Cares Drop Away

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The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of autumn.
—John Muir

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The Pacific Northwest has been anticipating a “historic” windstorm for the past four days, comparable to the west coast “Columbus Day” storm of 1962.  I remember that storm vividly as an eight year old in Olympia, as the wind gusts were clocked at over 140 mph.  Large fir trees toppled over like toothpicks in the woods all around our house.  The root balls stood 15 feet tall, headstones over a mass of tree graves.  We lived without power for at least a week, losing all our stored food in our freezer and depending on canned goods, a camp stove and kerosene lights and hot dogs roasted over our fireplace.

When the predictions came for a similar strength storm last week, like millions of others in the region, I dutifully prepared by storing up water, getting a battery operated radio ready and counting up my canned goods.  We waited, en masse, for the monster to storm into our yards.

The lights flickered a few times, but the winds were meager in comparison to our usual storms.

Some people were disappointed, having geared up for “the big one.”

I’m among the relieved this morning,  having aged past the desire for an adventure without power, and today my cares have dropped away like the leaves that let go to settle silent for the winter.

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6 thoughts on “Cares Drop Away

  1. and i was just nine. i remember it very well. relatives who lived in a trailer came to stay with us. we lost all but one section of our fence. dad pulled out the camp stove, we had a fire going all the time, as well as two oil lamps and every candle we had. we made s’mores in the big fire place, and i remember hearing the water run in the ducts below the house when we went to bed, wearing our hooded sweatshirts and using all the extra blankets we had. we played cards and read books during the day. it was a time of bonding. glad you didn’t get the worst of it this week! we had bursts of wind, but nothing sustained. lots of rain on and off, but that is normal for the southern willamette valley.

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  2. ….I was 12 at the time. We lived on a small farm in McMinnville. I remember walking home from a school dance with a neighbor boy. The winds were high and we’d laugh as I got lifted off the road holding onto my umbrella …like Mary Poppins, toes barely touching the ground. Gary said he’d walk me home. We passed his house and continued to the creek crossing…not thinking much of the wind blowing through the trees. It wasn’t until the we headed down the draw and a couple tall pines fell down ahead, blocking our path that we realized we’d better get back to Gary’s house. His mom called mine by calling a phone chain…getting word to my mother that I was safe and could spend the night at their house. Curling up on the sofa, candles for light, a stack of comic books to look through (which we never had) I felt very safe and secure. As I could hear massive trees toppling and feel the hose move, I started watching out the front window. The huge pine in their front yard would rise, reaching and straining , the ground lifting….then it would sink back to normal. And I was amazed at God’s power.
    Funny, I don’t remember much in the following days. Just that night, trees uprooted across the street where I stayed…but not on the houses. And mostly the walk down the draw where the tree looked like toothpicks ripped out of the ground. Some of the metal roofing on our barn was ripped off.(
    My brother is presently living in Tillamook and he texted me about the tomato warning he received. He reminded me of the 62 storm. He was safe with his trailer house although he was prepared to move to higher ground if the water rose. And the tornado touched down farther north I think….spared him and Tillamook.
    Thanks for letting me share.

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  3. Dear Emily, I never thought of the experience being harroring, I would say I was more in awe. I did ask my older sister and younger brother what they remember of that storm. Sister was 14 and she said she doesn’t really remember it. My brother was 9, and he said he could just remember I was missing in action. I’m going to ask my 90 year old mother about her memories of that storm this evening.
    My older sister can’t believe she doesn’t remember anything about it. I told her I think we filtered so much out of our memory banks because of all the moving we did growing up. Maybe she just felt secure. Brother did say the pines in our front yard stood, 2 of the walnut trees were uprooted in the back.
    Thanks for your special blog Emily. I enjoy it so much.

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