Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Storms, Father's Day Reflections

A little of this, a little of that.

If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, as I do, you tend to expect big weather events to affect all of us at least a little. The area, however, is huge.

Last evening the dogs and I enjoyed a mild, breezy evening on my deck with some cloud cover, but a beautiful night. Meanwhile, sudden storms in parts of Dallas and several suburbs dumped sudden hail almost baseball-sized on cars, buildings--and some outdoor glass scultures on exhibition. In about a half an hour,several hundred millions of dollars of damage was done. Some homes are unlivable. Many cars were totaled.


I had been gloating over the rainfall two days this week, a good soak last week. What a difference from last year! The severe weather is such a different experience.

The spring was mild, planting starting about six weeks early. Folks were leery of what summer would bring. So far, the temperatures aren't that far off. This may turn out simply to be our longest summer ever. Meanwhile, I'm beginning to harvest tomatoes and peppers. Squash and zuchini beginning to come in. I'm pleased. Meanwhile my neighbors nearby have nothing left in their gardens at all.

Sunday is Father's Day. My writers' group assignment this week was to write something related. It was suggested I write a memoir. I never have, and my father was feature worthy. He was a good and loving dad. He made a lot of effort.

I am aware that most of my good qualities reflect my upbringing, and I am grateful. I have a number of friends, however, who either didn't have fathers, had abusive ones, or grew up in extreme neglect. Same for some of their mothers. They have had to invent themselves. They have done a good job.

I am thinking about that. Dad died when I was 19. I can interpret as an adult, but writing, I found, was from a child's view. We never got to that adult relationship, so I had to do some inventing myself. A healthy family makes it so much easier to love the people around you and I have to wonder if the high number of fractured families today has anything to do with lessened empathy, more greed and meanness. It would take studies to prove so.

I remember a study on empathy on post-WWII persons. Researchers wanted to see if they could identify why one person might risk life to help a Jewish person or family while others did nothing or even collaborated. They did identify empathy as the defining quality, and that it had to be taught. They couldn't go any further.

Yes, we humans are interesting critters.

As a grandparent, I am so joyful that my granddaughters have loving, caring parents. It adds such a level of well-being to know they are well and happy.

That's why I always thank my daughter in law on Mother's Day and my son on Father's Day. Their loving care makes the world a better place.

It is certainly better in my little corner of it.

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