Sunday, July 6

Reality check

I don't know about your family, but even when I was growing up we named each colorful firework display. From the "magical heart" to "popcorn filled puff balls" we could immediately entitle each firework based on immediate visual reaction. Fortunately these abilities have been passed down to my own children.

Despite a few dud fireworks that took on the form of "mushroom fireball cloud explosions," the display was quite enjoyable replete with "sonic booms" and "golden showers." Allie and Gil would question, "Which one is your favorite?" leaving Egan to request the same information from the Burley as we rode home and announcing, "Mom loves golden showers!"

Saturday began by the entire family pitching in to prepare for a long awaited canoe float. We chose "Iowa 3" from our trusty Paddling Iowa guidebook and headed toward Steamboat Rock to put in. Roughly 6 miles provided us with a swift moving river known only weeks ago to ravage farmland and neighborhoods. I kept my fear of the unknown waters to myself to spare my children the same unnecessary phobias. Not that I'm entirely frightened of natural waters, it's just the idea of getting stuck on a rocky sandbar or snagged on an unseen tree branch gives me certifiable heebie-jeebies. The float went off without a hitch and we landed safely at Pine Lake State Park, no problem.

After sharing a few dishes at a local restaurant in historic Ackley, we headed home via Highway 57, the very highway that passes through now world renowned Parkersburg, Iowa. Entering Parkersburg was like driving through any small community found within Iowa's borders. Historic houses next to newer apartments, all lawns pridefully manicured with annuals spilling over window boxes and American flags blowing in the breeze.

It was when we headed east of town and up to higher ground where things weren't quite right. It was like driving through a tunnel, coming out on the other side to an absolute war zone. What houses and buildings still stood were tattered and beaten. The rest of the neighborhoods were leveled. Gone. Emotionally overwhelming to look at to say the very least. As we continued out of town, unidentifiable twisted metal littered the ditches and farm fields, some found in piles along the roadside and at the edge of fields. We noted the path the tornado took by the tops of trees being chopped off as if a giant walked through with a hatchet, clearing a path.

That's kind of a depressing way to end a blog post. Here are some happy shots from the weekend.

1 comment:

Rhythm Man said...

Sounds like quite the fine holiday weekend. Sorry we couldn't join you this year. I do believe that spry looking fish sunning himself/herself is a carp.