TheRealSharon's Blog

It’s a rainy day here and after the events of this past week, including last night, I feel like the rain is in solidarity with the mood of so many. Unless you live in a cave, you know about the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. You may NOT yet know about the Fertilizer Plant that exploded last night in the little town of West, Texas though. This last tragedy started with an out of control fire, the first by some form of terrorist, either domestic or international. Both are devastating and heartbreaking, though. The little town of West with its population of 2,800 is near Waco, which I knew of but until this tragedy occurred, I had never heard of West. Very saddening how a little, unheard of town to me can become famous overnight practically from such a horrible thing. The last news I heard was there were 160 injured and who knows how many dead? It was a massive explosion which hit a middle school, nursing home, an apartment complex and several homes. Even five blocks from the blast, 60 more homes were heavily damaged. Now there’s a massive search underway for missing people as well as treating the injured.

I saw on the news the other day that April is notorious for tragedies. Columbine, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma City, and the Waco bombing are ALL past April tragedies. The fact that ONE of these past events is incredibly close to the West, Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion in not only location but the date has to be a chilling reminder. The Waco bombing occurred 20 years ago tomorrow. I pray that the tragedies are over for this month, as well as from now on!

Another thing about April is the little saying, “April showers bring May Flowers”. Unrelated, you might say, but I’m not so sure. Rain washes away dirt and debris and is Mother Nature’s cleaner, in that regard. I sit here and hope that there will be a metaphorical rain that washes away all this pain of tragedy and on the other side, we will be able to see the sun again and a rainbow of hope. I pray all the horrible debris will be swept away and in the aftermath, we will see a new growth of strength, perseverance, and unity. Everyone affected by tragedy this week are in my thoughts and prayers and I pray for “rain” to come into your life and help wash away all your sadness and pain that you may be able to look forward to seeing the sun again.

~Virtual hugs to all!~

{January 29, 2013}   “Thunderstorm Days” A Poem

I love days like today

Where the weather is cool and I can smell rain in the air.

A sense of anticipation lingers

As I watch the treetops swaying in the wind.

Side to side they shimmy

As if they are dancing the tango,

The thunder calls out the beat

And they move in step to its call.

The sun hides away temporarily searching for drier lands

And the sky darkens before the rain seeks its entrance

To the World’s stage it arrives and drenches us with its presence

Soaking us through with its touch, covering our bodies with its very being

Tap, tap, tapping on the windows and drum, drum, drumming on the pipes,

It envelops the very stage that gives it life.

The thunder booms down its loud bass beat

While the lightning adds its deadly light show

The thunderstorm has become Nature’s own play

With lights, sound and special effects

While the rain pounds away, we are reminded of our roles

As players in nature

And small actors in this little scene of many in Life.

Just like us, the rain is here for a time

And then gone…..

But in its absence, there is always evidence of its existence.

And in its return

There is always something missing that has gone before.

I love days like these

When the thunderstorms come

Days like these

Remind me to

Enjoy life.

-Sharon Hughes

*This was written spur of the moment today right before a thunderstorm is headed this way. It just popped in my head as I typed. I haven’t wrote a poem in awhile so hopefully you like this one!*

{November 8, 2011}   Rainy Day Lockout

Today started out bright and sunny with a strong chance of rain and a tornado watch for later in the day. Me and my husband went to Target so I could buy Stephen King’s latest novel, 11/22/63, a huge book at well over 800 pages that is based around the shooting of JFK. I had recently got paid a little to type some things up online for the Woodmen of the World life insurance group I am in, so I was excited to be able to splurge a little. We got super lucky in that the rain didn’t start until after we got inside Target and by the time we finished browsing and shopping, the rain had stopped for the time being. I paid for my purchases and then my husband asked me for the car keys. “I thought you had them”, I replied. Nope, he could have sworn he saw me grab them, but I knew I didn’t. Our keys are hooked on a camo lanyard that I wear around my neck when I carry them or put in my coin purse when inside the library cause they can be quite nosy. Since they weren’t in my coin purse and obviously not around my neck, we were left to call for a rescue. That rescue happened to be my dad, who lives within a few minutes of Target, who then went with us to make an extra copy of our car key. Where I will keep said extra copy so as not to lose it too is unknown to me at this time. I was admittedly grumpy about locking myself out of the car, but as we waited outside the car and went for the extra key, the rain held back. Driving home, the heavens unleashed the rain but it stopped again as we got to our apartments. Safe inside and out of the weather, the rain has been pouring off and on outside. It is much needed rain, but much more appreciated by me when I know I will not be getting drowned in it. I may have got locked out of my car today, but not for long and I somehow avoided getting soaked by the rain so looks like my day was better than I thought earlier!
Giving Thanks Day #8: Today, I am thankful for the rain and how it washes the earth clean and helps things to grow. Here, where it has been a drought for so long, the rain is even more welcome than ever. It’s easy to forget sometimes how important the rain truly is until you go without it for so long.

Even if you don’t live in Texas like I do, you have probably heard on the news or read somewhere about our lack of much needed rain here. At last look, there was only one county in the whole state of Texas NOT under a burn ban because of such dry conditions. When I step outside on to the grass, I might at first mistake the crunching under my feet for leaves and think it’s Fall, but the heat lets me know I’m wrong very quickly. It’s not leaves that I’m hearing, but the sound of yellow, dry grass that has died from lack of nourishment. A huge majority of places around Texas have dead grass and some even dead trees that have fallen due to no rain. The lake levels have dropped quite a bit. In fact, earlier this month a lake within 30 minutes of where I lived got so low that another piece of the space shuttle Columbia was found.

Lake Travis in Austin,Texas is at less than 50% capacity due to the drought and on my trip back from Austin, I saw where many lakes and ponds had gone down dramatically since the last time I had driven through. The lack of rain was a huge topic during my weekend trip to Austin and back as well as the impact it has had.

There was another D word that was sort of intertwined on my weekend trip. It was a word that I remembered as having a bit of a stigma once in my life. The word is death. I remember back when I was about 9 and had a younger friend who lived down the street from me. One day we were talking and I don’t remember exactly how the word came up, but I mentioned death. The girl’s mom completely freaked out like I had just said a cuss word and told me, “We do NOT say that word in this house!” At that time, I didn’t understand what was the big deal. Death wasn’t a bad word, it happens to everyone. Now that I am older, I really think the mom must have experienced one or more horrible losses in her life and was just honestly afraid of the thought of Death. I haven’t seen her or the girl in almost 2 decades so I’m not sure if anything changed, but that memory of Death being considered in the same league as a cuss word sticks with me strongly to this day.

Drought causes death among plants and sometimes animals. I already knew this, but it seems like my weekend was full of that reminder. I had the misfortune of seeing both a dead skunk and raccoon on the highway first….well, I smelled the first one more than saw it, but nevertheless, that was the beginning. Those two were obviously roadkill and nothing NEW to roads in Texas or anywhere else. It was the third animal I saw that shocked and surprised me.

I was on the lookout for this type of animal and I never could have guessed my first sighting would be in this way. First I saw the shape laying on the side of the road in the grass, then as we got closer, I saw the brown and white…..a dead cow. 😦 It didn’t look as if it was hit by a car, but I suppose that was possible. Since there weren’t any other cows close by, I feel like it was more plausible that the cow had wandered off(which they ARE known to do) and had passed out due to the heat and/or drought. I probably will never know the real cause but it saddened me to see him or her lying there.

The next day brought the news of a funeral for a drug Deputy dog who had simply collapsed while on duty and the people thought he had just laid down for a bit. Knight, a 2 year old German Shepherd, dead of heat exhaustion. I cried a little as I heard the officers describing what a good dog he was and how much they loved him. That same day I heard about a goat that had died recently at the barn my niece goes to to work her animals. They had to feed their animals early in the morning and then late in the day due to this. Supposedly, feeding the goat too early in the extreme heat caused its death? Not sure how that works….but definitely all these dead animals were freaking me out.

Thank goodness that was the last dead animal case I heard that weekend. All that talk of drought and death definitely put a somber mood on the weekend……thankfully, I have a super crazy family that gave me a lot of moments to laugh about and bring me out of the doom and gloom mood. We definitely STILL need rain here in Texas, though. Please send any unwanted rain OUR way.

Be on the lookout for some happy, funny moments from my trip to Austin last weekend. My post on Saturday should be about this!

Ever since my post on Monday, this quote has been stuck in my head. Stuck on repeat like an old fashioned record that got hung up on the needle. All it did was rain all day on Monday and somewhere in the middle of me thinking about how you have to deal with Monday to get to the weekend and the rain to get to the rainbow, I just had this quote pop in my head. I finally wrote it in my new Thought book last night and I decided I would look it up online and find out where did this quote originate from?

I found out it has been used several times but the place I think it probably originated from first was a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called “The Rainy Day”.

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary. 

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the moldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

What a beautiful poem! I know there’s a lot of depressing words used in it, but the verse “Behind the clouds is the sun still shining” is such an inspirational verse to me.

“Thy fate is the common fate of all, Into each life some rain must fall”…Such beauty found in such truth. In the midst of all your struggles and hardships in life, you must remember that you’re never alone. To go through difficult times is a common thing, shared by people the whole world over. No one is spared from it. I know there are sometimes where you look at others and their life seems so wonderful, they seem to have it all and nothing bad ever seems to happen to them. I don’t believe that is true, though. Some people are better at hiding the pain and the struggles behind closed doors and the outward exterior looks so beautiful and intriguing and you start to turn green with envy. It’s important to remember that old phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” at that moment. Just as a boring cover may hide an incredibly wonderful treasure inside, so must we realize that the most beautiful cover in the world can hide the ugliest, most horrible tales we have ever known.

Into my life and into your life, some rain must fall; sometimes your life can feel like it’s holding so much rain that you will drown in it. Sometimes you may actually feel like you have already drowned and you’re trying to swim back to the top and break through to the surface. I can relate. I’ve been there before and I’m sure I will again, we all have been there or will one day. Sometimes the rain seems like it will never stop, that this journey is endless but it helps to remember, at least for me, that others have been where you’ve been.

Another quote comes to my mind now and I’m not sure where it originated but it correlates well with this post.  “To reach the top of the hill, you have to have made it through the valley”. You can’t skip over the tough stuff and go right to the good. Even if you could, would it be worth it, really? I know at times, I am tempted to say, yes, it would be worth it. The hardships make the good times so much sweeter, though. If life was just great and marvelous 24/7, wouldn’t we take advantage of it? Wouldn’t we forget to be thankful for the good and rejoice over it?

Maybe, just maybe there IS a purpose for everything that happens in our lives. Maybe we are meant to face the rain so that we are better able to appreciate the sun that shines through afterwards.

I have a lot of friends and family that are going through a lot right now and in their lives, more rain is falling than I feel like they deserve in their life but I want them to remember to keep a look out for the sun. The sun is coming to brighten up your cold and dreary days and you are not alone.

My friends and family are MY rainbow after the storm

P.S. A friend of my mother-in-law’s has a son that recently fell down some stairs and he is in really bad shape. He has a wife and 3 kids that love him and from what I have read through posts on Facebook, he is doing good sometimes and then bad again. A friend created a group on Facebook for him and his mother to get more people all over to pray for him and his family but they will also be leaving it open to pray for others as well. I am going add a link on my post for this group and if you believe in praying at all, I hope that you will be led to join this group and add yourself to the many others who are praying for them. I do not know them personally but I feel for them and their family and I would love to help out by spreading the word to bring more prayers for them.

Prayers for Tom & Tammy.

et cetera
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