Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tribute To Odie And A Little Tropics Talk

Odie's Obit

Friday was Odie's viewing and Saturday was her funeral. Wow it was really tough to process that she has departed this world.

I have known Odie since about 2002 when I joined CoCoRaHS and started doing student work with the Colorado Climate Center.

One thing I loved about her was she was very passionate about students. In my educational career, I met all kinds of people. Some that you had to earn your way into their life, and others that met you once and immediately connected -- there to help you with whatever it was you needed, with a very positive attitude.

Odie definitely fell into the immediate connection category.

Later after I graduated with my degree and worked at Channel 7 as the weather producer, I cannot tell you how many times she helped me find weather data for something I was working on.

I was fortunate that I got to visit her two times since the middle of July. Each trip to the climate center we got to visit for about 30 minutes.

On my last trip, near the beginning of August, I told Odie she looked like she was losing weight. In her sweet but slightly sarcastic way, she chuckled and said what are your eyes not working?

I laughed back and said no you are losing weight, I can really see it in your face.

Little did I and anybody know, that was probably outward signs of the cancer her body was fighting.

Odie had been tired and having pain in her legs from what people at the funeral told me. She went for tests to see what was wrong on Aug. 21 and was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer that was spreading to other parts of her body on Aug. 22.

And just after midnight on the 25th, she passed away suddenly and very unexpectedly.

One of her dear friends spoke at the funeral. She said as hard as it is to think she is gone, the reality she would have faced over the weeks to come with extensive surgery and chemo, the outcome likely would have been the same.

Although no one wants her gone, at least she didn't suffer this way.

I think that was very brave of Odie's friend to say -- and I completely agree.

Please say extra prayers and send warm thoughts to all her friends, family and her husband, Jim.

Also keep your thoughts going Nolan's way too. Next week will be hard for him, returning to the office where he and Odie worked side by side for 30 years.

I am not sure if he is ready for a ton of emails and phone calls. Besides the emotional aspect of returning to work on Tuesday, it will also be back to business with dozens of phone calls and probably hundreds of emails to return.

If you want to reach out, you might consider a thinking of you card. Here is the address to the climate center.

Nolan Doesken
Colorado Climate Center
Department of Atmospheric Science
1371 General Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1371

Nolan and the climate center are surrounded by a lot of people willing to pitch in and do anything it takes to get through this tough time.

Tropics Talk

It looks like Hurricane Gustav will make landfall in SE Louisiana on Monday as a strong, major hurricane.

Tropical Storm Hannah, currently being impacted by Gustav, is expected to gain strength and parallel the east Florida coast once Gustav moves inland and weakens into a rain producing low pressure.

The SE states (Geogria, N. and S. Carolina) could see impacts from a landfalling Hannah later this week.

There are yet 2 additional disturbances in the far east Atlantic, and they could become the "I" and "J" storms sometime this week.

The hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin peaks around Sept. 10 so this level of activity isn't really all that unusual for this time of year.

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