“One of the dead was found inside a car that had been tossed by the tornado.”
I heard that line and thought about it for a moment because I was in Canton on Wednesday, granted it was a few days before the tornado but that was closer than would like.
Mostly it caught my attention because one of my colleagues and I had been talking about natural disasters and I had said you can’t out run an earthquake.
I don’t know that I recommend trying to outrun a tornado especially as the CDC says the least desirable place to be in a tornado is inside your vehicle.
But I can see a certain attraction to considering it, especially in a car like mine that has some get-up-and-go in it.
The thing is, all the horsepower in the world isn’t of particular benefit if you are stuck on a two lane highway in traffic.
You Can Out Run Death
Something about it all got me thinking about a conversation with Grandpa Wilner. He was 90 something and I was visiting him at the hospital during my lunch break.
“I can’t tell you when I am going to die, just that it will happen and that I’ll keep fighting to stick around as long as I can.”
I smiled and told him I thought he could out run death and he laughed.
“Not anymore, but I can kick him in the balls and punch him in the nose.”
We laughed and I told him if he yelled loud enough I would come help him and we’d kick death’s ass together.
The memory made me laugh and I picked up the phone to call him because I knew it would make him laugh and I figured it would be a good time to catch up.
Thing is, he died in June 2006 so I didn’t finish dialing.
It has been a long time since I had a moment where I was so lost in thought I tried to call any of my grandfathers, but it has happened once or twice before.
A New Man
So much has happened in the 11 years since grandpa walked across the baseball diamond into the corn field.
In some ways I am very much who I have always been but in so many others I am a new man and very different.
Life happens and it forces us to adopt, adapt, pivot and shift.
Sometimes I feel like my arms and legs have been tied to four different horses and I have spent the time since preventing them from ripping me apart.
I am not angry about it because it is just how things work sometimes and there is a little boy in me who is impressed he held on this long.
Four horses, one man–odds are the horses would win except sometimes the man figures out how to wrap those ropes around trees and poles.
Sometimes he figures out how to marshal resources and use a few tricks to keep things from exploding.
A Life To Be Lived
Walking on a windy day under blue skies dotted with clouds it is hard to believe I am back in Texas and yet not so very hard at all.
I have known since I was in my twenties that there was something about Texas I had to dig into and explore.
Sometime it feels like I have been here forever and sometimes I feel like a stranger in a strange land searching for home.
Occasionally people ask how long I’ll be here for and I laugh and ask them how long they’ll wherever they are.
We like to think we can map out our lives and control it all but we can’t.
That is not a faith based statement. It is not me saying G-d controls what you do, where you do it and who you do it with.
It is me saying life has proven to me that I can only plan so much and so far and then take what comes along and do something with it.
Sometimes bad timing or poor circumstances impact your life in ways you couldn’t have anticipated.
Sometimes what seems bad turns out to be very good, you can’t always tell from first sightings or appearances.
Spend your time with people who fill your heart and who understand how to communicate with you using words and silence.
Figure out what fuels your fire and run it down. Don’t just pass through or you’ll miss your chance to really live.
Better to try and fail then fail to try.
I feel more changes coming, wonder what they will bring.