— Anaïs Nin
It’s another rainy day in Central Florida. It seems Tropical Storm Isaac will not cause significant problems in Tampa after all. It’s the perfect morning for tea. As I sip my Starbucks Chai Tea Latte, I realize it needs warming. I make my way to the kitchen. It is about 10:40.
Suddenly, the sound of a siren or alert signal breaks my thought process. I gasp. Maybe something in the kitchen has malfunctioned. The sound seemed to emanate from near the dishwasher. I looked down at the counter and realized the sound was probably coming from my cell phone. Oh, dear. The battery must need charging now.
I unlocked the screen and read the alert: “Tornado Warning in this area til 11:00 AM EDT. Take shelter now. Check local media — NWS.”
I go to the hall, turn on the light, and stare at my cell phone. Looking into the great room, I see my cat slinking around the sofa, peering out at me with a quizzical look. I decide to return to the great room and turn on the big screen TV. Local news brings relief. The tornadic activity is in the extreme east of my county which is far away from me. Thank God! Wrapped in relief, I believe all are safe. I express gratitude for my smartphone, text messaging, National Weather Service and GPS.
According to the news at noon, there were no reports of damage in that area. Apparently, radar detected a tornado but one never set down. Awesome.
I hear the occasional drip of rain on a puddle or whip of wind. I regularly check The Weather Channel. Hurricane expert Jim Cantore left Tampa. He is reporting from New Orleans now. It seems New Orleans is in the crosshairs of the storm. Meteorologists predict Isaac is on track to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near New Orleans, Wednesday, August 29, the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Not the kind of anniversary remembrance I’d want. I’ll send a prayer.
It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. — Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
— Roger Mangum
© Sandy Matzen | Dreamstime.com
Edge-of-the-seat thrills are what I have experienced watching the 2012 London Olympic Games. I have cringed and covered my eyes like many of the parents who couldn’t bear to watch their children compete and fall short yet would not be anywhere else but near their sides. I have been misty-eyed with sadness and joy along with each athlete as he or she stumbled or excelled. In every area of the Games stories of hope, strength and inspiration abounded.
Watching the Games, I found one of the greatest inspirations in an everyday person in a television commercial. Yes, a television commercial. The 2012 London Olympic Games television coverage is offering some of the best commercials ever. They are memorable and moving.
This one, I have talked about and I will replay it like a great motivational speech. Nike did something special when it cast 12-year-old Nathan Sorrell in its “Find Your Greatness” advertisement. For the 2012 London Olympic Games coverage Nike produced a campaign showing ordinary people from towns named “London” around the world seeking fitness.
Nathan, from London, Ohio, T-shirt soaked with perspiration, jogs along a lonely stretch of road. There are no crowds to cheer him on — just determination. He might be 5-foot-three-inches tall, weigh 200 pounds and for now, a short distance jogger, but to me, he qualifies for the gold.
PS I’m going to kick things up a step and buy a pair of Nike’s for my roadwork — on the treadmill.