Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spring in the Ozarks

Before moving here last year, Randy and I had been coming to the Mountain Home area for a couple of years to vacation.  This, however, is actually our first spring here.  We are fall and winter travelers, having the luxury of being able to travel when kids are back in school.  It has been a wonderful time to watch the spectacular change from winter to spring. One of my most favorite things is discovering all the different breeds of wildflowers.  Every day I find a new type of beautiful flower.  Of course, there are daisies and recently I found wild roses.  I have also found a tall grass that has a beautiful blue flower with bright yellow stamens.  I love to go outside, especially in the morning after a storm as I most always find something new that has bloomed.

Tom was treated to a couple of impressive storms during his stay with us at the end of April.  I did think after that it would be the end of the worst of the spring storms for us.  Never having been here at this time of year, I don't know if the recent plethora of severe thunderstorms and tornados are normal for spring around these parts.

Mother Nature decided to make her presence known to us in a real big way this week.

Growing up in Washington State, where there is some sort of precipitation 370 days of the year, I have seen my share of rainstorms.  Then we moved to Texas.  I think that it is one of those things that you have to witness for yourself to really get the impact of a storm in the mid-west.

It is truly amazing how much rain comes down in these storms.  It is truly amazing to watch the lightening light up the entire outdoors, daytime or dark, it doesn't matter.  It is truly amazing that a horrific storm is over in ten to fifteen minutes and the sun comes out, its warm, its beautiful out, its like the storm never took place.

I call it an Itsy Bitsy Spider storm ...

The itsy bitsy spider went up the drainage spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the drain again

Okay show of hands ...
... Who rhymed 'again' with 'drain'?
... Who knows all the hand gestures?
... Who can't get the song out of their head now?

This is where I would usually insert some trivial information about the itsy bitsy spider song, but apparently, there is little known about the nursery rhyme.  The most I can tell you that is even remotely educational is that is has an index numer of 11,586 in the Roud Folk Song Index.  

Yes, most folk songs known to man and beast has been categorized by English librarian Steve Roud.

Anyway ~

About 10 pm on Sunday, the storm that brought the tornado to Joplin hit us.  What is also interesting was the change in Roxy about thirty minutes before the storm.  Randy watches the weather radar and knew the storm was coming.  Roxy, about thirty minutes before the storm, started to act very unsettled.  She would lay down, but after a few seconds, would get back up and pace the floor.  She wanted to be let outside, and then she wanted to be let back in.

Rinse and repeat.

That storm was the first of three severe storms that have hit our area between Sunday night and Monday afternoon.  There have been tornado warnings, and luckily we were never upgraded to a tornado watch.  Bull Shoals and Lake Norfolk are at capacity and now the White River has gone over its banks.  Just a couple of weeks ago, Randy, Roxy and I were at the Cotter Trout Dock on the White River.  Today, the building is sandbagged, the boats have been trailered and taken to higher ground and the parking lot is flooded.

Life can change in an instant.  It is a sobering thought that by only the Grace of God, it isn't us looking at the wreckage of our home.

I am praying for the tornado victims in Alabama, Joplin, Oklahoma and Kansas.  I hope that you will do the same.

~ Dorothy 

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