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It was Wednesday morning. I mean it was almost last Wednesday morning when something woke me up. Let me clarify the "up" at the end of that sentence. All the linguists say it's not correct, but how many of us say "I woke up" when we're telling a story about early rising ... or when something rocks the recliner, waking one up from dreamland that includes visions of sugar plums dancing in the head. I digress and, by the way, "I digress" is a couple of words quite often used by columnists. Not communists.

Anyway, back to the discussion at hand: I was awakened by something; who knows what? ... but I stirred enough to realize it was raining outside. Whoops, there goes that extra word. Outside. It wasn't raining inside. Do you want to know the first thing that popped into my head? Something that once in awhile just seems to pop into heads? Yep, you guessed it: Did I roll up my car windshield? Honestly, has that ever happened to you?

Last Tuesday had been a particularly warm day for late November. I had spent most of the afternoon chopping up (whoops, there goes up again) piles of leaves in the front yard. Chopping leaves is a good time to think. Honestly, it reminds me of the early years, when I had the "News Herald." I would stand on the big press and feed big sheets of newsprint into the noisy, rough, inky machine. I could do my best thinking then. I'll bet subscribers wondered at the time about some of the things I wrote. Now you know ... Confession is good for the soul. And now? Just leaf chopping.

Anyway, while chopping, I thought about rolling up (whoops) my car windows. Hadn't those weather forecasters practically guaranteed it was going to rain Tuesday night? Well, practically. So I honestly thought about weatherizing the car by rolling up the windows. That's not really true ... we don't roll 'em up like we used to; we push those little buttons and up they go. Unless that is, the motor driving 'em up is down.

Again, anyway ... to make this long story shorter, after getting my sleeping beauty dream in order, I debated a few seconds, make that five or 10 minutes, and came to the conclusion that if they were down, I'd clean up the mess Wednesday morning. So at about 4:30 (just a guess), I closed the old eyes and zzzzzzzz.

Imagine my chagrin when I hopped out of bed on the real Wednesday morning -- make that rolled out. Or crawled out. Or fell out. Take your pick -- when I looked out into the yard it looked like a lake. Reality returned. Had I rolled up my windows?

When I waded out to get that necessary morning Arkansas-Democrat newspaper -- it's the elixir I need every day -- surprise of surprises: The windows were up. The heavy weight was lifted. The seats and floor mats were dry. And the almost two inches of rain were a blessing to the lawn.

The digressing is over and we move on to other things -- such as a question concerning the recent Thanksgiving dinner: Is that stuff, the turkey side (or inside) dish dressing or stuffing? It seems there's always an argument about what it is. Personally, I think it's usually dressing and it is a leftover that complements the leftover turkey and mashed potatoes and green bean casserole and sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce and other goodies that make up (there up goes again) ... makes them holiday meals. Now it's time to digress backward to weather information.

Recently the boob tube forecasters (that boob tube definition was actually used in the daily paper crossword puzzle, not the New Yorker puzzle -- it marches to a different (make that a difficult) drummer for this old boy. The forecasters had been working hard to provide accurate predictions and, frankly, they do a pretty good job. There, I complimented them. But as I mentioned a few weeks ago, Earl Ludlum, with his pointer and wall map at the KOAM, Pittsburg station, usually hit the forecasts pretty well. Of course he, in later years, had radar assistance which filled in blank spots. Ah, progress was, and is, exciting. But I wish the stations would eliminate those banners that stream across the top of the TV screen. They provide the station ID, their type of radar and sometimes include a commercial blob tossed in.

When they start scanning their station audience from up in Missouri almost down to Louisiana, just try to catch a glimpse of the small town you live in as the scan zips from top to bottom so fast it makes the head swim. And that banner continues to cover strips like a tornado on its flight path. Wheee, was it really 30 degrees at the Mason-Dixon Line and 65 in the river valley? As has been mentioned in the past, "Who cares?" It doesn't really matter, but occasionally it is nice to spot the old hometown's name in the video stream. Ah well, rain is rain wherever it falls and we're always glad to get it. Make that usually ... which brings us to the last digression.

The forecasters have been talking about how dry November was, probably a record breaker they said, if not for northwest Arkansas, for the rest of the state. That drove me to the old stack of local weather records dating back more than 90 years. Those early ones were by A.F. Stevens, who was a forecaster in the little settlement of Pond, southwest of Gravette. Its post office merged into Gravette and thus the coldest day ever recorded in Arkansas occurred in Gravette, 29 degrees below zero on Feb. 13, 1905.

After digging a while, I found the driest November on record was in 1949 when only .08 inch of moisture was recorded. Only .22 inch of rain occurred the following year. On the other side of the coin, the wettest November was 1974 with 9.58 inches.

November this year was dry until the next to last day of the month when 1.68 inches was recorded, upping the month's total to 2.02 inches. The annual November average is 3.58 inches.

That's the weather report, except to say 51.14 inches have been recorded during the first eleven months. That is 6.27 inches more than the 44.88 annual average. We'll beat last year, which showed a 7.02-inch deficit. Mother Nature really is unpredictable. And fickle. Just remember those figures can vary very little or a whole bunch, say from Gravette to Gentry or Decatur or Fayetteville or ....

Dodie Evans is the former editor and longtime owner of the "Gravette News Herald." Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 12/06/2017

Print Headline: Did I roll my windows up?

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