The Snoop

Sunday night’s rain came to Ava and Douglas County with a strong force of high winds, recking havoc on locations in the area, including sites in Ozark County and around Dora.  

In town, several trees were damaged with large limbs downed or split trunks.  Debris was scattered.  

At our home, the wind hit hard as our deck on the south side looked like it had been rearranged by a giant egg beater –– chairs were overturned, rugs twisted in disarray, and decorative plants in clay pots overturned, but thankfully nothing was broken.  During the storm, our house dog, Buddy, whose hearing is almost gone, was totally alarmed by lightning flashes.  Upon realizing we would not let him climb in bed with us, he chose to spend the night hiding in the closet, where he found  the ability to sleep.  

In our neighborhood, a hickory tree was split, with a portion of the tree trunk and large limb resting on the ground.  Amazingly though, several blocks north, a neighbor’s tall ladder which has been loosely propped against a tree for quite some time, did not budge from it’s tenuous position.    

Indeed, amazing –– differences that only demonstrate the unpredictable movement of Mother Nature.   

     

History was recorded last week when an all-female spacewalking team replaced a broken part on the international space station’s power grid. 

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir established a milestone record as the first females ever to facilitate and complete an all-female spacewalk, without male assistance.  According to news reports, the two female astronauts successfully made the repair without issue. 

     

In the October 31 issue of Forbes, the magazine showcases the 400 richest people in America.  This is an annual event for the publication.  Upon perusing, it is readily apparent most of the individuals cited in the article live in a large metropolitan area, such as New York City, Dallas, Atlanta, or a warm-weather city in Texas, California or Florida.  Hardly any listed on the ‘richest’ list reside in Missouri.  It should be noted, however, there are four notables from these Ozark hills –– they are John Morris, Bass Pro Shops founder, of Springfield, Missouri, with a financial worth listed as $3.8 billion; Jim Walton, of Bentonville, Arkansas, youngest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton, and a net worth of $51.6 billion; Rob Walton, also of the Walmart family  and current board member, with $51.3 billion in assets; and John Tyson, the chair of Tyson Foods, in Springdale, Arkansas, with $2.7 billion. 

The list begins with Jeff Bezos who resides in Seattle, Washington, and at age 55, has a self-made net worth of $114 billion.  Bezos, the founder, CEO and president of Amazon, is listed a No. 1.  Microsoft’s Bill Gates, of Medina, Washington, is second with $106 billion. 

     

There is a statement that I take exception to …. an expression that seems to be prevalent in the Ozarks.  I’ve heard the sentiment many times, and it implies that once parents pass and succumb to life, the adult children are now deemed orphans.

I disagree.  Wholeheartedly.  

Looking up the definition of orphan, the dictionary states, “An orphan generally is a person without living parents to care for them. … A child may be considered an orphan because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents.”  

Yes, upon the death of parents the dynamics of family changes.  

But claiming to be an orphan is a statement that negates all the wonderful memories of childhood spent with those loving parents.  It overlooks the unconditional love and parental guidance shared during family life. It discounts the special moments emblazoned in heart and mind.  

I do, however, agree with words spoken by Emily Dickinson, a noted American poet, who lived in Massachusetts from 1830 – 1886.  Dickinson is attributed for saying, “Hold dear to your parents for it is a scary and confusing world without them.”

Dickinson’s words are astute and  ring true.  Her heartfelt observation was recorded over 100 years ago in a societal environment much different than today; however, when it comes to the heart and recognizing the wonderful gift of a loving family environment with good parents, it is apparent the emotional depth of importance has not changed over the years.   

And, because of those heartfelt feelings, I will never claim to be an orphan.