Sending thoughts and prayers

My heart hurts after watching the evening news. Yesterday, I just couldn’t turn it on. Tonight’s news was broadcast from Mayfield. My heart sank. The name was familiar.

My dad, now deceased for several years, became good friends with Lon Carter Barton many years ago because of their shared interest in baseball. He visited at Lon Carter’s home many times, and loved being shown around Mayfield. He described a beautiful town and county seat. (Here in New Hampshire, counties are not all that important in the political structure.) We certainly do not have the beautiful town squares and courthouses that you do. More than that, dad described wonderful, friendly people, and how welcomed he always felt, especially going out to eat pie with Lon Carter Barton.

Having a small connection to your town personalizes a large-scale disaster. I wish I could come down and bring all of you some good home-cooked food, give each of you a big hug, and help in some way. What I can do is send thoughts and prayers to a place I have never been, but meant so much to dad.

Teresa Wyman

Canterbury, New Hampshire

Climate affects every weather pattern

My brother lives near Princeton, Kentucky, not too far from where the tornadoes hit with devastating power. Some small pieces of debris were left on his property by the storm. I am thankful he’s safe and my heart goes out to those who lost their loved ones, pets, livelihoods, and property. Here in Florida where I live, we have to worry about hurricanes, but at least we can prepare.

We have to face the fact that the climate affects every weather pattern. We keep seeing the headlines- worst tornadoes ever, biggest tornado death toll ever, biggest floods ever, most devastating wildfires ever, most hurricanes ever. No area is unaffected by what is happening. I was spared a hurricane this year and my brother was spared a tornado this month. But these weather patterns are becoming more and more deadly and it is going to keep getting worse until we pressure our politicians to focus on us and our safety rather than their fossil fuel company donors’ bottom lines. They work for us and they need to hear from us.

Sandra Diaz

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The sun will shine again on Our Old Kentucky Home

Friday morning 12 17 21.

Things are better today. We have a cold rain. But our people have a roof over their head and warm food in their belly, and a hot shower. Most of our first responders are exhausted or sick. But we have plenty of fresh volunteers to continue the work.

We have turned a corner as a community, for the good. Perhaps two years of COVID have primed us to make a change. There are examples of heroism all around us. Our difficulties have brought out the best in us.

Pastors in our area have assumed leadership roles. They all look tired. We see them as heroes — which they are.

St. Stephen Church in Land Between the Lakes is still standing. David Nickel had to use a boat to reach the old church. But it is still standing, a symbol of endurance and hope.

Jim McCoy was our last real cowboy. He was also a philosopher. “Money won’t keep your back warm on a cold night,” Jim said. Now we are so grateful for our loved ones. I sure miss Old Jim.

Our people are worried. But there is now a difference. We are happy to see each other at the grocery store. Happy to be alive. Happy that our friends are still alive; happy that there are some groceries to buy.

I have cooked beef stew, lasagna, chicken casserole till I am sick of them, but out of fresh ideas. The neighborhood kids have eaten pizza till they are finally tired of it. I wasn’t sure that would ever happen .... but it has.

The “boys from Georgia” arrived this week with a trailer load of supplies for our community. They drove 437 miles from Faith Baptist Church in Bowman, Georgia, just to help us. They will be back next week with Christmas presents for the children.

Like Scarlett O’Hara after the Civil War, we do not have much time to look back. We are staying busy taking care of immediate needs.

Disaster can be an opportunity for a new beginning. We are getting there. The sun will shine again on Our Old Kentucky Home.

Terry Calhoun

Kuttawa, Kentucky

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