I'm Sorry, Joplin

I'm sorry, Joplin... and Vicksburg... and Tuscaloosa... and Fukushima... and West Texas... and...

The list could go on and on and on.

Saying "I'm Sorry" is an apology and shallow apologies happen way too often these days. I cannot apologize to the folks in those cities and towns for tornadoes, floods, wildfires and tsunamis because they were not of my making.

What I can apologize for is feeling put out by some strong winds at our home, a few broken tree limbs and losing power for almost 24 hours yesterday.

It is so easy to be put out by inconvenience and to feel sorry for ourselves when things like this happens. We may lose some food in the freezer, or miss the finale of "Dancing With The Stars", but in the long run does it really matter?

What about this? This is a photo of an IT support company's office building in Joplin, MO after Sunday's tornado cut a swath right through town.

Does this matter?
This sort of destruction makes some water damage or downed trees seem awful trivial. And speaking of water damage, how does my soggy carpet compare with tens of thousands of homes in northeastern Japan which just disappeared or with submerged homes up and down the Mississippi River?

So, I am sorry I may have felt a little sorry for my own lot. Abnormal is the new normal.

We Baby Boomers and subsequent generations have become, I feel, spoiled by a blip in the timeline of earth's history. This blip has bestowed upon us relative calm relating to weather. It is like when you are swinging on the big swing at the park and you get right up to the peak of the arc where you are weightless and relaxed, then it comes back down fast and furious. The good weather we are used to is that little momentary peak in the arc.

Nothing defines the norm better than our own, personal recollection of "how things should be". The earth's massive tectonic plates shift a few meters and a tsunami destroys a coastline like a massive windshield wiper. A heavier than normal snowfall, some extra rain and levees built for flood control combine to raise water levels 60 feet. Meanwhile, drier than normal weather causes unstoppable wildfires and where these two patterns (hot and dry, cold and wet) meet, you get explosive EF5 tornadoes.

What do we do? We adapt, we prepare, we move and sometimes we have to clean up.

So, yeah I'm sorry for feeling sorry. At least we have something left to clean up.

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