Riders of the storm

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.

The Erb Park trees took it on the chin. This one looked like it had been hit by lightning.
Poor thing lives its life with dignity and ends uprooted with its nether regions splayed out for all to see. I felt sorry for this beauty.
Power lines threaded through these branches at City Park.
I thought the spiral pattern on these downed trees made it seem like a tornado had taken them out.
There were downed trees all over the city and, eventually, yellow crime scene tape flapped everywhere.
This tree smashed a sturdy picnic table at Erb Park.
But, my You Are Beautiful sign remained unscathed. Beautiful people abounded.

5 thoughts on “Riders of the storm

  1. We just had a horrible storm last Weds here in NC. We decided after being without electricity for 9 hours and hearing about the winter ice which usually knocks out power for days, we need to look into a generator.

    1. I’m trying to decide if we need one. The winter power outages scare me more because we generally don’t get water in our basement. Glad you’re safe!

  2. Time ro be grateful for beautiful people. In our neighborhood a 14 year old boy, Tom, came to clear brunches away from our front and side lawn, PLUS our driveway. He did this without king, just blues he kn it outdoor hv been hard for us. And he refused to be paid for his work. He was happy to do that.
    ¡God bless Tom!

  3. Beautiful vignette of good neighbors—our unsung heroes. Glad you are ok. We get so many bad storms in North Carolina. A few years back we bought a generator. It’s proving to be a good investment. Hope the power is back on soon and everything is back to its beautiful normal.

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