This is the weather alert that showed on everyone's computer screens and mobile phones. Traveling from West to East, the majority of us worried about home, frantically calling teenagers to get into storm cellars, mothers to stay home, all the while watching the giant trees right outside the front door of our office building bend over almost sideways, spewing leaves and branches everywhere. Someone's weather bug sent out a tornado warning that sent us scurrying to shut down computers and herd clients into the safest part of the building, which is an eight foot long hallway. I sat at my desk. The hallway was full. My son was texting me breaking news as it came across his TV screen.
We heard everything, all the damage done, the tornado touch-downs and freaked because it was all too close to home. Beebe had three tornadoes, in Conway (photo above) the high winds flipped cars over. In Atkins, the pickle factory, once again, was heavily damaged. Tornadoes were sighted in Higginson and Kensett and one touched down in Bradford. The tornado warning lasted a half hour, and it was a long, long half hour.
45 minutes until closing time, and that was an even longer time to have to wait. Would my home still be standing? Would my horse still be in the pasture? Would my dogs be OK? I couldn't get home fast enough.
Coming up the road to home, I see tree leaves littering the ground. A neighbor's canopy set up over a produce stand was down. But, three houses away, I could see Odin, his head down and grazing, his tail swishing away.
Pulling up to my driveway, I see a much anticipated package - laying on the ground in front of the mailbox, soaked and mud-spattered. The dogs were all running up the driveway to greet me, Odin was just fine, but the relief faded as I bent down to pick up that saturated manilla envelope containing professionally printed photos. Those photos are a gift, and my heart sank as the envelope's retained water drained out in a stream.
Oh so gently I carried that envelope inside to lay on the kitchen counter. The paper was all but translucent and all but dissolved. A gentle touch split the paper apart to reveal - a plastic liner! No, it wasn't entirely intact. The photos were wet along one edge. But, they were not damaged!
Once I got over the relief of the photos surviving the horrendous storm, I took a good look at them. They are prints of photos I took, two photos I think are some of my best, and they are amazing. The colors are vibrant, true and intense. I've never seen prints of photos this good.
Thank you, Michael. Thank you!
This was one wild and crazy stormy Friday...