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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Traffic & Tornadoes

"Ugliness is so grim. A little beauty, something that is lovely, I think, can help create harmony which will lessen tensions."
~Lady Bird Johnson


While other holiday travelers headed north this past holiday weekend, Charlie and I headed southwest for a family visit in Platteville.

Friday was a picturesque summer day with clear blue skies illuminating a bright green landscape; the perfect day for a road trip!

Wildflowers are beginning to bloom along the highways, coloring the landscape in bright purples, pinks and oranges. Queen Anne's Lace is sprinkled along medians in bursts of bright white, appearing as nature's own fireworks, and honey-colored feathered grass waved in the wind. I am always so grateful for Lady Bird Johnson's efforts to beautify our highways with her love of wildflowers while on these summer road trips.


But when we got to Platteville, I was faced with the reality of how close the recent tornadoes came to my dad's house; a home I visit regularly. Driving through town along the path of damage, I was awe-struck by the massive amount of damage to a place so familiar to me. And when we came upon the home of a friend of the family and found nothing but the bare foundation, I was appalled. A friend was injured in that home and has a long recovery ahead of her.

I've always been awed and impressed with violent weather - especially tornadoes. It is a testimony of Mother Nature's power. But seeing the damage up close and thinking of all the people affected is humbling.

And even though I had a wonderful visit full of typical 4th of July celebrations - good food, laughter & family - the destruction just over the hill was ever-present in my mind.

...

I go into the woods on a regular basis and give thanks to the beauty of nature, but there is a violent and destructive side of nature as well and it is a reminder to respect this power. Enjoy it, but be safe.


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