By Lonnie Cruse
I posted my weekly blog post for today much earlier and am now yanking it in favor of a new post. Think of this as a: "We interrupt this program" sort of a break. I'll re-post that one next week.
I woke up around 4:30 AM this morning to find our bed shaking like crazy and nothing of a romantic nature was going on. "What are you doing?" I demanded of my sleepy hubby, figuring he was fixing the covers to suit him yet again or trying to get his restless legs to settle down. He swore he wasn't moving. Then I realized my dishes on the curio shelf were rattling. Never a good sound. EARTHQUAKE! They last only a few seconds, but it feels like a lifetime.
Back in February I came home from a mystery conference in Alabama to find everything covered in thick ice and huge trees everywhere felled by the extra weight. Much of our area looked like a war zone, and much of it still does. Many trees still sport the scars of broken limbs and many large trees still lay across yards as it's been too rainy/windy to drag out the chain saws. Cleaning that mess up will be ongoing for quite some time.
Recent rains have brought the Ohio River far above flood stage, to the point that part of our historic Massac Park is closed off with water over the road and over the most popular picnic and play area. I miss being able to walk there and am watching for the water to recede. Sand bags are in use everywhere to keep the water away from homes and businesses. Wednesday as I drove across the I-24 Bridge that connects Metropolis, IL to Paducah, KY, I noticed the bean field beneath the Paducah side of the bridge was covered for acres and acres with high flood waters. That isn't unusual in the spring, but the water was white capping in the strong wind, like a huge lake. Don't remember seeing that before.
Some of our high water came from severe storms that included tornado warnings. Sigh. We can't seem to catch a break, weather wise. I'm listening to news reports and many people thought the earthquake was a tornado, given that we expect strong storms later today and things were rattling around inside and outside their houses. An old building in Louisville, quite a distance from us, lost huge amounts of bricks off the front, and somewhere in Indiana a bridge is partially closed due to pieces falling onto the road.
Living in the Midwest is not for sissies, folks. Ice storms, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes are common. And scary. Something we never get used to. So why do we stay? Our families are here. We can't all afford to relocate. Where would we go? California, and risk falling into the ocean? Not much choice. And frankly, we never think the damage will hit US. The funnel cloud will hop over us, or the water won't get that high in our yard. Optimistic to a fault. And that's the New Madrid Fault, by the way. Y'all have a nice day.