The wind has picked up. When the temperature drops the house pops and bangs over there. When I first moved here, after Lars and I were married, I thought the house was falling apart. It’s so old. Lars’ great-grandparents built it, after they had homesteaded her awhile and saved money to buy wood. It’s been sturdy, I guess, but it’s not really that well built. You can just feel that it’s like matchsticks against this wind. One big gust and it will blow over. It never has, but when the wind is really cold coming out of the north, everything feels fragile and temporary.
I love that feeling. It reminds you that you’re not in control. God is in control. We plan and we build and we think we know what’s right, and God just blows through and tears down all our wrong ideas. Reminds us that the plans are his alone.
I always loved the wind as a child growing up, the harder the better. When a storm blew across the prairie, I wanted to sit and watch. If there was lightning my father had to pull me inside. I used to wish for twisters to come, to bust things up, tear up all the wrong things I saw. If the sky got really dark I’d sit and hope that maybe today we’d get a twister touching down. We lived down near Devil’s Lake — that’s where I went to school. I used to wish a tornado would come through there like the ones we sometimes saw on TV. We had an old black and white TV and sometimes if a tornado hit somewhere further east, like Illinois or Ohio, they might have some pictures of all the damage, how it had wrecked a town.
My father didn’t think this was a good thing, me always wishing for unsettled weather. He had a story about a little town called Mose, somewhere down south of us. Named after a man who worked in the lumberyard there. You know it’s not a big place if they name it after the man at the lumber yard. I think it had maybe 30 people living there, but it was a name on the map. They had a sign on the road. Then one day before I was born, a big storm blew up from Binford and right through town. Blew it right off the map. Took out whatever was left — I think they had had an elevator, maybe still had the lumber yard. But they never rebuilt it. My father said, “So, see, be careful what you wish for.” To me, it told a very different story. Here they named a town to memorialize the lumber yard man, as if his name might live on forever, and God came along and said, “I’ll show you what lives forever.” I think the town was named for a guy named Moses or Morris. And now nobody remembers. Nobody even remembers the town. The roads went other places, the rail spur got torn up. You’d have to look hard to find that town on a map. Sort of like Sodom and Gomorrah. I don’t know what was going on that little town but it must not have been good. The lord is good to those who are faithful. That’s why when storms blew up I was never worried for myself. Whatever happened to me, I knew I was going to be all right.