Monday, April 30, 2007

Collecting Dead Relatives

The recent storms of last week reminded me that I need to make a post about a family history story. You see, back when I was about nine-years-old my mother and I moved in with my grandmother (Maw). She was pretty scary to a little kid. We all have a scary grandmother, don't we? Anyway, I got to know her pretty well. She liked to tease a lot. We lived in a small mobile home and here in Texas we get some pretty scary looking clouds sometimes in the spring. You can just imagine what a twister would do to a little trailer setting on top of cement blocks. Whenever the springtime storms would pop up, Maw would turn on the television and watch the news to see what was happening with the weather. Of course many times during a storm, you can't get any television. This is where things went downhill for me.

Maw would proceed to bring out her weather radio. Yep, a whole radio made just for listening to the local, national weather radio station. Now, if you've never heard one of these awful things, you're really missing out. Amidst all of the static you can barely make out this recorded weather message. I imagine some guy in a basement somewhere putting out this message for all of the diehard weather radio listeners..."Local temperature, 68 degrees, high winds likely, rain, hail. Listeners are urged to take cover in the event of a tornado." REPEAT..... I swear this guy never gives you any useful information.

She would listen to this terrible thing for about 10 minutes at a time. I hated every second of it. You could barely understand what the guy was saying. There was so much static it just made me want to cringe.

A couple of years ago, I believe someone had given Maw a NEW weather radio. Something more modern. At least it looked more modern. Once you turned the thing on, it's still the same guy giving the same announcement over and over with the same static. Guess who got the old radio. Yep, yours truly. While rolling my eyes I said something to the tune of "Gee, thanks Maw. I'm sure I'll listen to it all the time." She just laughed. She told everybody how I hated that thing.

When Maw passed away in January, my mother gave me the "new" weather radio as part of my "inheritance". I think I said something like, "Gee, thanks Mom. I'm sure I'll listen to it all the time."

Here's the real kicker....Whenever a storm comes around during the springtime, like last week, you can find me sitting at my desk tracking the weather on the internet. But, right beside me is that stupid weather radio going full blast. I know that I wont get much information from the radio. I seriously doubt that the news that is broadcast over that one station will ever save my life, but there is something comforting about the sound of listening to static trying to make out what that guy down in his basement is saying about the wind, rain and hail. I only hope Oda Mae and her children learn to hate it as much as I do.

Dominus Vobiscum


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