Tag Archives: Texas Panhandle wind

Oh, the wind takes its toll

We awoke this morning, flipped on the TV and watched the Metroplex weather forecasters going apoplectic over the wind, rain, thunder and lightning that tore through the region.

Our lights in Princeton flickered off for about 20 seconds, then came back on. That was it. Yeah, it was a frightening time this morning before dawn.

The storm raced across the region, which turned out to be a bit of a blessing. It wouldn’t linger long and tear the daylights out of people’s homes, motor vehicles and assorted other structures.

Then we got word of the wind that roared across our former home in the Texas Panhandle.

Sustained blasts of 50 mph, with gusts of 80 mph.

But here’s where my heart breaks. A lot of trees blew over. The wind ripped them out of the ground by their roots. They fell into houses, onto motor vehicles, were laying on street surfaces. The good news is that I haven’t heard of any human casualties. For that we all should be grateful.

The heartbreak occurs because if you’ve seen the High Plains region of Texas, you know it lacks trees. They cherish their trees in that part of the world. There was the time, for instance, when the Texas Department of Transportation proposed culling some trees along U.S. 60 in Hemphill County; you would have thought TxDOT had hired the devil himself. The outrage was ferocious; TxDOT backed down.

Yes, I know you can plant new trees. They’ll grow and replace the flora that’s been destroyed by Mother Nature’s fury.

Still, I hate hearing about the loss.

Keep the faith, everyone.

‘Retirement’ brings shelter from the wind

pooch in wind

This is another in an occasional series of blog posts commenting on upcoming retirement.

My wife’s wisdom is understated, but profound nonetheless.

I stuck my head out the front door late this morning and then told her about how the wind was howling like the dickens.

“Sometimes it’s really good to be retired … on days like this,” she said.


So, I’m not really and truly “retired” fully in the strictest definition of the word. But she’s right about this fact: Neither of us had to be anywhere today, reporting for work, doing things on other people’s behest.

It’s nice to be sort of semi-retired, to be sure.

The wind has been blowing dirt into the air all damn day! Fires have closed highways all across the Texas Panhandle. I’ve heard reports of potential danger to some homes in rural Randall County.

I had a brief conversation this morning with a news source with whom I will speak Thursday afternoon about a feature I’ll be writing for KFDA-NewsChannel 10’s website. I had called him; he called back a little later. I answered the phone. My source said, “It must be nice to work from home.” He laughed. So did I. “That’s the payoff for getting old,” I told him.

“But you’re not old,” he said. I don’t feel old, but I am older than he is, which is the point of why I said what I said.

Retirement has its benefits. I’ll experience all of them in due course.

It is rewarding, though, to enjoy being able to stay indoors today — and away from the raging wind that gives the Texas Panhandle its, um, special quality.