The storms that rumbled through northwest Iowa on Saturday night resulted in only much-need precipitation, a "million dollar rain," as they say before planting gets going hot and heavy. After our dry fall and winter, the parched ground needed a nice, long drink.
In southwest Iowa, however, the warnings of the meteorologists came to pass, with tornadoes pulling trees from the earth like sticks, and ripping roofs off homes as casually as a human rips open a bag of potato chips.
I marveled at the advanced warnings we all received that Mother Nature had her dander up. On Friday evening we in the Midwest had been told that the conditions were right for a massive storm, with a high probability of tornadoes. The advanced warning made us all more cautious with our plans, and our communicates with loved ones.
It also made me feel old.
When I was young, radar and advanced warnings systems weren't so advanced. We weren't given all those lifesaving minutes and even hours to prepare for bad weather. We couldn't pull up brightly color-coded radar pictures on our smartphones. We did have Eldon Kanago, on our local KICD station, who drew pictures of the storms with his voice, with his famous, "Imagine a ball at the end of a string" analogies. A portable radio in a dark basement brought us our picture of an oncoming storm.
We're headed in to the most active periods for thunderstorms and tornadoes in the region. It's comforting to know we've got plenty of eyes in the skies to alert us when it's time to take Mother Nature extra seriously.
Congratulations to Presley Herrig, our 2012 Clay County Fair Queen!
I have no doubt she will represent our county, and our fair, well at a wide array of events this year. The fair queen tradition is one that I was pleased to see return several years ago after a long absence in Clay County. We've got so many young ladies to be proud of, and they have proven that at the Iowa State Fair over the years since we began the queen program again, finishing in the top 5 several times, with Abby Salton serving as our state fair queen in 2007.
The four young ladies participating - Tori Rayner, Beth Halverson, Presley Herrig and Alecia Olson - are all articulate, poised young women, far more self-assured than I remember being at 16, 17 or 18. Heck, they're more poised than I am today! The experience alone, of interviewing with judges, speaking in front of an audience, is great training for later in life.
Prom comes next weekend for most area schools. So many volunteer hours go in to making a great evening for those teens. Beautiful scenery, elaborate after-prom events, formal dinners, it's a tradition that really shows parents the passing of years in high relief.
Young people - appreciate the efforts being made to give you a memorable, special event. Enjoy the camaraderie with classmates. Use your heads when making decisions on that special night.
Prom is one of those occasions that shows how truly grown up you are. You can be responsible, follow the law, and have a great time, or you can make some bad decisions.