Sunday, March 02, 2008

Stormy weather--and a new era?

It's one of those nights when the weather is "funny"--no other way to describe it. This afternoon, after the wind died down, it was sort of eery. Then it rained, a fairly determined silent rain. Tonight there was a flash of lightning and a roll of thunder but no more. Our county and those all around are under a tornado watch until the wee hours. So even though the weather's not doing anything, you feel it omnipresent, with a sense of anticipation. We're to have storms tonight and into tomorrow, so I've prepared my battle plan for getting Scooby out of the house in the morning. He is so terrified of storms!
Meg just called. She and Brandon have been following this storm across the country. It delayed them getting out of Salt Lale City yesterday, so they missed their flight in Denver and spent the night there. This morning the storm caught up with them in Denver and delayed them again, so they got to Austin at 4 this afternoon instead of midnight last night, bringing the storm with them.
With dire predictions about the weather, I called my dinner guests and asked if they wanted a rain check. I also told them the menu had changed because I couldn't get quail. The quail, Linda said, didn't matter one bit but the possibility of 70 mph winds made a difference. We'll do it another time. Meantime I cooked my meatloaf and Sue came from next door to share it. We got to talking, I left the meatloaf in the oven, and it was dry--but still good.
I went to church this morning. The walls didn't fall in--how embarrassing would that be? And I enjoyed the service. Many of the elements--hymns, music, etc.--were taken from the original service for the laying of the cornerstone 75 years ago, and the anthem was specially commissioned for today. Posts not very far down the aisle from the chancel marked the boundary of the original church--it was a whole lot smaller than today's sanctuary! Somehow as I sat there following the service, I thought how much of the liturgy doesn't change--and I find that comforting. I like the hymns of my youth, the familiar words. And yet our church, like many, experiments with the service, tries new things, is ever changing. And I'm the last one to say change is bad, yet it's hard not to cling to old ways in church--and in our lives. It struck me that Barack Obama may indeed be the sign of a tidal wave of change in our country, a change that is somehow all wrapped up in changing values, behaviors, even linked somehow to the enormous popularity of evangelical churches. What, I wonder, are the American people looking for?
Sue said she'd read or heard on NPR that Obama resembles Reagan in some ways (not economic policy, we hope!)--he talks of hope, without a concrete plan, and he's come along at a time when the American people feel their world is at least out of kilter if not falling apart. Reagan was a kindly fatherly figure; Obama is an attractive, charismatic, fairly young man. He represents, as did Reagon before, an arm up--never mind the hard realities. Don't get me wrong--I'm still holding out hope for Hillary. I think she has the plan and not just the words, and I think she found her issue in the last few days in homeland security but she should have started earlier.
I guess I'll go back to figuring out the history of Scots in Texas. It's a whole lot easier than figuring out what Americans want as opposed to what they need.

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