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“Wow. One minute you go to sleep and the next minute you wake up in the bathtub”
Will Vanderslice, age 7, musing on last night’s events
It all happened rather suddenly. At eleven last night, I was upstairs glued to the tv keeping storm vigil, as I usualy do during severe weather. Everyone else was asleep. I was tracking the tornados that kept raking over Hot Springs and then following them through Little Rock and beyond. KARK’s trusted meterologist Brett Cummins (he’s so serious, so earnest) had just explained how these tornadoes had formed out ahead of the squall line and those were therefore the most dangerous. As opposed to the line of storms in the squall line heading toward Conway. These were strong, but not as much to worry about.
Hmmm, I wondered. Then what’s that little spinning arrow showing rotation just west of Conway?
I kept on wondering but no one on any of the local stations said anything about it, focused as they were on the pummeling of Hot Springs and Little Rock.
Then the tv went out out.
Ok, no cause for alarm yet, this can happen in a hard rain.
Then the sirens went off. Time to “put your tornado plans in place,” as Brett says. I sprang into action, dragging the boys out of bed and downstairs and John out of bed, and all of us into the downstairs bathroom. Even though it only happens once every couple of years (Thank God), we know the drill. Boys in the tub, John and me on the floor outside tub, squeezed between the commode and the wall, all of us with the twin guest mattress over our heads, waiting.
Jackson, bless his heart and his God given ability to sleep through anything, just curled up with the sleeping bag and went right back to dreamland. Will sat up with us and shared the countdown until 11:45, which, as you might imagine, went like this:
“How many more minutes?”
“How many more minutes?
And so on. You get the picture. Thankfully, the warning expired at the predicted time, the boys all went back to bed and I stayed up to make sure that the excitement was, indeed, over for the evening. The sirens were for a funnel cloud north of us, but on the whole, Conway was spared, though poor Little Rock and Hot Springs are in serious recovery mode.
I haven’t forgotten the giveaway, I’m going to do the drawing this weekend and announce the winner of The Observation Deck in my next post.
Meanwhile, I’ve been reading and writing and rounding out the semester. Visiting classes to observe the finalists as part of my job as committee member for the Teaching Excellence Award Committee. I really like visiting the different classes and feeling like a student again. Except, No Tests! So far, I’ve enjoyed learning about Neurological disorders in a nursing class and am looking forward to an honors class, a biology class and a speech pathology class next week.
Reading. The Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeanette Walls, for a lively new monthly women’s book club I’ve joined. A rollicking, crazy retelling of her childhood with a wild, nomadic family.
Old Friend From Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir</a> by Natalie Goldberg. I used up almost a whole post-it note pad marking up all the great writing exercises I want to use in this. As good or better than Writing Down the Bones, the most accessible, sensible book on memoir I’ve read. However, Goldberg’s tendency to tell you, in one way or another, to write for just ten minutes, got old really fast. There was the old standby, “write for ten minutes,” my favorite. Simple. Unassuming. Never goes out of style. Then there was:
Go. Ten Minutes.
Ten Minutes. Go.
Give me ten minutes on. . . or, Go ahead, Give me ten minutes.
I completely understand the purpose of these short assignments, you write with a concentrated burst of energy and if the piece demands it, you go back later. Presto, subjects for longer essays.
I just didn’t like feeling like I was in boot camp.
Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s novel The Boy Who Dared, based on the true story of sixteen year old Helmuth Hubener, who defied Hitler Youth in Nazi Germany and hung for it. I read it for more novel research (one of my characters is a Nazi Youth member about Hubener’s age). It could be quite compelling at times but at others, felt more like summary than scenes. This may be because Bartoletti knows the subject so well; she won a Newbery Honor medal for a nonfiction book about Hitler Youth.
A fun book called Garage Sale America, by Bruce Littlefield (a must click link!). Ah, he captures the spirit of the sport perfectly. And the beauty of it: I got this relatively new book for 2.50 at a flea market where everything in the booth was half off. Bruce would be so proud!
It’s that time of year again, folks. Spring is in the air and bargains lie in wait at on sawhorse tables all over Central Arkansas. I went early today for an hour and a half and let me tell you, if I was in the market for antique furniture, I would have hit the jackpot. As it was I scored: a great vintage apron ($1), a vintage toleware tray($1) and a funky wood sixtie’s lounge-style painting ($1). Not much, but not bad for a rainy day either and I’m only getting started. . .
That’s all for now–look for the winner in the next post–
PS $563,000 has been donated to far to Save the Mount. George Soros, are you reading this?