Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just Another Spring Day In Oklahoma

Weather is something that is to be expected in Oklahoma. Whether it is the wind, the humidity, or the storms, we have a variety to deal with. In the Spring months, especially May, one knows to be aware that a Spring thunderstorm could pop up at an instant and easily turn into a tornado. Recently we have had serveral opportunities to be reminded of this.

The week before a total of 34 tornados broke out in one day across the state. Last weekend a storm went through Oklahoma City, bringing with it baseball to softball size hail. If you have never experienced a severe hail storm it can be almost as devasting as a tornado. In the aftermath, birds could be found throughout yards wounded by the powerful force of the hail as it fell. Vinyl siding on homes was pulverized to nothing. Trees were stripped of their leaves. And a jogger who was caught out in the storm when it began was received severe injuries before he was able to seek cover. His back was covered in welts from the beating.

This last Wednesday, was another day when the state of Oklahoma was covered with the potential for big storms. At first I did not think much about it as being in such a place you tend to become complacent about it. Yet as the afternoon rolled around and the continuous storm updates were flashed across the tv, I began to become more aware of the potential. The first storm to spring up did so in a matter of minutes.  It was headed towards a town where Vincent's daughter lives, so I sent a text to tell her to be safe.  Soon after she calls me back telling me that she is not at home yet driving back from the city, going straight into the area where the storm is.  Fortunately the storms at this time were traveling slowly and she managed to arrive home safe before they reached her.

Although I complain at times about the continuous coverage of the weather on tv, on this day I was grateful.  At this time most of the weather was well north of me.  Still I prepared for what may come.  And in true form I was not disappointed.  A storm quickly started up south west of us and started to grow.  As it drew closer, the rain began.  Still reports were that it was not tornadic just a strong storm.  The rain continued to come down in buckets and soon the wind.  I could tell that circulation was happening due to the manner in which the rain was falling from all directions.  The tv had gone out yet I had my trusty weather radio and was able to listen to coverage. 

Just when I thought it may pass over us, a report came across the radio that a lowering was seen just a few miles of us and it was coming our way.  In the pouring rain, I leashed Winston who did not want nothing to do with going out in it, grabbed my purse and camera and headed to the cellar.  I listened as the sirens blew outside.  Still across the radio there were reports of a funnel sighted.  As the rain subsided and it became still I opened the door of the cellar.  Facing west, the sunshine could be seen peeking from behind billowy white clouds.  When I turned to the East, I could see the storm passing.  The yard was covered with water.  A total of 2 and a half inches fell in a matter of about 20 minutes.  A pale rainbow could be seen on the north side of the storm as it left. 

It was peaceful once again.  Such fury in so short of time, yet such tranquility immediately after.  The storms continued through the night further east yet were not as severe.  In total 16 tornados touched down.  Fortunately minor damage.  Just another spring day in Oklahoma

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Benjamin James

Twenty seven years ago today I lay in a hospital bed. My doctor, a man who loved cigars and tried frantically to smoke them while on rounds, would stick his head in occasionally to make sure I was ok. Eventually he sent me walking the halls and told the nurses not to call him until it was time. You probably have guessed that I was in labor and about to give birth. Yet this time was my first time. Little did I know that in a few short hours I would be holding my first born, Benjamin James, and screaming for some fried chicken.

BJ as we call him came into the world a strapping baby of 9lbs 9oz. Let’s just say his head paved the way for my next two that would come later in life. I was glad that I had a large baby. The idea of having a small little one of 6 or 7 pounds scared me. BJ came into the world half grown. I remember that summer spending many a day in the park beneath the shade of the large oaks that were scattered around. I would read to him and play him music as he slept his afternoons away. Needless to say he was nice and tan before the summer was over.

I still remember the first time I felt him move in my stomach. I was sitting in the college library, reading when I felt what was like a small flutter in my stomach. I did not think much at first yet when it occurred the next time I knew it was him. That pregnancy was magical to me. It was the first therefore everything that I experienced was new for me. I remember evenings sitting on my sofa and talking softly to him inside of me. Wondering and at times worrying about all that was about to happen to me. Yet I can honestly say it was one of the most wonderful times of my life and one I would never change or trade for the world.

Today BJ has grown to a strapping young man. He still has those deep blue eyes that seem to pierce right through you. His smile, when he gives it, could melt an iceberg. He always could get anything with that smile. He is still a quiet boy who loves life in his own way. He still loves good cooking and big dogs. (His fiancĂ©e Brandi is a great cook and he owns a pit bull and a mastiff) He still is my little boy. Funny… although he is my oldest he always seems to still be my baby.

So on this Cinco de Mayo,
I wish my little boy a big happy birthday.
You will never fully be aware of
just how much I truly love you dear.
You will forever be my sweet baby boy.
Love you Bunches