A word to the wise is in order as the Texas Panhandle recovers from this latest dirt/wind/mud-rain episode.
When you crank up the lawnmower, be sure you’re wearing some kind of mask.
I did precisely that — cranked up the mower — this morning and learned the lesson the hard way.
Every fourth pass I made with the mower across the lawn was downwind, meaning that the dirt that was embedded in the grass blew into my face. I should have known better than to try this chore without adequate protection.
I got the job done, then had to re-bathe to wash the dirt away.
All this is worth mentioning only to remind us all of how it used to be around here, many decades ago.
The Dust Bowl.
Its very name conjures up hideous memories among those old enough to recall when the sky filled with dirt from horizon to horizon. It blackened the sky. It blotted out the sun.
Those who didn’t flee to calmer locations, usually out west, stayed and fought their way through it. They were still standing when the dirt stopped flying. It took years for the weather to cycle its way back to something approaching “normal” around here. But it did.
When I think about that level of suffering, I don’t feel so bad about having to cope with a little dirt flying out of the grass as I cut it.
Still, a mask would have been nice.