Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Weather Report

Just returned from a bike ride, and ironically, the tornado siren went off. (See Tom's blog for today at wildwestblog.blogspot.com) I was riding at Gage Park (named for Civil War Veteran Guilford Gage, by the way), and Tom was riding on the Shunga Trail. So, I'm tooling along enjoying the balmy weather when the siren blares. I scanned the skies. Nothing. A few wispy clouds; but the air is a little heavy, and that's indicative of tornado weather. I watched the traffic on 10th Street. Nothing special; maybe fewer cars. I saw no one scrambling for cover. So I kept riding. Turns out it was a test. I probably failed.

I was driving back to Topeka from Manhattan a couple of years ago--Manhattan, Kansas, "the little apple"--when the most horrific storm came up. I was on U.S. 24, 2-lane most of the way. I thought the hail would break the windshield. As I passed homes along the way, there were the native Kansans, standing on their porches watching. Finally, fraught to a frazzle, I took refuge in a pizza joint with three teenagers manning the store. The power went out. We sat close to the plate glass windows and wondered if we should take cover somewhere else. But the sirens hadn't gone off, so we just sat and watched.

I often wonder about the Indians, and whether or not they ran for shelter, huddled and prayed, or just smoked and waited when these terrific storms swept the plains. Likewise, the early settlers. The canvas of a wagon seems a pretty paltry shelter.

Odds & Ends

The event season is upon us! So many things coming up, so many emails coming in. I'll try to get these sorted and pass them along. Spoke with friends in Denver this morning and spring is reaching the Rocky Mountains. In Charlotte, North Carolina, my daughter reports she's gazing at cherry blossoms outside her office window for two weeks. Our tulips are up, Tom saw daffodils today, the neighbors' crocuses are blooming, and I, ever the impatient one, have been putting out silk tulips and pansies on the porch and along the fence. Last night my neighbor came over to ask if they were real. "Nope," I replied, "Hobby Lobby."

She shook her head. "It's so obvious you're not from Kansas."

Photo of the Day

Although his visits to the battlefields were cordial, everyone knew that Abraham Lincoln liked to keep an eye on his generals.

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