Too Close to Home

Gorgeous photos and interview material were all coming together last evening for this week's planned series on horticulture at Epcot.  I was in the middle of writing, when my husband interrupted to tell me about the evening news back near my hometown.  I grew up in a tiny Ozarks town near the larger city of Joplin, Missouri.

Photo by Eric Haun: devastation in Joplin, MO neighborhood
The tornado damage that happened there a few hours ago is apparently so devastating that as I write this, there's no clear idea how many lives the storm has taken.  I was relieved early on to hear by phone that my closest relatives are all safe. Also thankful that some childhood friends who still live there were not in the immediate path.    I'm praying for the best possible outcome for everyone involved.

Our world is so small now that we can all empathize with tragedy, even halfway around the world.  I acknowledge it's no less tragic when it happens anywhere else.  Yet, sometimes these things hit so close to "home" that it feels like a hit in the gut.  So, the beautiful garden series will wait another day, because I just can't finish writing it at the moment.

Appeals to contribute via the Red Cross are already plastered across the internet, and we all know of various groups we can support who help victims after disasters.  At the moment, as I understand it, immediate life and death needs are being met by professionals and volunteers alike who are on the scene...and prayer is all that many of us have to offer them.

After hearing from loved ones, it's evident that the Red Cross was once again an immediate, visible sign of some help and comfort to survivors, offering simple things like water and food.  It seems like the most efficient, practical way for those of us to help from afar is to financially support that effort.

Here's the link to the local newspaper as it reports on the aftermath.