AMARILLO, Texas — I must have been off my rocker, had rocks in my noggin, gone around the bend when I had all those positive thoughts about the Texas Panhandle wind.
Twenty-three years of life on the Caprock have schooled me about the wind. It’s far more of an annoyance than a blessing.
We have returned to the Panhandle for a brief visit. And, oh yes, the wind greeted us — with a vengeance.
There once was a time when I could rationalize the benefit of the wind. Such as:
- It keeps the bugs away.
- It cleans the air.
- It helps reduce the stifling humidity.
- It provides a relentless, endless source of clean energy.
That’s about it. But I would trot those “benefits” out when someone would gripe about the wind. I now join the gripers. The whiners’ chorus has gained a member, although I remain a huge proponent of wind power as an alternative energy source.
I also understand the threat the wind presents, particularly during the summer months.
The wind exacerbates fire dangers manyfold. It dries out the grassland that has been moisturized by rain or snow. The grass grows, it adds fuel that can ignite easily.
You know how the rest of it goes.
Our new home near Dallas presents some other annoyances, such as the humidity that one doesn’t normally find way up yonder on the Caprock, which sits roughly 3,600 feet above sea level.
But … I look at it this way: My family and I spent nearly 11 years on the Texas Gulf Coast, in the Golden Triangle. We didn’t exactly enjoy the stifling summers there; we merely adjusted to it.
My memories of that period are still vivid. So I won’t let the relative humidity of the Metroplex get me down.
I also remember the Panhandle wind. Those memories are even more vivid. I no longer enjoy what I used to pass off as a flying bug deterrent.