The tornadic storm that ripped through Appleton Friday tore large branches from nearly every tree in our yard, tossed porch furniture and trampolines down city streets, knocked trees into power lines and wreaked mad havoc everywhere it touched down.
But you know what it left standing?
My You Are Beautiful sign.
I say that without my customary gloat but with sincere gratitude.
Because, especially in the wake of nasty weather, you ARE beautiful Wisconsin.
Our family friend Dave, who dashed over to my mom’s house to hook up his own generator for her so her sump pump would keep working, is beautiful.
My mom’s neighbors Ellen and Ross, who checked on her, her sump pump and her generator repeatedly throughout the weekend, are beautiful.
My neighbor’s son Jake, who climbed on the roof of his parent’s garage to cut away branches of a fallen tree, is beautiful.
Good old St. Therese Parish, which held regular weekend services by candlelight and raised speaking voice, is beautiful.
The one Kwik Trip gas station that had power in central Appleton and cheerfully served a long, long line of sleepy-eyed people is beautiful.
Generator owners, who shared their precious electricity with extension-chord hauling people, are beautiful.
And, man oh man, those WE Energy trucks are beautiful and I can’t wait until they get to our neck of the woods.
Until then, I’ll be enjoying the sort of quaint flickering of my trusty flashlight and reflecting on the many, many heroes who rise to the challenge Wisconsin weather brings to almost any season.
U rah rah Wisconsin.