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A Window On My World

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Saturday, February 07, 2015

Update and Another Southern Accent

I have no way of knowing how much my Internet friends all over the world have heard or read of the raging, fitful spring here in the USA. Once again, I am letting you know Crocker Croft is well and unscathed. In the last post I wrote of the storms and deaths that were recent at that time. Since then it has been much much worse. I know other countries have all kinds of troubles and tragedies, several come to mind, and we are having our share.

A few weeks ago, the huge cattle ranching, southern state of Texas was burning with a wild firestorm one hundred miles wide driven by the strong winds that traveled East and turned into terrible storms and tornadoes moving across the southern states. I heard people on the radio discussing it. One man (I don't know the term for his position.) who was managing the men fighting the fire said at one point it was so hot their hair burned under their helmets. (I have heard/read that most firemen who die while on duty, die of heart attacks.) He mentioned the serious decisions he had to make regarding his men. At one point he had them on a parking lot in two lines with their backs to each other with hoses pointed outward. I don't know how many weeks the fire burned, I read mentions of it on blogs written by Texans. An Agriculture Extension Agent was interviewed. He talked about the plight of the animals, both wildlife and domestic, that were caught in the fire. I suspect they shot the ones suffering and too badly burned to save, but those that could be saved were rescued. He said it was all very emotional for him, and the ones that really got to him the most, were the little calves that instinctively hid under shrubs to get away from the fire, only to have the shrubs turn into infernos.

That was the last I kept up with the fires, because the next Wednesday, that day alone (April 27), there were 305 tornadoes reported within twenty-four hours and the last report I heard and read was that over 300 people died and approximately one thousand were unaccounted for. The numbers may have grown or shrunk, but at that point I had to quit keeping up with the reports; I couldn't handle it emotionally. These storms were in six southern states, with most of them in the state of Alabama. Of the 305 tornadoes, one behemoth was a quarter mile wide and buzz-sawed a swath 80 miles long, leveling everything in its path. Whole neighborhoods were blown down and away. One person wrote on YouTube that it was so wide they didn't realize they were looking at a tornado. He had a video of it. The TV weather channel, and others, repeatedly showed videos of some of the tornadoes, especially that huge one. That largest one didn't look real. Looked like something out of a horror movie. It was a living breathing dark monster with fiery lightening in it and parts of houses floating around its perimeter miles way up in the air. Power was lost to a nuclear power plant, but nothing went wrong there. Everything went exactly as planned for such emergencies. Whew!

Then immediately, before all that was over, the flooding started. Record winter snows in the north melted and record breaking rainfall in many places have pushed and changed the wonderful Mississippi River into an unstoppable nightmare. Usually, it is half a mile wide, now it is a few miles wide. The Corp. of Engineers had to blast a half mile long section of levee in order to relieve the pressure and to protect towns such as Cairo, a town of about 2,800 residents at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. That saved the town, but it flooded over 130,000 acres of farmland in Missouri and a hundred homes. More homes and perhaps lives would have been lost in the town. The farmers were given prior notice of what was going to happen. All rivers feeding into the Mighty Mississippi are flooded throughout the midsection of the country from north to south. Towns and cities farther south are being flooded right now. So many homes are lost. To watch the TV interviews and reports from the homeowners is heart breaking. They have lost everything they had... all except one little four year old girl who had just had a birthday, her parents opted to take with them all her gifts and stuffed animals. They left everything else such as their household appliances and furnishings to the Mississippi. The flood walls protecting the city of Memphis, Tennessee were holding (the last I heard) and the crest was moving rapidly on toward New Orleans. Poor New Orleans still hasn't recovered from the floods of hurricane Katrina. Oh, woe! ... Now on to more pleasant topics... some fun humor, then a few pretty pictures to sweeten this grim post.

Remember last time we were discussing language and speech of different accents, brogues, and dialects. I remembered a fun video I had seen so I want to share the link to it. Bill Cosby is one of our U.S. comedians. I have loved him for years for all the fun, giggles, and laughter he has given me. I don't know what the show is that was taped, but in the video he is talking to a woman from South Carolina. Now, if you people in Europe have never heard our deep south, South Carolina accent you are in for a treat. I hope you don't think I am making fun of this cute lady, because I am not. My western Tennessee accent is nothing like the South Carolina one, and I think hers is delightful, and she is charming. He plays along with her and it is fun.

Reminds me of the one and only time (don't go away, I'll give you the link in a minute) I was in Victoria Station in London, England (I have to write 'England', because we have Londons all over the place here in the states.) I was sitting there reading when a dear, poor, rawboned, little woman sat down beside me on the bench. I'm sure she was not as old as she looked; she appeared to have a hard life. She was thin, her dress was short, thin, and had short sleeves. It was a cold morning in late February. She cupped a flimsy cup of hot coffee in her hands. She spoke to me, smiling with sad teeth. I smiled back. She chatted on... I looked at this poor dear little woman and thought to myself: why can't I understand her! I speak English! She is speaking MY language! Why can't I understand her?! I think she was saying something about the warm coffee. I thought perhaps she was a cleaning woman on her way home from cleaning during the night. (I have a wide imagination.) I was miserable because I had to guess at what she was saying... in .. the .. thickest .. cockney .. I have .. ever heard on earth! It was delightful, but I felt so stupid. I managed smiles, nods, and a few agreeable sounds that she could interpret any way she pleased. Soon our train arrived. I will never forget her.

Now for Bill Cosby, and then I hope to have pretty photos below, thanks to Husband/Best Friend/Chief Photographer. The photos were taken yesterday.
http://biggeekdad.com/2010/09/understanding-southern/

Peony

Oriental Poppies

Dame's Rocket and Poppies

Rocket and Soloman's Seal

Tall Bearded (German) Iris in the Hanging Gardens, Rocket along the sides. Down below there is a new project in progress.

Thank you for stopping by.

13 comments:

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

The photos that your hubby took are beautiful, make sure you tell him so. I can not imagine the devastation to the South due to the storms. We had winds and flooding, but nothing in comparison. It does seem like this year is far worse weather wise all over.

Barbee' said...

Donna, thank you! Yes, I will tell him you enjoyed his photos. I love the cherry trees in your recent post. We have flowering crabapple trees, but no cherries. I have enjoyed photos of them on so many blogs, even some from Japan.

Balisha said...

Good morning, Barbee,
Tell your hubby that I love the pictures too. It must be so beautiful at your place right now.
The weather has been so miserable for so many. I've been watching the news about the Mississippi all week. I felt so bad for the farmers whose fields had to be flooded, but then looked at homes with only the roof showing. What difficult decisions they had to make. I do hope the weather will calm down.It almost makes one feel guilty to complain about a rainy day or a hot one.
I enjoyed reading your post today.
Balisha

Barbee' said...

Balisha, I know what you mean. I feel so lucky to be where we are up high and our tornado went over us and didn't touch down. Kentucky has been declared a state of emergency by the President making us eligible for federal funds to help the state help people. I'm sure other states are too, I just haven't heard. It is pretty here right now. The garden is at its peak. Rain is predicted for the rest of this week. I wish it would hold off until Friday, because our local daughter wants to bring her office staff over here after work Thurs. I just took an Advil in hopes of being able to move easier so I can deal with the work planned for today. Yesterday, I was having to use one of those metal canes with a four point foot on it. I didn't want to risk falling at this busy time. I'm getting behind with my reading of other blogs. Thank you for stopping by.

Msrobin said...

Is Dame's rocket another name for the pretty wild phlox that shows up everywhere this time of year? I love that stuff! Your gardens are looking beautiful this time of year!

Barbee' said...

Hello Robin, thank you! It could be Rocket that you are seeing. There are other shorter kinds of wild phlox, but if it is tall it probably is Rocket. There are different names for it: Sweet Rocket, Dame's Rocket, Hesperis matronalis (spelled something like that). Actually, it isn't phlox. It blooms earlier than the Garden Phlox, and has four petals to phlox's five petals. I have the old fashioned Garden Phlox (I can't think of its real name right now.) And it self-sows around the place, too. That gives the butterflies an extended smorgasbord to sip from. Rocket is actually invasive and some people would think/speak badly of me for growing it, but it suits my purposes perfectly.

Callie said...

Yes, I agree the photos are beautiful. Beautiful place... beautiful pics. The weather is bad, but it always seems to be bad somewhere in the world. I guess now is our turn. Just the way the world works.

Barbee' said...

Hi there, Callie, it is so good to have you back online, and knowing how busy you always are, I feel complimented that you would take time to pop over here to my blog. Thank you. I've been telling my husband what bloggers have said about his photos on this post. He says, "I just take the pictures. I don't grow the flowers." :) I agree with you: it is our turn to have bad weather. I feel sorry for all the people affected by all this, but I feel especially sorry for poor New Orleans. How much can they take?!

gld said...

I love Southern accents and almost cried in laughing at the clip. We also share your problems with some English accents. I love their BBC productions but often miss about half what they are saying.....

The weather disasters have just been mind-boggling. I almost feel guilty that we have been spared. When they interview those who have lost everything, we just feel so for them.
We have lost a barn before due to a tornado and we cringe to think if it had hit the house.

The pictures are beautiful. I love Dame's Rocket too. I finally got the white variety started and it self seeds more than the purple!

Barbee' said...

gld, thank you. I passed along the compliment to my husband. One time I had a lot of rocket to come up in my finished compost pile. A close friend wanted some to plant out on their farm. The plants were easy to lift out of the soft compost. Later they bloomed and my friend was disappointed because they were white. I guess she had visions of purple.

Canyon Girl said...

The US is a wild country when it comes to weather. I have only experienced earthquakes, which aren't exactly weather. I would be terrified living where there are tornadoes and floods. Your wonderful flowers give one hope for better days ahead though.--Inger

Barbee' said...

Thank you, Inger. I don't know, one couldn't hide from earthquakes. We can hide from tornadoes... unless it hit during the night while we were sleeping. Those are really the deadly ones. Floods: oh, I don't even want to think about that!

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