Monday, July 30, 2012


Hasn't this month been twice as long as usual? We've been through so much.

Although we had nice rains at the beginning of the month, the heat now is relentless, making it uncomfortable to go outside for much of anything. I pity the thousands that have been without power for weeks on end.

In fact, wasn't July The Month From Hell?
**Record floods in more than one area of the country.
**Record drought in the West
**Record heat in the Midwest
**Record number of wild fires in the West
**Negative campaigning that never stops
**Middle East wars in several countries
**One of the worst mass killings in history

Oh, and did I mention low book sales? That sounds trivial, doesn't it, when put up against the context of so much human suffering?

My daddy blamed everything on "The Bomb." By that, he meant the atomic bomb that ended WWII. He believe that The Bomb realigned the earth, and especially changed the weather patterns. We lived on the South Plains of Texas, sometimes called the High Plains, the lower portion of the Panhandle, near Lubbock and not too many miles from the New Mexico state line.

As a young married woman living elsewhere, we would visit my parents on the South Plains, and I liked to sit outside on the steps of the front porch in the dark with my daddy. We talked about the government and the president, but mostly he was interested in the weather. He wasn't a farmer, but he was born and raised on a farm, so I suppose he still had that mind-set.

During those years of the fifties and early sixties, dust storms were bad. Remember--the Drought of the fifties still stands as the worst in the 20th Century and through July 2012. It was so dry the entire country was affected and the economy was just horrible.

Today, I'm not blaming the bad times on any one thing or any one person, or even God. I do know that much of the world is in turmoil, but's nothing very unusual at all. It's just that we know too much through the internet and the news, so instead of only hearing about the tornado over the crackly radio that hit the town thirty miles away, we hear about a hundred tornadoes all over the United States. Sounds much worse, doesn't it?

In third grade, Daddy left home on Monday morning and came home on Friday afternoon as he would continue to do for decades. But that particular stormy night, Mother had us three girls grouped around the radio, each of us with our crocheting or embroidering, as we listened to The Lone Ranger or some such program that was our nightly entertainment. Suddenly, an announcer interrupted the program with the announcement that a tornado had struck a nearby town where our aunt, uncle, and cousins lived. Mother had been crocheting, but when she heard that, such terror struck her heart she jumped up yelling, and somehow jammed the crochet needle through the skin between her thumb and index finger. Now, she really did scream, and set all three of us doing the same thing. I will never forget that night. Hysteria reigned for hours.

Was that the worst night of our lives? The worst week? The worst month? No, absolutely not. The storm was centralized over one small area, but we imagined the world coming to an end.

Okay, so now I feel better about this horrendous July we've just experienced. Yes, it was bad, but that night in 1948, we had no idea about the rest of the world. We only knew our little part of the universe had turned frightening.

Cheer up. We're still better off than most of the earth's population, and we're strong and resilient enough to weather whatever comes our way.

So, out with July and bring on August. We're ready.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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  1. Celia, I never thought about all the bad things in July--it seems like the last year or two has just been a litany of those kinds of things, one after the other, both for everyone and in my private life, too. LOL So I guess it's really bad to say I didn't even notice that July might have been worse than another month. Another thing is, I guess I always have a soft spot in my heart for July since my birthday falls on the 28th, and we have the 4th of July, which was always just such a wonderful holiday when I was younger. We'd go to my grandparents' house, and all the cousins and aunts and uncles would be there. We made homemade ice cream, and the kids would take turns sitting on top of the ice cream maker on a quilt. Everyone pooled their fireworks and the men would set them off (that was back when you could set off your own fireworks),and it was such a good time. July was the month when, as a child, we'd usually go on vacation somewhere--lovely long road trips to visit relatives in far away California or Florida. July was the month we moved from Duncan, OK (where I was born) to Seminole, OK (where I stared first grade just a couple of months after we moved). The best thing that happened that July (1963) was that just three houses down, another family was moving in, too! And they had a daughter my age! We became the very best of friends. What a gift! This year, I'm ready for August, like you. And I'm sure hoping it's filled with good things. Everyone is due for an "upturn"--all the way around.
    I loved the story of the radio broadcaster announcing the tornado. I remember as a child how my dad would take me outside with him to watch the storm clouds (this was WAAAAAYYYY before doppler radar!) LOL He was really interested in the storms. Probably if he'd been born later, he'd have been a storm chaser. Great post, as always.

  2. Celia, July was a bad month. But you're right. Things haven't changed so much, but our communication systems inform us of every bad even worldwide, yet seldom do the good events rate a mention. People are just people, much as they've always been. I do remember the fifties drought, and standing watching the clouds when the drought broke and we had bad storms and tormatoes. But I do believe the weather is changing due to global warming. I hope it's reversible, but my dh thinks we've passed the tipping point. Great post, putting everything in perspective. This is why we love history, right?

  3. Hi--Cheryl--maybe all men were like your father and mine. Daddy, too, stood out on the porch to watch/listen. Didn't these things always happen at night? Of course they did. Mother would come into our bedroom, tell us to put on our shoes with our baby doll pajamas, roll up in quilts, and roll under the bed. I spent many nights under the bed with my little sister.
    You know the fiftes was the decade of The End of Innocence. The sixties hit us with a bang with music, movies, burning draft cards, and Vietnam. And all of it on tv.
    No wonder we remember such ideal childhoods--we were ignorant!
    Thanks so much for your lovely comment--and for standing up for July! I do that with August--my birthday month. I always feel a little special in August--don't you in July? Have a wonderful week. You deserve it.

  4. WOW when you sum it up like that, Celia, it does add up. Let's hope August is easier on us all. For me it will be a new beginning - the release of my first book and the beginning of a new journey.

    I can remember sitting around the radio listening to stories, too. The quieter way of life was a good childhood. People are just too busy these days. After going to the Romance Writers conference last week, I am snuggling back into the quieter mountain life. sigh

  5. Caroline--okay, I'm laughing out loud. Tormatoes???? Too funny of a typo.
    Anyway, I knew you'd remember the drought out there.
    Definitely the weather is changing. It does so about every 5,000 years. We can adjust to whatever we have to--I just hope the time for another IceAge is not near. I cannot stand to be cold.
    Thanks so much for commenting...

  6. Paisley--I'll watch for you first release in August! I'm so glad for you.
    I understand being glad to cuddle back into your own little nest after being out among the hustle and bustle. I'm becoming more and more of a recluse, when in the past I loved being around a lot of people-much of the time. Being a school teach, it was a good thing I enjoyed people...especially teens.
    Thanks for your comment....

  7. I think you're right that our access to information--and all the bad news that is taking place in the world--makes us think things are worse now. It all goes in cycles, good and bad.

  8. Hi Celia, I really enjoyed this jouorney back to a kinder, gentler time when we lived in our own little worlds. I don't think kids today are able to do that. I heard a lady say yesterday that she had stopped watching the news because it depressed her and she couldn't do anything about it. I don't have the courage to do that, do you?

  9. Celia, I chuckle because July was a pretty cool month for me.

    #1 - Wasn't hot as it could be and I live in so. Cal. We've had below average temps which have kept the month cool.

    #2 -Had a cool vacation at Catalina Island for the 4th.

    #3 - 3 of book finaled in the Reader's Favorite Contest

    #4 - Had 2 99 cent novels released. Yeah, book sales aren't great. I keep praying on that.

    #5 - The Olympics are awesome to watch.

    #6 - Katie Holmes wised up and left that crazy Tom Cruise.
    LOL!! I'm digging now, can you tell. Hope your August is better for you, Sweetie.


  10. Yes,we skipped our UK holiday this year which was the wettest for years, and here in California the weather is about as perfect as it could possibly be. I count my lucky stars.

  11. Helen--I think that's a much more rational idea. Cycles--yes. The rhythm of the earth's beings and structures change constantly.

  12. Linda-, No, I still watch the news. I do get angry or mad or sad, but sometimes I just shrug it off as "more of the same." That's emotional fatique, isn't it. Psychologists and counselors and doctor alike will tell us that when we hear something so many times, we stop listening.
    I do wish our children could experience a quieter life. What will their adult lives be like in contrast to ours? Who knows. They might be much better people. We can hope, anyway.

  13. Steph--yes, the optimism of the young. I love that you see the brighter side of July. I started not to write this, thinking I'd just drag everyone down. Not so, though. You...very upbeat. And others...take it all with a grain of salt. We cannot change anything...but we can learn to cope better.

  14. Celia, I can picture you and your sisters huddling under the bed!

    My July was a pretty good month. With my adorable granddaughters visiting, we didn't have time to watch news on TV. Heck, when it was on, it was stuck on Disney channel and the likes.

    I hope August will be better for you. We'll celebrate your birthday and Paisley's fist book.

  15. Maddy--Central Texas was much like California, thank goodness. As I said, we had a wetter than normal July--usually by July, everything is drying up some, but this year? Right now my property looks lush and green as though it were spring. Flowers and some trees are blooming, too--sort of odd, but we are not complaing about that. The last week and a half, the rains stopped and the temperature began to rise. So be it. It's summer.
    Thanks for visiting!

  16. Mona...oh, that's right. You lived in an area with a beach and how wonderful you had to watch the Disney channel instead of Fox or CNN. Yes, we'll celebrate something in August--at least Paisley will have her debut novel!!!

  17. I'm happy to blame the bomb for this month's troubles. May August be ever so much better!

  18. We've had dire weather ever since April - and by dire I mean wet! Evidently April, May and June broke all the existing records for rain. Nothing to do with the 'bomb' but evidently the jet stream was much further south than usual. It was supposed to move northwards a couple of weeks ago - well, maybe it did for about a week, but since then we've been back to grey, dismal, grey skies and more rain! So depressing - everyone is is utterly fed-up of the weather!

  19. Whenever you talk about your daddy, it brings back memories of my own. Funny how parallel our dads were. Pop and I used to talk about everything under the sun including the weather--he was a meteorologist. He told me all about clouds, fronts and pressure centers. Pop also assured me that, when the plansts all lined up, it would not cause earthquakes and volcano eruptions. I felt better when he told me these things. I miss that now.
    I know that weather is cyclic and I am so hoping all of this heat and deadly weather isn't because of people pollution.
    It has been an unusually violent and uncomfortable July. I feel sorry for anyone without power in this heat. Amazingly though, I did not grow up with air conditioning in the summer. We opened windows to capture any little breeze. You could open windows and feel safe back then.
    I remember listening to radio shows, too. My dad didn't want us to have a TV. The Lone Ranger, The Shadow Knows and Jack Benny were favorites of mine.
    Today was a wonderful post, Celia. I enjoyed reading about your history. What a wonderful life you've had.

  20. Maggie--well, you can emulate my daddy. Everything was The Bomb's fault. I have wondered what he would thing today if he were alive. I knew he was wrong, but Lord help me if I ever contradicted my daddy!

  21. Paula--our weather men blame everything on the Jet Stream. Oh, and El Nino or El Nina. Actually, they're probably right, but most citizens just scratch their heads and say, "What?"
    I, too, believe in global warming, but still, the scientist in me say these are partly natural occurences.

    The big thing? We forget that humans have built homes and cities in the path of these hurricanes and tornadoes, etc. They're actually doing what comes naturally, but humans? We blame global warming or God..when in truth, it's just that we got in the way.
    Thanks so much for dropping by.

  22. Sarah--I grew up with no air conditoner, either, but we lived on the South Plains, high and dry, so that when it was 100, the humidity was so low it didn't feel like it. When I was in high school, Daddy installed an evaporative cooler on top of the house, and the water cooled air was blown into the house in a hallway that divided the bedrooms from the rest of the house. Oh, Lord, that was wonderful. Except to walk from my bedroom to the living room, to the kitchen, I had to go through that hallway. It was a wind tunnel, and I had to place both hands on my hair and rush through, with my skirt and petticoats blowing up.
    I hated that..but I really did love that cool air.

    My daddy was very special to me. He always told us girls we were pretty, we were smart, and we were special. You see...Mother never said those things. But she was the one who kept our hair curled, kept us dressed in new clothes, and kept us in nice shoes. We might have lived on the wrong side of the tracks...but we sure didn't look like it.
    Oh, such memories. I can tell you have just as many. Thank you.

  23. Hello Celia,
    Well having read your post, I can't say I'm sorry to say goodbye to July either. It's not that it's been especially bad here, but your catalogue of disasters offers much food for thought and there has been quite enough human misery and suffering in one month to last for the rest of the year. So let's draw a line under it and start afresh tomorrow.
    Here in England it's probably been the wettest July on record, following the wettest June, May, April etc etc... I'm surprised everyone hasn't abandoned the Olympics and gone home to drier climes.
    I have to say I loved reading your description of your childhood and even though you were reminiscing about a frightening experience, there was a great comforting cosiness about the scene you painted that made me want to be there. The Lone Ranger… hmm… the first TV cowboy hero I fell in love with!
    So thanks for the memories and I sincerely hope August blesses you with kindness.

  24. Thanks for addressing this, Celia. We dwell too much on the bad things and forget that God is still in control. He's going somewhere with this. And let's remember the promise,

    "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you."

    I have to repeat that verse often these days because of the health issues and decisions my siblings are facing regarding our mother. But it makes me realize how much I need God in all aspects of my life.

    I enjoyed this post as always.


  25. Hello, Celia. I enjoyed your post and the memories of your childhood.

    This year in Oklahoma, thank goodness, it hasn't been as hot or as dry as last year but the temperatures are soaring to 100 and above now and we still have August to go through. August is one month I've always wished we could skip. No such luck.

    As you stated in your post the whole world seems to be facing hard times. Whether it is more than in the past or not I don't believe so. Just faster news.

  26. Lyn--many of the visitors to the Olympics--the Americans--are probably thrilled to see that rain really does still fall from the sky.
    I've kept up with the wet weather in the UK through Paula Martin--she talks about it,too. There's nothing I like better--as far as weather goes--than a rainy day. Cold? I can do without that. I don't like being cold.
    I'm glad you enjoyed the glimpse into my childhood. I've written several short anecdotal pieces about those years, and have sold two of them for a nice sum. If I could just write those and sell them, I could make some money!
    Thanks so much for visiting. I do love comments.

  27. Laurean--don't you hate to hear people blame God for our misery? I love your verse--the one you repeat. It's very powerful, and helpful to say to yourself.
    As to your mother and the pain and suffering you all are going through, I do pray for you and hope for a brighter tomorrow very soon. The story sound likes mine and what we went through last August with my mother. It's sad to see a generation leave us.
    So, take care and stay strong, and lean on the Lord.

  28. Zequeatta--you'r right about the hard times. Nothing new...just faster and constant news.
    Here in Central Texas, we're moving in the 100 degree days, too. We so enjoyed the days of rain earlier in July, but now that wet period is over and the heat has
    settled in. It doesn't bother me because I don't go outside much--just to shop and visit, etc. And that's in a airconditioned car. But I do feel for those individuals who have outside jobs--torture.
    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  29. Hi, Celia. I hope August is better. On the one hand, July wasn't so bad for me.

    1) No close friends or family died.
    2) I got some great revisions back on my new book.
    3) No major hurricane/tropical storm damage in my area.
    4) I guested at two of my favorite writers' personal blogs. :)
    On the downside it's been hot as heckfire down here, and we (along with the rest of the world) had the news of the Colorado Theater shooting, and a few celebrity deaths. So, for me, a little good in the face of so much bad. I hope August treats us all well!