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.