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Monday, May 17, 2010

Stormy Weather


This morning I got caught in a terrible rainstorm, with howling wind, thunder and lightening. My umbrella was of no use, except maybe as a sail. And then, suddenly, it was over. The sky turned blue and the sun was shining. I barely had time to be frightened.

When we were kids, we had days like this, seems like all summer long. It would be hot and sticky, the air like a heavy, wet blanket. Then it clouded up and the warnings would start. Mothers called for children to come home, and we did. We sat in front of the TV and watched the weather radar, which showed us nothing. It was a dial going around in a circle, showing an occasional blurry spot on the screen, which may or may not have been a storm. Soon the sirens would sound and we headed for the cellar. On a good day, it was over quickly and we came out to play again. We would wade through ditches full of rainwater and catch tadpoles. Cars smashed big frogs on the streets. I had a dog that would drag the frogs up on the front porch, which was pretty disgusting. I remember Ivy and I trying not to step on smashed frogs as we walked back and forth to each others houses.

Only the storms that came after dark really frightened me. That's the kind that got us. I was twelve years old and at home on a Friday night with my parents, two of my brothers and my niece. The wind started blowing hard and my Dad went to the window and looked out. My brother, trying to calm my niece, said "It's just high wind." My dad, calmly said,"No, it's a tornado." We crawled under the beds, because it was too late to leave the house. I will never forget the sound of the wind blowing under the house as it lifted off the foundation, and then, the silence and darkness after it was over. We had lived through it.

Ive been through many storms since. Some took me by surprise, while others were self induced. Most, I thought would kill me. I've been too sad to pray. But the darkness lifts and the silence breaks. Look at me... I lived through it.


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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.


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