Fantastic Friday: From Storms…

Beautiful cloud patterns, courtesy of Hermine.

Beautiful cloud patterns, courtesy of Hermine.

Thought and prayers to anyone affected by Hermine, the tropical storm that recently hit the Eastern U.S. As I live a bit inland, I was preparing for lots of rain, a bit of wind, and a few hours without power. Luckily, the storm stayed off to the east of where I live, and our area was spared.

From the low pressure nearby came two positives: cooler air and lots of photo opportunities.

Our area had just been through a terrible heat wave. I hadn’t gone running in a week (the heat wave was too hot to take the little one in a jogger), and families had abandoned the outdoors. Our normally happy neighborhood felt like a ghost town.

The storm came through with just a bit of much-needed rain, after which the temperature became pleasantly cool. As I opened my garage door to vacuum my car (it was finally cool enough!), I saw that my neighbor had done the same. His two dogs sat in his driveway, barking at my two dogs. Tails wagged. Smiles stretched.

I thought about my Fantastic Friday blog and wondered how I could capture the magic of the moment in a picture–the refreshing cool, the companionship of neighbors, the feeling of life returning from the barren heat. And then, just as I was finishing my cleaning, this butterfly landed on the driveway and turned several times, allowing me several photo opportunities.

Almost like it was posing.

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And then there were the clouds. I smiled to see my Facebook feed fill with friends’ posts of beautiful sunsets. According to a local weather station, the beautiful cloud patterns and colors were the result of the storm being close–but not too close. The sunset I captured hardly does justice to the myriad colors that appeared in the days surrounding the storm:

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It’s amazing to think that the beautiful weather and painted sky came all courtesy of a storm.


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Heather Primm never anticipated that a single blog post could ruin her life.

Heather’s scoop about steroid use by key players on the school football team sets off an investigation that strips the Orchard Valley Thunderbolts of their state title-and earns Heather a coveted journalism prize. Hated by those involved in the scandal, despised by jealous members of the newspaper staff, ignored by her newly-popular ex-boyfriend, and even berated by her mother, Heather is attacked and a chilling “T” is carved into her face.

Now stigmatized as a traitor, she becomes the object of scorn for nearly all of Orchard Valley High. But when the school offers to send her to a private academy to hush up the matter, Heather is forced to make a decision. Should she refuse to allow fear to control her life by holding to the truth, or accept the chance to escape and build a new life?

Written by a veteran English teacher, The Scarred Letter weaves themes from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter into an accessible, intelligent tale of modern isolation and a young woman’s quest for truth and acceptance.

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