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With all of the news about the oil spill raging many people have not seen the images coming out of the Southeast.  Over a two-day period the southeast was hit with record rains that caused massive flooding and killed at least 29 people.

The flooding was particularly bad in Nashville where the Cumberland river, which had never crested over 44 feet in the past, crested at 52 feet.  That is 12 feet above its flood stage.  Reading stories about the tragedy I hear about houses being simply washed away by the flood waters.  It is a frightening thought. 

But, for me there is a certain surreality to the whole thing.  You see, I lived just outside of Nashville in Franklin for a time.   Those places and pictures all have a certain level of familiarity to me.

It’s odd really.  Normally when I see these stories the places are unfamiliar.  They are places I’ve never been or are so far away that it is almost like I am watching something that happened on another planet.  I don’t know any of those people.  I’ve never walked those streets, eaten in those restaurants, or attended those schools. 

But, in this case it’s a bit different.  It has been years since I was in Nashville.  The city, like any other place, has changed dramatically in those years.  Still, I can see the old places in some of those pictures.  I still recognize some of the old sites.  I remember the Grand Ole Opry, the Opryland Hotel, and other landmarks that I now see images of submerged in floodwaters.

We all feel the horror of natural disasters and their aftermath.  We all look at the anguish of the faces of the victims and hurt for them.  But, we find some solace in the fact that it wasn’t us.  This time, though it wasn’t me, I shudder a little more and feel a bit more anguish.  The images are a bit more poignant, the horror a little more telling.

After all, for a time, that was my home.

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