Sunday, May 27, 2007

Flatlands

Down in the Texas valley, rich soil and flat land meld into fertile fields enhanced by a temperate climate. A freeze in the valley is rare, rare as a 10 inch rainfall.

I saw the thick distinct wall of black clouds as I blithely crossed the international bridge at Progreso. Since it's rained almost every day this year in Dallas, I didn't give it much thought except to hope that I got to my car before the rain hit. Indeed I did, and got almost a mile down the road before the wind burrowed under the car, sliding me into the next lane. Then the rain. When I couldn't see or control the car, I pulled over at a convenience store at the exact moment lightning struck and knocked out the electricity. Recent thunderstorms in Dallas have produced tornadoes, so I called my Dad to see what the weather reports were. I was still a good twenty miles from his house. He reported rain, but nothing else dramatic, so when the wind died down a little, I crept back to the road, only to stop a block later, under the awning of the Holiday Inn. There I waited, but not long enough.

The highway through there has been under construction as long as I can remember. The road travels up onto the interstate surface, and then back to the frontage road repeatedly. On my right hand side was a concrete barrier, on the left 18 wheelers whizzed by drenching me with overspray. Saying the road was flooded is an understatement. In some places there were rivers to cross. I had visions of all those news stories on TV about vehicles being washed away. For the brief seconds I allowed my eyes off the car in front of me, I saw that the whole area was flooded. Those plowed fields got a good dose of rainwater. By the time I neared my dad's house emergency crews were out closing down the roads.

I walked into my dad's living room, soaked to the skin, with my pink hair stuck to my head, and said, "I never thought I'd be this happy to be at an old folks home!"

All in all, it was a good visit. Dad complained that he is having trouble remembering names, but heck, I'm impressed with all the things he remembers! I really hope I'm in as good shape as he is when I'm 92.

I took the whole weekend off from anything artistic. I didn't even take my camera to S. Texas. And once I got home I continued with my purging efforts, and now my closet is cleaner and more organized than it's ever been.

I bought a new shredder, in an effort to dispose of all these papers that have personal information printed on them, but still it's not heavy duty enough.

And I bought an Uninterruptible Power Supply for my computer system (finally). Actually, I got two, so that everything is covered. We've had too many electrical storms around here for me to be so negligent in that regard.

Daniel Byron Walker, age 7
Dec 31, 1970 - Jan 29, 1991
KIA Persian Gulf
US Marines
my son, my only child, my love, my pain

8 comments:

KJ said...

Glad to have you back in Blogsville... safe and sound. Unfairness is a fact of life... you have too much rain, we are on rationing, hoping for just a little of your leftovers to blow our way. But unfairness is really about that beautiful little Daniel... looks a lot like his mom, even reminds me of my youngest, born in '72... also a Marine but no longer serving, thank God!

garyb50 said...

Your best post EVER ! ! !

Jesus.

garyb50 said...

And that photo makes me want to cry.

What a beautiful kid.

Walker said...

Thanks KJ and Gary -- sadly I don't even remember where the photo of Daniel was taken. That almost breaks my heart, too -- that I don't remember.

Emily said...

I agree...such a poignet post.

Joanie San Chirico said...

My heart goes out to you.
xxoo

Melissa said...

I love your blog. This post kicked me in the gut. Nothing, not even a fraction compared to how you must feel. Sending you lots of positive energy and hugs!!! Please keep writing.

the famous nemo said...

That picture brings tears to my eyes, very powerful. I dont think any blog I have ever read has made me feel this way.