Monday, June 23, 2008

Flood stage

My colleague asked me earlier this morning: "are they doing it to you, too?" He lamented fielding calls all weekend from anxious friends located outside of Missouri, all panicking over his well being. Yes, the Missouri River is really high. Yes, locals are fishing for gar in the corn fields. Indeed, the Mississippi is cresting much lower than expected, sparing towns like Cape Girardeau and my former residence from sediment-laden waters.

I spent the weekend canoeing an Ozark stream (a whole 6 inches above normal) and checking out loess prairies at the Iowa border. Having had my phone turned off for a day, I open it this morning to 28 voicemail messages and 19 text messages. I haven't listened or read any of them because, thanks to my mother's "..I've been worried sick!" call that I unwittingly answered yesterday, I imagine all of the messages refer to the cresting floodwaters and my personal well-being. Yes, it's terrible that many homes and towns north of St. Louis were flooded, but, no, Columbia is not underwater and is under no threat of flooding. (I'm sending my mother a wall map of Missouri to consult when she insists on watching the news. I recall the same panicky calls when a boy was abducted from a WalMart 280 miles away.) Of course, the calls and emails and text messages wondering after my safety are all very sweet...

More pressing is that Wimbledon started today. I left work as soon as my daily duties were completed (1 pm) and watched Serena lumber across the court and mutter, "why bother...it's too far." Maybe my cell phone is actually full of tennis trivia and best wishes for Nadal.

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