- Ada, Oklahoma


February 7, 2011

Giving weather people their due

Ada — “Have you looked outside?” I said to her as more of a statement than a question. “Have you?” I added for emphasis, pointing to a window in case she missed my meaning.

The topic under discussion was what everyone else had been talking about for days, including all meteorologists from here to Canada – the weather. Armageddon was headed our way in the form of ice, snow and wind, according to all those who make their living predicting such things.

Our in-house Ada Evening News weather lady doesn’t get paid to predict the weather, but there is not a degree of temperature or wind velocity change, no matter how slight, that escapes her attention, let alone a big event like what had been predicted for last week.

It was Monday and the toasty sunshine practically begged one to sunbathe, so temperate was it. It seemed absolutely impossible the next 24 hours would be anything drastically different.

But her response to me was on target. In fact, it may safely be said no truer words had probably ever been spoken in hers or anyone else’s life. More on her response later.

Today we must give the weather people their due. They were right. By some alchemy that is hard to understand, they were able to correctly predict that something they saw on their radar screens was going to change an almost chamber of commerce style day one day into a frigid nightmare the next.

It is in times like these I promise myself my next vehicle will be four-wheel drive, or at least front wheel drive. We live at the bottom of a hill and when this kind of weather comes calling, it is impossible for my rear-wheel drive vehicle to negotiate slippery pavement.

It is at these times we realize Presbyterians are smarter than newspaper publishers because they had the sense to build their church on the top of our neighborhood hill. At times like these I have to park in their parking lot the night before the storm and then climb the hill the next day to get out. It is a testimony to their Christianity that they never seem to mind.

Tuesday of last week found me trudging up the hill after Armageddon had arrived, but to no avail. My car proved no match for ice covered roads, even those at the top. Undaunted, I walked to work. Sleet hurts when it hits a human face at 45 miles per hour. In the distance came the sound of a squealing dog, obviously left outside to fend for himself. I wasn’t sure who I felt sorrier for, me or him.

An inevitable question kept me company during the long, lonely hike. “How could this be?” I kept asking myself “How could it possibly have been so warm yesterday and so impossibly cold the very next day?”

Then our weather lady’s response came to mind that shut out all the questions.

“It’s Oklahoma!” she said emphatically.

And so it is.

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