Stormy Weather

“I like to hear a storm at night. It is so cosy to snuggle down among the blankets and feel that it can’t get at you.”
― L.M. Montgomery

Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do.
Golda Meir

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(ominous clouds as tornado sirens howl on a stormy Sunday Georgia morning / Julie Cook / 2015)

“. . .Life is bare
gloom and misery every where
Stormy weather
Just can’t get my poor self together
I’m weary all the time
The time
So weary all the time”

2nd stanza / Stormy Weather

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There’s nothing like listening to that beautifully melodic and mesmerizing voice of the one and only Lena Horne.
I loved / love Lena. . .
Ms Horne was born to a generation of singers who sadly have come and gone.
Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James. . .
Soulful storytellers whose beauty and life’s trials, as well as their gift of song, could stir the deepest of emotions in even the most casual of listeners.

Lena Horne defined both class and grace.
Although being born in Brooklyn and spending most of her life in New York and Pennsylvania, Ms Horne spent a good bit of her childhood living in Fort Valley, Georgia—of which I suppose lead her to acquire that markedly distinct sultry southernesque drawl she’d call upon for wooing audiences and movie producers alike.

Today’s weather is a fitting tribute to the woeful lament Ms. Horne made famous, Stormy Weather.
First performed at the famous New York Cotton Club in 1933 yet a song made immortal when performed by Ms Horne in 1943 in the movie of the same name. . .

“. . .don’t know why, there’s no sun up in the sky. . .
Stormy Weather. . .”

I didn’t need Ms Horne however, to remind me of the current weather condition as the early morning wail of the tornado sirens was sign enough.
The sirens wailed, the phones buzzed with alerts and the television was rife with the warnings of impending doom. . .as in “SEEK SHELTER NOW!!!”

Luckily the “rotation” the doppler radar was indicating was remanning up in the clouds and thankfully had not descended to the ground.

It was to be on this tumultuous Sunday morning, as it is on many Sunday mornings, my husband was to treat me to breakfast out. As in I wasn’t going to have to cook it. It’s the only morning he’s not at work. As in he’s actually home. And of all the little treats in life. . . it’s breakfast out that I enjoy most. There’s just something special about heading out on a lazy stress free morning to some inviting little restaurant or tiny cafe, as the heady scent of bacon mingling with fresh coffee greets all at the door.

And so it was on this stormy, springtime morning I was to be treated to a nice breakfast out. The only problem was that an impending tornado was in the middle of my path to bacon and pancakes.
UGH!

The weatherman on the news was zooming in on a fierce looking storm hovering about 5 miles south down the road from our house. It’s amazing how they can pinpoint storms with such vivid accuracy. A Tornado Warning had been issued, the sirens were wailing and my stomach was growling.
We waited.
I peered out the windows.
The rain beat down.
No lightning thank goodness.
I hate lightning.
No winds.
Just black skies with torrential rains.

All of which got me thinking. . .
How often in life are we excited, full of anticipation, looking forward to something special, when suddenly, out of the blue, we get blindsided, we’re thrown a curve ball, we hit the proverbial bump in the road, we hit the wall? There’s a glitch that rears its ugly head in our best laid plans. Our assumptions for a complete follow-through are not what we had expected or anticipated.

Rather than savoring the smooth sailing toward a treat, a reward, a trip, a special event, a magnanimous moment we’re faced with an impending storm, a train wreck, a disaster, a detour. Our attentions shift, our guard gets up, plan B must be implemented, and we hunker down.
We wait.

And as it so happens with the worst of storms–the rains fall, the clouds lighten, the winds shift, the energies exhaust and the dangers pass.
With or without repercussions.
At which time we emerge bleary eyed, nerves shaken, but resolve in tact.
We’re ready to proceed, to continue, forward.
Maybe we have to pick up a few pieces along the way, maybe our plans are delayed. . .
yet nevertheless our eyes remain fixed. . .fixed on our hopes and dreams which remain down the road where we had yearned to travel in the first place.

So on this new morning to this new week, may you keep your eyes on the prize. . .
whatever that prize may be for you. . .
May you remain prepared for what life may throw in the middle of your travels
And may you remember that we all have stormy weather at some point in our lives
but that the storms will always, eventually, pass. . .

Watch out for Mother Nature, just ask the poor pine tree

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“Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.”
Mark Twain

“Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky
Stormy weather…”
Can’t you just hear that sultry voice of Billy Holliday..”stormy weather”…
Unfortunately my encounter with stormy weather is never so…”sultry”…more rather like something form Tchaikovsky’s Overture of 1812 complete with massive cannon fanfare…..
Lightning and thunder. The sky grows dark, the distant rumbling growing ever stronger, the flashes of light brighter and nearer. The impressive calling card of the all too familiar summer thunderstorm. And yes I get nervous. I don’t know why but bad thunderstorms scare me to death.

I can remember once when I was little, being in the den with my mom, watching TV. A summer storm blew up as lightning struck something near the house causing a fire ball to explode out from the bottom of the TV. Mother whisked up my brother and me, all three of us screaming, and hurrying us out to sit in the car in the carport—something about how a car was the safetst place during a storm due to the tires….truth or wive’s tale I know not, but that’s where we waited out the storm.

After yesterday afternoon it is with good reason that I get nervous. Mother Nature seems to want to constantly remind me of the power she has over me….I get it, Nature is indeed the greater…I am but a mere player in her great teeming and seething ways…..

I was in the kitchen late yesterday afternoon getting geared up to start supper. A coming storm steadily announcing its impending presence by the ever nearing crescendo of sound. There were several “pops”, those familiar tell tale signs that lightning is too close for comfort, then the earth rattling reverberating booming. I usher the cats in from the deck, once I see and hear the approaching storm, continuing all the while preparing supper.

Suddenly there is a brilliant flash and a terrific snap—a snap of massive energy that sends 5 different pictures hanging on various walls scattered throughout the house crashing to the floor. I am literally dropped to my knees.. then BOOM……….the deafening thunder….Oh dear Lord, it has to have just hit the house! The cats huddle near me eyes wide open. I quickly run upstairs to the attic making certain things are not on fire. I see nothing. Thank God! But it hit something and that something had to be close.

Once the storm passes, and my poor, soaked to the bone husband, gets in from work, we go out to survey the yard. Suddenly I spot the victim. A tall pine that sits, or should I say sat, at the top of our driveway– yet directly across the street in a pasture. The pine tree is no longer what one would call a tree. It looks more like a tall splintered toothpick, with nary a bit of bark.

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What was Ben Franklin thinking??!! He’s out tempting fate and I’m hiding under the sheets praying like nobody’s business. Yes Mother Nature is one tough cookie…this cookie however, who is not too proud to admit, is a whimp—and proud of it —-the next time you hear a clap of thunder, just remember that out there somewhere is a normally stalwart woman cowering for cover……..