Stormin' In Arkansas

Stormin' In Arkansas

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One of the most unusual things that a person could possibly miss is storms.  Miss?  Yep!  MISS!!

I have a whole memory bank what is chocked full of storms.  Storms are exceedingly beautiful to me.  The majestic and awe-inspiring cloud system with a force that can't be measured rolls up in the skies that can be seen for miles.  A person can see it gathering from the get-go.  Dark and foreboding, blustery and billowing, lightening flashing, the deafening roar of thunder rolling across the land like an out of control steam roller crashing down a mountainside.

One can be out in the middle of a field chopping cotton in the stifling heat, and suddenly feel a light cool breeze.  A short perusal of the sky will reveal a darkening of the sky somewhere way off in the distance.

Suddenly a low rumble can be heard . . . and in Arkansas, you're just fixin' to get wet!

Everyone will pick up the pace and try to get out to the end of the row, and by then someone should be there to pick them up.  If not, you might be able to make it to shelter before the storm hits, but doubtful.

Then, the soft welcome breeze becomes a stiff wind kicking up dust in your eyes.  Most cotton choppers I ever saw wore or carried a huge handkerchief or bandana for such occasions.  It would be tied onto the face robber style and would somewhat provide a means of breathing without all the dust.

But, you KNEW it was coming!  The air becomes charged with static electricity.  First you sense it, then you can feel the hair on your arms and back of your neck stand up.  Soon the welcome moist, clean, refreshing smell of rain invades your nostrils and confirms the obvious: rain!  A storm.

What a delight!  How awesome it is to experience a storm in this manner!

Within minutes the huge drops of rain come down in a staccato all its own.  And believe it or not, you can stand in the field while the rain is coming down like that and see thick spots of rain, and spots of rain which are not so heavy.

But when the storms roll into Arkansas, they come with a vengeance!  With all that's going on, one can't help but be amazed at the veracity of it all.  Its very being smacks of amazing power, truth and awe-inspiring power of Him that allows these small things to Him, but huge to us!

The full fury of the storm hits in short order.  It sends the people out in open scurrying to whatever shelter they can find, and wind-blasts, soaks, and scares anyone not lucky enough to find shelter in time.

Many times I been awakened by Mom and Dad or Grandpa Shelton.  Come on, we have to go to the storm shelter.  And through the rain, hail, wind, lightening we rush.  After we'd made it inside the shelter, the men would knock down spiders webs, kill snakes and other vermin which were there.

Many times we've been herded to the car.  Dad usually had a big ol' Buick or something heavy like that.  But still the car would be rocked by the storm.

And there were lightening strikes.  I remember one story where someone headed to the storm shelter was knocked down after grabbing the door knob.  Also, I've heard the story about the house where Uncle Burl and Aunt Ermarie Shelton lived.  They've been struck 2 or 3 times and the phones knocked off the walls along with all the wiring.

The most loved part of the storms was the sound of rain hitting the tin roof of an old house or barn.  There's just something romantic and reassuring about it.

But the smell of the air after a rain is sweet!  The lights are brighter, the air fresher, the air clearer.  Then comes the rainbow, and we're reminded of Gods promise never to destroy the earth by water again.

Ah, but what I would give to enjoy another one of those good ol' Arkansas storms!

George Cavaness

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