Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “tornadoes”

Close to Home

When I see something in the news about a tsunami in faraway lands, I have compassion for the victims, but the victims are strangers to me and I have never been to those places.

When there is a natural disaster, such as tornadoes in the Midwest or hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, or wildfires in the West, I can relate better.  The victims are Americans, like me.  Maybe I have been to the location of the disaster.  Maybe I have friends or family in the area.

But enough about people I don’t know.  Now let’s talk about me, me, me.

Now the news is showing the clean-up from the flooding in northern Colorado.  This is my neighborhood.  I have been on those roads now destroyed, like Highway 34 up the Big Thompson Canyon to Estes Park.  I can’t get to Estes now.  I love going to Estes Park.  It is a beautiful little tourist town in the mountains, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.  We camped there this summer.  My wife did an art show there in June.  We have been to the stores shown on the news as being flooded. We live in the very same county.

We have family members in Boulder and Longmont.  They were not harmed, yet we worried until we learned that.

I called a lawyer friend last week to see how he was doing because he lives in an area that is a mountain valley.  Last summer, his family was evacuated during the High Park fire.  This year his family was not evacuated, but his home was damaged by some of the flooding.  Still, they stayed.  The road to his house is not a priority in the rebuilding efforts.  He was told that it might not be repaired for a year.  In the meantime, he literally has to use a ladder to cross a washed out section of the road that is now an open crevice in order to get to a car he parks on the road.  He has to hike quite a ways to get to that car.  For a year?

We have been to his home.  It is in a lovely setting.  I understand why they moved there.  Now I have difficulty grasping how they can stay there, cut off from vehicle access.

There are many stories like that.  Worse stories.  True stories.

The people who lost everything in a tsunami can feel compassion for families like my friend’s, and probably do.  Even so, Colorado is a faraway place to them.

I guess you had to be there.

It helps to remember that God, who knows when a sparrow falls from a tree, is here and was there with the people in the tsunamis, the hurricanes, the tornadoes, the wildfires, and the floods.  For nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Charitable Contributions vs. Sponsorship

It may be that I am becoming a curmudgeon.  That could explain my growing resentment of being asked to pledge to a charity picked by someone else, who is enjoying an activity for free by getting pledges.

As have many of you, I have paid teens so much per pin for bowling for some charity.  I didn’t mind.  Bowling is fun for the kids.  The charity is a good one.  I gave it little thought.

Similar to contributing per bowling pin, I have pledged so much per mile for people walking or running for some charity of their choice.  They don’t have to pay an entry fee when they are participating for charity.

Of course, I could have contributed to the charity directly, regardless of whether the solicitor ran or walked or bowled.  Or, I could donate to a different charity of my own choosing, again, without any activity by a third person.

I like to ride horses.  I can do it with or without sponsors.  I could go on a 100 mile ride and all who read this could pay me so much per mile.  I could have the fun and get the credit for raising money from you to give to my favorite charity.

Or, you could leave me out of the loop and donate directly, which I encourage you to do.

The Red Cross, various church organizations, and other charitable groups are doing lots of good to help people who have suffered as a result of the recent tornadoes and current wildfires, as well as helping others throughout the world.  There are charities that fight diseases, such as cancer and M.S., or help wounded veterans, or needy children.  Most are good causes.

Please give, whether or not I bowl, run, bike, walk or ride my horse.  Choose your own way to help.  Bless your hearts for doing so!

However, if you wouldn’t give unless I ride my horse, let me know about your pledge and I will take old Woody out for a spin.  I will send your money on to my charity after I deduct the cost of feeding Woody and maybe renting my saddle to myself.  You know, for charity — the one I pick.

woodyandAL

Okies Don’t Scare Easy

History, literature, movies, and music include many stories, some even true, about courage.   People admire courage, and should.  Americans, particularly Westerners, pride themselves on facing adversity bravely.

Tom Petty wrote a song that was featured in the recent movie, Appaloosa.  The song is called  “Scare Easy.”  Some of the lyrics are:  “I don’t scare easy.  Don’t fall apart when I’m under the gun.  You can break my heart and I ain’t gonna run.  I don’t scare easy for no one.”

The tornadoes in Oklahoma have been devastating.  We pray for the many who have lost their homes and loved ones. These folks have demonstrated that they don’t scare easy.  God bless them!

Listen to the entire song performed by Mudcrutch for the movie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GGF3Zz2o9Q&feature=fvwrel

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