Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Pending weather, sorrow, gratitude

It's a gray and raw day as the sun rises on April 10. Yesterday was sunny and warm if a bit breezy. The temperature hit 76 and it looked and felt and smelled like spring.

The forecast had farmers out trying to get fertilizer down before the weather changed.

Shortly after midnight the change began. It got cloudy and breezy and drizzly, and the temperature began to fall. It was 35 degrees at sunrise and heading south. The barometer was way down at 29.57 and still falling. Daylight revealed a dim, damp, breezy world. Brrr!

The present forecast calls for snow to begin falling at about noon. The temperature is expected to keep falling and bottom out in the teens. The wind is expected to pick up and stay in the 40-gusting-60 neighborhood for the next 48 hours.

As of now, snowfall quantities are forecast in the 6-12 inch range. The forecast is very similar to the forecast preceding the March 13 storm. And not unlike the forecast preceding the big snow storm we had last April. Springtime in Nebraska!

It'll be interesting to see how it develops. It's warm enough for the snow to be quite heavy and clingy, so we're being cautioned to be prepared for power outages. I think we're prepared; backup generators tested fine yesterday and the backup propane tank is full. There's plenty of food and water and no reason to be anywhere but indoors, so there's nothing left to do but hunker down and enjoy nature's majesty from a safe and comfy seat.


I was surprised and saddened yesterday to hear of the death of a young woman who I knew hardly at all but liked a great deal.

Larissa was only 37 when she succumbed to brain cancer. Here in the first world in the twenty-first century, 37 years is less than half the more or less expected lifespan. In this place and at this time it's a very young age to die, and despite the fact that young people die each day, it's uncommon enough to be a shock when death touches a young person that we actually know.

I didn't know Larissa well. I worked with her on some local beautification projects when she was employed by the city, and I always appreciated her attitude and enthusiasm. She was a little bit of a hippie and certainly didn't conform with many of the stolid, conservative habits of her friends and neighbors. She was never pushy or political about it, she just forged her own path and didn't waste a lot of time worrying about what other people might think or say. There's always a price to taking a path like that, but Larissa always seemed to be willing to pay that bill and never hinted that the weight of it was a burden.

Superficially Larissa and I probably seemed to have very different beliefs. I favor a more evidence based approach to understanding and navigating the world, while Larissa was perhaps less worried about evidence and more interested in what her heart told her. In today's America we would generally be expected to be great enemies.

It wasn't like that at all though. We could argue about some things at great length -- and she often made vexingly good arguments -- but there was always a great deal of respect present at our debating stage.

I'm at a bit of a loss for words here. I'm not wordsmith enough to name -- let alone explain -- all the complex feelings I have about Larissa and about her passing. I know that I was always happy to see her and that working with her was never a chore. Her upbeat enthusiasm, sly wit, and great good humor could always put a smile on my face.

I mourn her passing from the world, because the world is now diminished. And though I'm sad, I'm also very grateful that I knew Larissa, at least a little bit. I'll miss her.


  1. Being a Badger, I am an Arch-Conservative. Yet the feelings I have for people like Larissa are mostly protective. They tend to have an outlook on a much nicer world, than actually exists. A world that would be much more pleasant to live in. One wants to let them have that world, despite knowing that the Great White of Reality will eventually come roaring up out of the depths. That is probably how I wound up in LE. Someone has to protect the Room from the Morlocks, as they do make the world a nicer place.

    I am glad you had such a friend. I tender Badger Sympathy to you. But only a little, of course. Badgers have a reputation to uphold, and an Oath of Gruffness to honor.

    Stay warm and dry. Our part of the storm is supposed to start about 1600, and last about 12 hours. Alas, Baraboo is on the rain/snow border, so we are expecting two days of nasty slop. I am glad I have Wednesday night off.

    1. In a very real way they protect us as well. Mostly from ourselves.

  2. Losing a friend is never easy, especially so when the friend leaves us at such an early age.

    As to the weather, the wind coming your way was here yesterday and quite brisk it was. You had a warmer taste of spring than we have enjoyed so far, but perhaps we shall all enjoy a warm spring before too long.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    1. Thanks for sharing the wind!

      Spring is a-birthing. :)

  3. A sad post. I read one the other day that mentioned that a blogger I read for year had passed away after her husband finally retired from the Marines. She was 55. i suspect we've both fallen under the mantle of our civilization and expect the age of death to keep pushing always to the right on a timeline we literally have little control over.
    Another of your good posts that instills a moment to reflect.

    1. Thanks. It's easy to get in the habit of thinking today will be like yesterday because it's always been so in the past. The universe is good at turning things upside down for us though.

  4. Death is very much a part of life, though we modern humans tend to forget that at times. It still sucks though.

    Condolences for the passing of your friend, from your description of her, the world has indeed dimmed a bit from her loss.