IT’S SPRING! Even though we had a mild winter, I am thrilled that it’s over. As I’ve said before, the biggest problem with winter here in Texas is the fact that it can be 20° one day and the next it will be 60° and the day after that, it will be 80°. But, hold on, a day later, or less, the temperature will drop 50°. Seriously, you come to work wearing clothing for a warm spring-like day and when 5:00pm rolls around, the wind is blowing 30mph from the north and it’s winter again. I don’t mind the cold but it’s difficult to get acclimated to it when it’s not consistently cold. You’ve probably heard the joke about if you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait a minute. Only, it’s not a joke and it’s not funny. Personally, my very favorite season is fall. It usually starts off hot but within a couple of weeks, it’s not too bad. The evenings and mornings are usually cool and the daytime temperatures are warmer but still a relief from the summer temperatures that we suffered through and survived. Again. I love the leaves changing and the way the sunlight angle has changed. We still have storms but they don’t usually include the tornado warnings and watches that we have during spring and summer. But, because it is Texas, they can. We have violent storms during the spring and summer even when there’s no tornado involved. The watches and warnings used to terrify me but one year, during August, every night for almost two weeks, there would be warning sirens going off after 10:00pm. I lived alone in my little house with all my dogs and my cat, Fred, and at first, I’d stay up until things calmed down. Eventually, I realized that there was nothing I could do about a tornado even if it did hit, so I’d just go to sleep listening to the wind, thunder, rain, hail, and sirens blasting away. During that two week period, we had 1 major tornado that destroyed a large portion of one neighborhood, skipped over my parents’ house and then destroyed another neighborhood. There was major flooding and a lot of wind damage. On the day that happened, I was at work…listening to sirens and watching the sky turn green, which means hail and tornadoes are likely…when I noticed that there were things blowing west on one side of the street and east on the other side. Not good. And in Texas, if a storm approaches from the east…get ready for some nasty weather. It’s never good when storms come from that direction. I got caught in rush hour traffic 3 different times when there were tornadoes on the ground and I’ve never been more afraid than I was then. One time I was on an overpass in my little Honda Accord Hatchback and the wind was insane and, I realized, it was actually pushing my car sideways toward the edge of the overpass. That was fun. Another time, I was stuck in traffic and the hail was huge and pounding my car. I couldn’t even hear the radio where they had been talking about multiple tornadoes being on the ground. I was freaking out and even crying. I had one of the old Motorola box cell phones that actually had a cord going from the box to a regular sized handset and I called my boyfriend, my now husband, and tried to talk to him but because of the hail, neither of us could hear. Once again, I survived but my car looked like someone had taken a hammer to it. It’s spring so it’s time to start thinking about storms again. Yea! Our house is down in a little valley and it’s survived for 63 years so I feel pretty safe there. We have a lot of huge old trees though and their roots run shallow because 2″ down you hit clay and we’ve lost a couple during storms so I worry about one crashing through the roof. But, what can you do? Work is a different story…we have absolutely nowhere to go if a tornado hits. So, I freak out a little when the weather gets really bad while I’m here. I’m going next door to the RaceTrac service station and get in their freezer. That’s the only plan I have so it will have to do. Well, that’s enough fun for now. I’m going home to either create or veg. Either way, there are no storms predicted for tonight so I’m good.
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