Friday, March 11, 2011

Sometimes Takes Away

Ohio. Oregon. My two 'O' states. Two states that are very different. Two states that hold my heart. Today I embrace my second 'O' state. Today I embrace a country hit by tragedy.

My cousins Gene and Betty Johnson came to visit in the late '80's. On this nice summer day, we sat out on the deck visiting.

"Why would you ever want to live anywhere else?" Gene asked.

I was surprised by his comment since I knew he would like for all of his family to live in that area of Neff Road.

"You don't have flies," he said as we sat with the patio door open. "You don't have humidity. It's beautiful and green here. Why would anyone ever want to leave?"

Precisely. These are just a few of the wonderful benefits of living in Oregon. A beautifully lush state that is green all year. Moderate weather, few bugs, none of those hot humid nights that I remember so well. We are an hour from the mountains, an hour from the beach. The rain falls, but not usually in storm form. Those of us who love the abundance of plants and flowers realize that it is due to the rain that kisses this lovely place.

"So you don't have tornadoes?" Gene continued.

We do occasionally have one pass through. They are rare. Lightning and thunder are rare. Forest fires happen, and, occasionally, we get high winds. Landslides often happen over prolonged periods of rain. All in all, there are few major events in Oregon.

To the other side: Yes, we do have active volcanoes that reside beneath our mountains. St. Helens was proof of the earth's inner anger. Our Mt. Hood is expected to erupt as is Mt. Ranier in Washington. Both would be major events affecting me and mine.

To the other side: Yes, we have earthquakes. We reside on an area of faults that occasionally shimmy and shake us. Not often. We do live with the knowledge that we are due for a major quake that could rival that in Japan, the fault centered many miles off our western beaches. We live with that knowledge.

I love my current home state. Yes, I miss Neff Road, but this has become my home. As I watched the TV and events unfold last night while you in the east were sleeping, my thoughts went to my month-long visit back to Neff Road this summer. I will be a long way from my family. A niggling lingers....that little voice that plants a worry.

We do not live in fear of tornadoes, of tsunamis, of eruptions, of forest fires. We live for the moment realizing how important those moments. Life can change oh so quickly.

It is a new day. A new day to embrace the place we live. To embrace those we love. To respect an earth that gives to us.....and sometimes takes away.

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