This is what downtown Nashville, Tennessee — one of my favorite places ever — normally looks like, with the Cumberland River in its proper place. But you know from news reports and Youtube what it looked like after a weekend of record rainfall. Freakin’ unbelieveable. Cleanup is starting as floodwaters that killed at least 20 people and caused an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in Middle Tennessee gradually begin to recede. We are so grateful that friends and family there suffered only fixable problems: ruined carpets, soggy furniture, flooded-out cars and power outages. By all accounts, cleanup is going to be a major challenge. Keep up with the latest news and find ways to help by at http://www.tennessean.com/, site of Nashville’s daily newspaper, the Tennessean.
And while you’re clicking around the Interwebs, I’d love for you to read my newspaper column from this past week at http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20100430/ARTICLES/4305004. It’s about a friend and local businesswoman, Marigail Mathis, who died a couple of weeks ago from cancer complications. I say she was a friend, but actually I never went to her house or ate lunch with her or saw a movie or any of the things you normally do with friends. Yet, she made me feel as if I were a friend. She made everybody she met feel that way — she was warm and generous and supportive and encouraging, all within a three-minute conversation standing in the middle of her clothing store. Marigail was one of those special folks you just feel happy to know. She’s already missed.