Tornado Warning and Severe Weather

Yesterday started out like any other day, with coffee and cream, then breakfast. Always coffee. It’s like swallowing roasted sunshine and chilled moonbeams that revs up the start of my daily schedule. Two polar opposites, hot and cold, blend to make a remarkable float and swish, on my tongue.

Later during the day we ended up, at a doctor’s office with my son, filling out paperwork. Always paperwork before seeing a new doctor, quite like coffee before breakfast.

Everyone has a smartphone now and they all signaled an alarm at my paperwork moment, “Tornado warning! Take cover immediately.” We could not have been more synchronized, grabbing our phones, if we had practiced it. Outside it was gray and eerily silent like we all were, in the waiting room, looking at our phone screens, eyebrows arched. Upon visiting various websites, severe weather was indeed nearby.

The office manager quickly ushered everyone down to the bowels of the building because minutes after receiving the warning, it was already beginning to roar with wind and rain outside. Doctors, nurses, physical therapists, patients all together, waiting with phones in hands, texting family, nannies and friends.

Now this will sound crazy but I actually thought about dahlias for a bit down in those depths. Since the dahlias had survived “severe weather” the day before, could they possibly be standing after this one? I worried this storm might be the knock out punch.

Growing Dahlia flowers for pleasure is rewarding and growing dahlias for a family business should be too. Would this storm take away the business side of growing dahlias? Would we all be going on diets this fall?

Dahlias have survived down through the ages by their resilience. They’ve been bred to be fuller, bigger and more colorful but they still basically like the same things. Great soil, some moisture and warm weather. The dahlia grower does the “pinching” and gives “structural support,” two very important steps in successful dahlia growing in severe very weather.

When we pulled—or pushed—into the driveway much later, wipers keeping a steady beat, it looked like all of our dahlia stems were still upright! All was well in the flower world. I could have jumped out and hugged them, but my arms were not long enough.

Today’s forecast is six-straight-days of sunshine lined up with temperatures in the eighties. Sunshine and dahlias. One polar field and not opposites partnered together.

No time to sit around and feel good, there is work to do. Like whack-a-mole. You don’t stop knocking things down off the list until the sun goes down. The eventual dahlia prizes will be welcomed later.

Until tomorrow…put on that sunscreen, and support your dahlias.

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