Thursday, July 13, 2006


How About That Weather?

When we announced we were moving here to Vernon, many people asked where, exactly, Vernon is located in Texas. My favorite line was to tell them to turn on the Weather Channel and look for the red box over Texas.

I do live in tornado alley, and I really don't mind.

The wind here is powerful most of the time. I love it. James and I honeymooned in Wichita, Kansas, and one of the things I loved about Wichita was the wind. Even on a day like today, when the thermometer is above 100 degrees, I love the wind. It kicks dust around, blows trash into the yard, but it is so powerful and strangly beautiful.

At night, I will stand outside and enjoy the wind for a bit. In the morning, I open my bedroom window briefly to allow the wind to blow in (closing it soon afterwards due to the dust).

I love the wind. But there is something I enjoy even more. A good, strong thunderstorm. The wind is powerful and beautiful--but there is something about a good thunderstorm that is absolutely gorgeous.

I get excited when I see them coming in the distance. Because here in Texas you can see for miles, I see the lightning when it is still far away. God's fireworks. I never saw a really good electrical storm until I moved here. Now, almost every storm is electrical. And I never grow tired of it.

We have a carport, so the cars are safe from the hail. When the rain comes, it falls hard. The hail is usually pea to nickel sized. In this dry corner of the world, the rain is manna.

They take tornados here very seriously. Nearly 30 years ago, they had a massive one that killed a few people and destroyed a lot of property. People who lived here then remember that time with sorrow. I have been in a Wal-Mart in Wichita Falls when funnel clouds were spotted, and was told to take shelter. We had a fairly recent brush with a funnel cloud, and we all hid under cover in the bedroom. We had to pull off the road once between here and Dallas because of an approaching tornado (it touched down about 4-5 miles away).

Weather is cool. My fantasy vacation? Storm chasing. My fantasy volunteer work? Getting certified as a storm watcher for the National Weather Service (Norman, Oklahoma is our home office!).

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