We actually had tornado watches in the Blue Ridge Mountains last week. Over in Franklin and Henry Counties they had tornado WARNINGS, which are much worse. The National Weather Service visited Big Stone Gap (a bit south and west of here, but still in the mountains) and said that an EF-1 tornado did indeed touch down there, and did some minor damage.
And wouldn’t you know it? Night before last I had a series of dreams, where a string of tornadoes (four of them, actually) was heading toward our house. I was hustling everyone into the basement and watching as sections of the roof were pulled up and water cascaded down the walls. I remember wondering how long it would take to redo all that drywall!
And then the rains stopped and the sun came out. And the temperature climbed into the 60’s and everyone basked in the glow. There were robins in the yard and the goldfinches at my feeder are turning their annual lemon yellow. The long green stalks of the daffodils get a little longer each day, peeking up from the flower beds and the edges of the sidewalk.
I know now why Granny wired those plastic flowers to the bushes in her yard. Sometimes winter feels almost endlessly bleak, and you long for that flash of color and hint of warmth. And then the sun breaks through and you are almost afraid to hope that it’s actually coming, winter doesn’t give up easily in these parts. But I have my packs of seeds ready, and I’m hunting up the gardening tools.