A few weeks ago, when tornadoes were reported in the Dallas area of Texas, my sister, who has lived there nearly 30 years, was among those who felt the damage.
For personal reasons, I would rather not say how much. I will say she and her family are O.K.
On one weekend this month, there were 100 tornadoes reported in the midwest. As I write this, people in some parts of the northeast are digging out from snow; the result of a "noreaster" that moved up the East Coast.
As everyone knows, the Mid-Ohio Valley hasn't been totally without its weather-related disasters. We all still remember the floods of 2004-2005. Many of us still remember the storms of late June, 1998, in which several people died in Noble County, Ohio. And it's been just a little more than a year and a half ago when a tornado resulted in one death in Belleville, and across the Ohio River in Reedsville.
But, at least in recent years, we have been spared the kind of weather we've heard about in the news.
While we had a mild winter in this part of the country, Alaska was buried in what, even for Alaska, was a lot of snow. The tornadoes we've heard about in recent years have virturally wiped out entire towns (remember Parkersburg, Iowa in 2008?). And while we had earthquakes here last summer, they don't come close to matching the earthquake/sunami which devastated parts of Japan in February of last year.
Finally, as much as we were affected by Hurricanes Frances and Ivan (just a week apart) in 2004, that was almost a mud puddle compared to Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast a year later.
While, someday, our luck might run out and we might be hit by storms just as bad as what our neighbors around the country have experienced, the big story in the area over the last couple of years has been people working in Parkersburg having to pay $2.50 a week (or, in most cases, $5.00 out of their paychecks) to Parkersburg city government.
We should count our blessings.