Friday, December 31, 2010

Expect the Unexpected

I had planned to write a totally upbeat post for today, but as I type this, our neighborhood tornado siren just started blaring, thunder has started to boom, and it's impossible to ignore the storm headed our way.

The TV weather forecaster is warning folks west and south of us to seek shelter immediately. Nasty stuff threatens.

Tornado watches and warnings are nothing new to those of us living in "tornado alley," but usually thunderstorms and tornadoes are springtime events, or sometimes in the fall. I don't remember having a tornado so late in the year.

Snow and ice storms, yes, but a tornado on the last day December? Guess anything is possible.

At least with tornadoes, we have warnings, but with life that's not always the case.

As I reflect on 2010, I had hoped to focus on the good things and not the bad, but today's weather is a reminder that no matter how much I want only good in my life, sometimes bad stuff like rejection, sickness, accidents--and tornados--pop up unexpected and unwelcome.

A few years ago when my life seemed to be filled with nasty stuff, I read five words that helped sustain me through dark times - "Look back, but don't stare."

Having survived several tornados and weathered many storms, this much I know: The nasty stuff will pass and the sun will shine again.

So, as thunder rumbles and the new year approaches, I'm being prepared but remaining positive. I'm going to look back, but not stare.

I'm looking ahead with a hopeful heart to welcome the unexpected, especially those moments of joy and grace that give purpose to my life.


  1. Donna---Months ago, I read a post of yours that was upbeat, yet I could not imagine your positive outlood, considering the circumstances. (It was written about your granddaughter's 16th birthday.) I wrote a post about people being strong in the face of tragedy and adversity; I don't if you recognized yourself, but it was indeed about you.

    Now I am getting a glimpse of what is the source of your strength. The quote, "Look back, but don't stare," is so powerful. I wish I could change the size of my font and put it in huge letters, but alas, I can't.

    Thanks. I am whipstitching little gems like this together, so that someday, when I am all grown up, I will be strong enough, too.

    Have a great evening, and a great beginning to 2011!

  2. I, too, know only a portion of the heartache you've had in your life, Donna, and even at that, I truly believe you are THE most courageous person I have ever met. I feel blessed and grateful to have met you and to be your friend. I wish you much joy and bliss in 2011!

  3. What a beautiful thought and how gracious of you to share...Happy New Year...

  4. Wonderful quote. I can see where it would make a great mantra even if it weren't almost the new year. Happy, happy 2011!!

  5. I hope your weather improves and everyone stays safe. Tornadoes are scary. Take care.

    Hope your 2011 is full of joy and wonder :)

  6. I think you are definitely an upbeat person, and I admire that quality so much.

    I'm way too much of a worrier, and definitely need to lighten up. Perhaps your quote will help!


  7. Donna, I love that quote!

    Stay safe, and I wish you all the best for the new year. :)

  8. I'll tuck that quote away and pull it out again some day. Thanks for passing it along. Many Blessings!


Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V - Interviews with Lonnie Whitaker and Dr. Barri Bumgarner

Here is the second installment of interviews with contributors who have stories in Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V , from Ozark Writers, I...