A Gentle Storm


I love to see a storm roll in.

In my opinion, the best experience is to see a storm build over the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Sanibel Island. Clouds morph in the distance, twisting … contorting … shifting colors from blue-grey to charcoal, building an internal light show with flashes of lightning. Standing on the beach you can feel the temperature drop as the winds pick up. Soon you are pelted with drops of rain flung at you horizontally. Stinging rain mixed with a grains of sand pelts you as the storm moves across the beach. I grab Mrs. Poppy’s hand and we run laughing toward shelter.

Tonight we are not on Sanibel Island but our new home in Imperial Missouri. It has been a year of chapter turnings, two house moves, moving from a vocation of many years to retirement. Pages flip, chapters turn, some things change, some things stay constant … faith and family.

It’s been weeks since we have had a decent rain here in the heartland. The ground was starting to crack, even my weeds are becoming withered. Tonight that is changing. It started with a cold front moving in, winds whipping as we struggled to lower the patio umbrella. The scent of the early autumn rain mixed with the anxious damp earth rose through the night.

Mimsy and I take a quick stroll before the rains became heavier.

The wind has died down, the rain falls gently as the sound of a locomotive sounds softly in the distance.

2020 is not over, more storms are likely to come, but faith and family will remain strong.

Peace, Poppy

Filthy Rich

You know you’re wealthy when …

…your car starts on the first crank regardless of the outside temperature. The key has slid into the ignition a thousand times. The edges and indents of the key are softened and rounded with time and use. The car won’t turn heads, it may have a few dings and maybe a smidgen of rust, but it’s dependable and you know it will get you where you need to go. The insignia of the hood doesn’t impress anyone … (bonus points if it’s paid for).

… you are greeted by children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews who treat you like hot property upon arrival. A hug around the knees by a toddler is wealth beyond measure.
(A dog will always treat you like hot property long after the kids, grandkids, etc. are grown … just saying)

…you can ride in silence for miles with your spouse or best friend. Relationships built by time and trust require no idle or forced conversation, no need to impress or entertain … never awkward, the silence wraps you like a soft blanket. Let the wheels roll and the miles slip by.

… a little container garden waits for you in the back yard. The clay pot is chipped and dinged on the edges, it doesn’t hold moisture like a plastic container but somehow feels just right. Sweet basil cascades over the edges. You cut off a few stems, rinse them, dice the leaves for inclusion into a pasta, homemade pizza, or soup. The fragrance fills the kitchen and transports you without cost to Italy.

… you can count your friends on your fingers without using your toes. Friends on Facebook are not the same. As the saying goes … A good friend will come and bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, “Damn, that was fun.” Quality, not quantity.

… you run your index finger across the spines of books on your bookcase, your finger pauses then selects a volume. Extracting it from the shelf you lift it to your nose, inhaling the unique scent of old books; equal parts ink, paper, and a pleasant mustiness. It’s a volume you have read before, but it’s like greeting an old friend. The two of you have traveled this road before, but there are nuances and subtleties yet to be discovered.

… you step outside and look skyward. You know there is a God above who loves you more than you can love him or yourself. A God who would have sent his Son to die for your sins if you were the only boy or girl in town.

It’s good to be filthy rich. Wishing you health, true wealth, and happiness … Poppy