A Strange Week in Tupelo

post date: May 10, 2008
It’s been a strange week here in Tupelo. On Thursday a tornado blew through the area, damaging homes and buildings and downing tree but with no serious injuries. I think it’s left us all a bit jumpy. Earlier today our neighbor called to say that we ought to check our attic. When they checked theirs, they saw light coming through where some shingles had been blown away. I did a quick examination of our attic and everything looked fine. An hour or so later, there was a low rumble and then the house started shaking for a few seconds. That was freaky. When I dropped by the bike shop (several miles away), the owner confirmed that he had heard and felt the same thing. It might have been earthquake, he said. Or maybe a sonic boom. Though this is not prime earthquake area (I said that more or less by faith–I’ve never heard of an earthquake in northeast Mississippi), there was a 5.2 magnitude earthquake a few weeks ago in southern Illinois along the New Madrid fault line. In 1811 an earthquake along that fault line reversed the direction of the Mississippi River. I just checked and we are under a tornado watch until midnight. Bad weather is coming because of an unstable weather system bearing down on us. Something about the clash of cold air from the Rockies and warm air from the Gulf.


The most startling feature of this clock happens when you click on MTH or WK or DAY or NOW. The figures in the box immediately reset. If you click on NOW, you can see how quickly people are born and die. It happens so fast, as it happened for tens of thousands of people in Myanmar earlier this week.
All of it is sobering and thought-provoking. Tornadoes and earthquakes and cyclones are only outward reminders that the clock never stops ticking. Personally I don’t put any stock in the fact that the earth’s population reached 6,666,666,666 sometime in the last 24 hours, except for the reminder that "six is the number of a man," and "man knows not his own time."
Meanwhile out at the kitchen table Marlene, Mark, Vanessa and Nick are playing a game called Hand and Foot. I hear the sound of laughter but can’t tell who’s winning. That’s a happy way to end an unnerving week, bad weather and all.


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