Oct 24, 2013

The news of your storms

It didn't really come as a surprise to us mid-westerners, snow in October. Especially not to us, my family. But this snowstorm? The one that snapped trees in two? That snowstorm the news thought wasn't news? The snowstorm that killed horses and cows and people wondered why ranchers didn't take better care of their animals? The snowstorm that took a whole year's income for whole families? The one that made a lot of people ask absurd questions, and the one that brought communities closer? 
Yes, that one. It hurt more than it surprised.

Our barn roof fell in, but we didn't lose anything and our trees bowed deep and looked like someone had played a wild game of twister through their branches when all the snow dried up.

I drove home in a blizzard at four from work. The roads packed with slippery snow and I slid across the center lines once, right into the other lane. Took me twice as long to get home. Past cows hovered against barbed wire in gullies, black bodies covered with white. It made me shiver, remembering what I read about cows, how they keep moving until they can't go further, how they stay there and don't go back, and just freeze. Anything's better than going back.

 And past the Huber's drive on our dirt road no one had been out or in since that morning, no tread marks blazing my way, so I blazed my own trail. I was on my own up our two hills and down to our drive, and the tires slid and I fish tailed. But I got home. And I ran to the house without snow boots and I sighed well because I was home and Mama didn't have to worry any more. Mama's worrying always scares me more than driving in blizzards.

 Funny how on Monday it was eighty degrees and we had just put up autumn decorations, and Mama twined leafy garlands on the windmill. We all huddled in tight together because when the lines go dead and you've got no lights and no heater, it's all you can do. And we were just happy together. Cause that's all there is to be.

 And there's cats in windows. There's that, too.

 Dutch Blitz and other games were in order. And it's always in order to laugh and be silly a lot and cry fake when you don't blitz out.

 But when games grow old and tiresome, the menagerie usually migrates to the living room and soft couches. I perched on the loveseat. Happy in the happiness of others' faces and laughing with pictures.

Living room's are where all the fun is when you have boys and sisters taking EMT classes.You get things like human chairs and how to carry a body over your shoulder the proper way. There's usually talk of another game, but it doesn't amount to much cause it's just quite content doing nothing whatsoever but flopping bodies over arm rests and couches and giggling with one another.

 All the while outside, even though nothing could hurt us here and we were safe, tree tops splintered and animals died and what were they all going to do now that everything they had was gone? How long would it take to clear away this mess this storm made? How long before help? How long till they noticed? It's hard to remember that God is still good, but it's hard to forget when you do.

 There's this constant looking out of windows when the snow is up and about . . . something like a wandering, anxious feeling looking out at it all.

 They keep coming down and breaking off, bending heavy under the weight. The tree in Mama's Nook took a fall.

 Then when the nighttime comes, and the curtains are pulled closed over dark, the candles come on and you know how it must have looked for Caddie Woodlawn and the Sackett brothers and all the pioneers in their cabins in winter, on prairie.

 It's not as dark as you thought. It's never as dark as you thought. Because when your storms don't catch the attention of the world, and sympathy and sharing of the news of your brokeness isn't big on their lists, it's the ones who've been broken before that come and give you all you need. And they know what it's all about. And it's never as dark as you think. So you know who's really worth caring for.

With legs and feet all sprawled and smiles scrawled everywhere, we ended the night in a round of Bible Trivia and Mama and Daddy telling us they were proud of us. And I snuggled in her quilt under the game table with a pillow and listened, just happy there with my eyes shut sleepy.

It's strange falling asleep in a house so deathly quiet as our house was that night, packed in tight with snow. And a whole day later we got our lights back. Some weren't so lucky. I hope they knew, I hope someone was there to tell them--how God is still good?

1 comment:

Katie said...

How blessed I am to call you my own!
Love you,