Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tales of the Big Winds

...just snuck out to grab the newspaper...

I recently took part in a discussion about wind in New Mexico at the City-Data New Mexico Forum. It all started when someone in Las Cruces complained that they were in the middle of their annual two weeks of big wind. I couldn't resist answering:

Gosh, I just read about you poor guys with a couple of weeks of wind to endure and the tears are still streaming down my windburned cheeks. Tears of laughter. Tears because one of our 60 mph gusts whisked my cat up into the top of the neighbor's tree last week. Can't use a ladder, those all blew away. The current plan is to wait until the wind shifts and hope she lands back in one of our trees this time.

Like wind? Come on over to Little Texas, here on the High Plains. The winds start in November and end in...umm, not sure when they end. The early morning suburban streets are filled with groggy folk in odd pajama outfits who just snuck out to grab the newspaper, only to find that it has blown away down the middle of the road. It's the one time I'm assured of seeing who lives in the neighborhood and what they wear (or don't) at night.

I know people who keep their false teeth in their pockets most of the time, just in case. My glasses actually blew right off my face yesterday. I bent down to retrieve them and realized I was behind an SUV that was about to back out and over me. It was like a Laurel and Hardy movie. Luckily a really big gust lifted me six feet south, just in time to avoid being another parking lot fatality.

We all have something called "the Clovis do" on our heads because we know better than ever combing our hair until we get inside of wherever we are going. People with toupees make fast friends with the duct tape dealer here.

Only once did I make the mistake of sweeping up the sidewalk after mowing. Now I just wait a minute and it all goes over to the neighbor's place and on down the block.

Don't like your dog? Put him out back in the yard and he'll just blow away and find a new home. Don't like your husband? Wait for one of the really big gusts...

The following answer was posted by a concerned reader in Michigan:

Hello from Saginaw, Michigan:
I never laughed so hard as I did just now reading your description of what the wind does in your state. After a really hard day at school today (I am a substitute teacher working on her retirement this May), I thought I would never stop laughing at your descriptions. They are truly hilarious. Either someone like me who is used to some wind but not that kind of dust and the snow.....especially this year...... it is truly refreshing to hear a description about N. Mexico. Thank you for making me laugh. You have a great sense of humor. But I do cringe at the thought of a animal being tossed into a tree. I love animals so I don't like to hear things like that. I hope the cat survives, also.

Of course, I needed to set the Michigan lady's mind at ease:

I have to admit that I might have exaggerated just a tiny little bit when I was carrying on about the wind. My glasses DID blow right off my face, and the Clovis [hair]"do" IS a thing to behold. Cats blowing away? Welllll... you got me. All my cats are safe and sound and haven't been airborne for weeks. I just couldn't leave you worrying.

I am very excited to read that you are retiring from subsitute teaching. Talk about scary stories--I'll bet you have plenty. I retired from being a school librarian last year and plan to have a big anniversary celebration on May 17th commemorating the last time I was ever shut in a classroom with a mob of eighth graders. They were way scarier than any big wind.

Except for maybe tornadoes. We're apparently right in the middle of tornado season, and we live only 18 miles from the beginning of Tornado Alley. We have frequent tornado drills with the dogs and cats and they all know to head right for the closet, where I read cautionary tales like The Wizard of Oz to them. They love all the parts about Toto.


Akkire said...

thanks for sharing your blog with me! go check out mine sometime too.

did you get this letter published in the local paper? if not, you should! it is so funny.

are your cats any of the original cats I once knew....? Keeko?

clairz said...

Erikka, Keeker lived to be 20 years old and died in my lap a couple of years ago. Her faithful companion, Cody, is still going strong at 12 years old. The vet calls him a "geriatric cat" but also says "who knows what counts as geriatric in the Zee's cat family?" We have a younger Siamese called Skippy Kee in memory of the old Keeker.

This piece was not published in the paper, but the newspaper editor put the "Targets" piece in his online blog.

Thanks for your kind comments!

Akkire said...

I think it was Keeker and Cody that planted the seed in my heart to one day have my own set of Siamese! Now I just have to convince my boyfriend he's not allergic and he'd love Siamese... :)

becky said...

I didn't know clovis was that close to tornado alley! i am not a tornado girl... originally from california, earthquakes maybe, but not tornados!
it's fun reading some of your old posts!