IT’S NOT MARCH YET by Brian Roper

Posted: February 25, 2007 in The Roper Files

Yesterday was one of my precious days off; did some mundane shopping and some catch-up laundry. Ate lunch and told myself I’d clean the apartment after a nap.I have awnings on the front of my place. When the wind blows, they make a lot of racket. They can be used as a wind gauge of sorts.It’s almost  that dreadful March to May window of spring I hate; when I spend an inordinate amount of time watching the smoggy skies of Texas hoping there’s no tornados or hailstorms coming.The sad thing about this is I used to enjoy a good storm. I would put on some choice music, open up the blinds and take in the beauty of natures’ lightshow. Not any more.

During the 90’s I had a neighbors’ dead tree fall smack dab on my pick-up  during a truly memorable near-hurricane velocity storm that knocked out the power for a week. Later during that same dreadful decade Fort Worth would be repeatedly pounded with fierce hailstorms that still make me nervous when the sky turns the wrong color.

I had to watch helplessly as hail the size of softballs pounded my truck into  a pile of broken glass and scrap metal in 1995.  I’ve ridden out numerous tornados holding shaking,frightened kittens in my lap sitting in a bathtub.  Needless to say I get a little antsy this time of year. There’s a reason for it, I assure you.

Laying in bed covered in blankets and attempting sleep became unusually difficult. I could tell by the noise of the awnings the wind was blowing really hard. I toss and turn for awhile before giving up and getting out of bed.

Groped around for my glasses and staggered to the window. The sky was a really weird grey/red color; weirder still was the fact that this red cloud was hanging down in the treetops up the street. The local tv weathermen had predicted possible hailstorms for this afternoon. Not one of them said anything about a dust-storm.

I could taste the dust in my mouth; instantly I started rolling up towels and putting them under the doors. I covered the computer with the plastic covers that more often than not lay on top of my printer and closed all the doors in the apartment in an attempt to compartmentalize the place.

Turned on the cable tv; the picture flickers on and off. According to the Weather Channel, the dust cloud is 400 miles long and 70 miles wide. No one saw this coming?

It takes all afternoon for this damn thing to pass through. Good thing I have an ample supply of eyedrops. They are appreciated today.

Feel like I’ve awoke in THE WIZARD OF OZ or THE GRAPES OF WRATH. The storm takes a full five or six hours to pass. I drink a lot of water and sit it out.

Can’t brush my teeth enough; everything’s gritty. Ugh! Wash my clothes; take another shower.

According to the paper Sunday morning, only the tragic events of 9/11 shut down more flights at D/FW National Airport than yesterdays’ Saturday afternoon storm.

The awnings didn’t lie; the winds reached 60 mph yesterday.

It’s not March yet, but February’s going out like a lion.


Feb 2007


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