermometer said 104!
School starts this week and we are all in mourning.

Off to Oz?

Tornado Damage in Clarksville
My grandpa’s property was devestated by a tornado a last month. 
He lives in Clarksville, Arkansas- up on a ridge overlooking the town.  
The tornado came from close to the river and made it’s way up along a country road- destroying the country club, some homes, new car wash, and more.   It continued across the interstate and over the creek and up the hill to my grandpa’s house. 

The crazy thing was this…
After tearing up the electrical posts across from his house and splitting them in 3-4 parts it circled his house- taking up EVERY TREE in his yard except for one.  He had huge oaks, buckeyes, walnuts, pecans that were torn up by the roots like daisies and thrown.  His HAM radio antenna (about 40 ft tall) was twisted like a cherry stem.  
HAM antenna
NONE of those many trees hit his house.  His garage and sheds (except for one) were destroyed, some just gone.  There were shingles embedded in tree trunks.
A pine tree was thrown through one of his kitchen windows and sucked out again.  
(He doesn’t even have pine trees and neither do his neighbors!)  
Through the kindness of strangers they had all the trees chopped up very quickly.
(I believe they said it was the local football team and the Arkansas Baptist Association.)
My mom and uncle are still up there helping with the mess.

Emily’s favorite Pin Oak (Was about 3.5 ft. in diameter)
After sucking all the siding off the house, the tornado went back into a neighbor’s field and took 100 of her trees from a pasture.  It then went to my aunt’s house and crashed her garage and took some trees.  Then it decided to hop up into the air again and destroyed an apartment complex and a few new homes before heading out of town.  I think the death toll was five. 
Storms have been so bad this year.  
To me it’s a sign that global warming is VERY real.  Weather patterns are changing.
Mother nature is not happy.

Coming up for air/sun

We have had some fun weather lately in Arkansas…
I think it’s rained for a few weeks straight, and I’ve never heard tornado sirens go off so much in the entire time I’ve lived here.  
Pretty scary.  
Several ancient oaks in our neighborhood were ripped from their roots or struck by lightning.
With all the devastation around us I feel so fortunate that the only damage 
we’ve had is a few leaky spots in the roof from hail and wind damage.  
Is that the sun?
 J’s last soccer game was played by the river (never seen it so high) with half of the fields totally flooded.  He said “Mom, look at those geese playing water soccer.”  We saw a boathouse and half a car going down the river, as well as a HUGE tree. Many schools in the county are still closed because roads are submerged.  
Yesterday was gorgeous.
The Old Statehouse (from our killing time walk during last night’s rehearsals)
Today is too. 
I am enjoying it while I can!

Snow Daze

My honey went to Chicago on Sunday for a meeting and got stranded in “The Blizzard of 2011.”
He finally got home last night and had these pictures to show us.  
Chicago Ghost Town
Snowy Bean

Snowy Park
Snow Coming Down Street

 I guess he brought the snow with him, because about 8am it started snowing here and hasn’t stopped yet.  The kids were happy because it means another snow day!

Happy Snow Dog

Writer’s Workshop: Winter Roads

The snow is gone here.
Well, actually they say some might be coming today, but I doubt it…

I took these pics (last week) while driving my kids to their science class at the 4H center in the country.

The sad thing is that it’s not really the country anymore.  
Suburbs are oozing out that way.  I noticed these woods, these sacred ones we always sigh when we go through (well, the kids are yelling “Go faster, it’s the roller coaster part!” over the bumps) had a big FOR SALE sign in them. 
My heart dropped out of me, even without the bumps.  
On the way back I saw a HUGE red fox slink across the road and into the woods.
   My heart aches.

Made me feel like quoting the morose Miss Emily D…

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons–
That oppresses, like the Heft,
Of Cathedral Tunes–

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us–
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are–

None may teach it–Any–
‘Tis the Seal Despair–
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air–

When it comes, the Landscape listens–
Shadows–hold their breath–
When it goes, ’tis like the Distance
On the look of Death–

Emily Dickinson, Poem 258

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