W is for Weather


Posted by Kathy Waller


My letter for today in this April A to Z Challenge is W.     Post A-to-Z Road Trip [2013]

The topic for today is weather. 

The topic for today was going to be writer, but while I was working on the post last night, there came a sudden rumbling and crashing and flashing of light, and suddenly there was no topic at all. I ran around the room unplugging cables and cords, and my husband woke and stumbled downstairs to make sure I’d unplugged the right things.

I don’t know how long it lasted–I gave up and went to bed myself before finding out. If I’d been afraid, I’d have sat up until I knew whether I was going to end up in Oz. I don’t like surprises. And I don’t like the idea that I might wake up to find myself standing in the yard wearing just my jammies and lacking the proper underpinnings.

I don’t think the Austin area has been under tornado watch this spring, but Dallas and surrounding areas have been threatened. A niece posted on Facebook one day this week that sirens were going off in Waxahachie.

Embed from Getty Images

When I was four, I visited relatives in Dallas just after a tornado had hit. My cousins were laughing about a spot on the news: “Whoops! There goes a house. Whoops! There goes a man!” I didn’t know how they could joke about such a serious matter. I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.

Family lore includes two weather stories that (at least the family thought) are worth repeating.

The first–While reports came in about flooding in a different part of the state, Central Texas was in its usual condition of relative drought. There was talk of meeting at church to pray for rain. Miss Lizzie Dawson told Aunt Bettie that she’d already begun praying: “I said, ‘Lord, we need rain. We need rain real bad. I pray that you’ll send us a good, hard rain. But now, Lord,’ I said, ‘we don’t want what those people up in Baxter got.'”

Well, in matters of weather, it’s always best to be specific.


Lakeview Texas Tornado
Lakeview Texas Tornado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


In the second instance, the MacKenzie boy came in from the barn shouting that a tornado was headed right for the house. Danger being imminent, the family decided the only thing they could do was pray. They knelt in the kitchen and Mr. MacKenzie, considerably rattled, could think of only one thing to say: “For the things we are about to receive, Lord, make us truly thankful.” Then he jumped to his feet and said, “Oh, no! That won’t do.”

The tornado didn’t hit the house, so the MacKenzies were grateful anyway.

We’re always grateful when bad weather detours around us. Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods–they’re serious matters. But, as with other sources of grief and suffering, we laugh, perhaps to lighten the hurt, perhaps to blur reality, perhaps to celebrate that in times of trouble, we can still find a reason to laugh.


Kathy Waller blogs at To Write Is to Write Is to Write ( kathywaller1.com) and at Austin Mystery Writers (austinmysterywriters.com).

Austin Mystery Writers' New Crime Fiction Anthology

Two of her short stories, “A Nice Set of Wheels,” and “Hell on Wheels,” appear in Austin Mystery Writers’ new crime fiction anthology, MURDER ON WHEELS, published by Wildside Press.





12 thoughts on “W is for Weather

  1. Weather seems to be on a lot of minds right now. Drought in the former dust bowl area, tornados in tornado alley and snow and rain in the mountains. A very timely post. Yes, I believe we laugh to keep from crying or out of relief. Doris


  2. I grew up in Iowa, and tornadoes are fairly common there, especially in my neck of Iowa woods. Fortunately, we didn’t experience any close by (but close enough!), and my parents and I moved from the area when I was 17. I don’t miss those scares/close calls! Where I live now, tornadoes can occur, but they are rare. We get whooper thunderstorms and of course the more-than-once-a-winter blizzard and Arctic blast. But, overall, I’ll take those because I can STAY HOME! LOL Great post, Kathy, and as Doris mentioned, with all the wacky weather around the country/the world, very timely post. Stay safe!


  3. I went through 200 miles of pouring rain the other night. It was pouring so hard, that I couldn’t see an exit to get off the road, and to top it off, a car stopped right in front of me. I thought I would run over him before I got stopped, but I’m here (and he is too) to say, I got stopped. I used to live in Texas and I stood outside and watched a fierce tornado go by me. I was close enough to watch the debris, and to get grazed on the head with a hailstone a little smaller than a football. My daughter would be whingeing, for sure. Love both prayers and your cousins reactions to the news. Kids are like that, I too think, because of fear. Love that photo of the angry sky. Thanks Cher’ley


  4. Nature can grab us by the hair and fling us halfway to the moon. Just look at Nepal and the earthquake. I’ve been in ‘a lot’ of hurricanes, but never a tornado. Even felt earthquakes. I like the tame unusual stuff… like the fact that it rained in Vegas on Saturday, 0.25 of an inch, a record for that day. The last rain I can recall was in early March. I actually went outside to feel it smack my face.


  5. The family saying, “Whoops, there goes…”, that struck me funny. Still laughing. Not so funny if you were the man! I grew up in a house half way up the river bluff of the Mississippi, in Illinois. Since we were in the valley, tornadoes would whirl right over us. I have memories of standing in the back yard watching the funnels pass by. The next door neighbor kids would have to go in and go to the basement. I felt sorry for them. I’m glad I had my parents and not theirs!


  6. I loved both prayers and enjoyed the post. Very timely as someone said, and always a subject in farming country. Wind, rain and snow, delicate and deadly. Great subject for W.


  7. Good post Kathy. I, too, liked the prayers and thinking about the wacky weather that can happen at any minute. I was born and raised in Michigan (mostly the lower peninsula). We lived in Brighton, MI (near Detroit) when I was ages 6-9. I’ll never forget June 8, 1953. We lived in an area of “Sears and Roebuck” houses and the weatherman said to take cover immediately. Since we had no basement, many of our friends gathered at the house next door that did. In a way it was like a big party with the neighbors, but we were all appropriately scared. We got some heavy weather but Flint, MI experienced an F5 tornado. The next day my folks loaded us in the car and we drove to Flint, as phone lines were down and we had family there we couldn’t reach. I’ll never forget the devastation I witnessed and the horrible sights we saw. Our family was all right, so we turned around and went home. I have a healthy respect for tornadoes and know all the things to do when one is close, but have only been near “small” tornado activity the rest of my life.


  8. Kathy – We sometimes have yukky rainy weather or thunderstoms but we don’t experience the extreme conditions that you have in parts of the US. I’m not sure what I’d be thinking if a tornado was headed for my house.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s