Rainy Days

I’m watching the rain pouring down outside my house as I eat lunch today.  Big, fat, ploppy drops.  Heavy water running in rivulets down the gutters of the streets, washing away dust, leaves that have been blown from the trees in the last few days from strong winds.  Tree seeds that have popped from the branches hanging over the boulevards are pushed down and away from my neighborhood, to be carried to a new location, in the hopes of propagating the trees somewhere else.

I hope that the oak trees in my beloved Oak Park will be alright.  It takes an oak tree 50 years to mature enough to produce acorns.  That’s a long time to wait for your chance at offspring. 

The trees in my backyard have recovered from their heavy pruning we did last summer, growing tall and leafy again.  It doesn’t take them long at all to replace what was lost a year ago.  They sprout up, unbidden, and get mowed down in the fall – to reappear the next spring. 

Everything has its own time, its own life span.  Some things take longer than others, and we have to learn patience for those things that take their time in appearing, growing.  It can be difficult to wait, but it’s most often worth it.

There are days when I love the rain.

Today is one of them.

Time to go back to work.

Saving The Sanctuary

I’ve written before about my sanctuary – the place I retreat when I need peace and quiet, or to escape from the chaos.  Oak Park.

A beautiful haven, stuffed down in the middle of my city, and one of my all-time favorite places to be.

Unfortunately, being in the middle of the city also means being in the middle of the valley.

The valley that flooded this summer.

And all the green, the quiet, the peace, was drowned under tons of gallons of flood waters.

But, even as the muddy water recedes, leaving behind dying foliage, and wrecked buildings and shelters, there is hope.

I’m not sure how it all began, but a link was posted about a week ago that Coca-Cola was giving away thousands to America’s favorite national parks on their website, and Oak Park, my beloved retreat, was in the running for one of their grants!

There are 3 top positions in this contest – 1st place wins $100,000.00; 2nd place wins $50,000.00, and 3rd place wins $25,000.00 to restore, rebuild, and enhance their park.

And as of today, Oak Park, Minot, North Dakota – is in 1st place!  The people of my community, along with many others from around the world, have been voting to keep our park in the top spot of the competition. 

With almost 700,000 votes as I write this post, Oak Park has a very good chance right now of being able to recover from this devastating flood, and become once more the beautiful place I love and remember. 

And you can help.  Click on the link, and it’ll take you to the Coca-Cola website where the voting is taking place.  If you search for Oak Park, Minot, North Dakota, zip code 58701, you will find the page dedicated to it, and can vote as often as you like. 

The contest ends on Sept. 6, and the winners will be notified sometime in mid-September.  I’m crossing fingers, eyes, toes, and everything else crossable that Oak Park is able to win the grant. 

And there are others out there praying for a win, too.

Help them find their way home?