One thing that you could always depend on in Texas was the spring storms. When you
lived in the country and you saw a big dark cloud approaching from the northwest you
would generally start looking for a safe place to get away from the storms fury. At the
time we were living in the country most people had storm cellars.
The cellar that we had was hand dug with post oak logs laid over the top and dirt piled
on them high enough to shed water whenever it rained and steps dug out of the dirt going
down into it. I can remember going to the cellar a few times, until the rattle snakes took
it over and mother decided she had rather face the storms in the house than face the rattle
snakes in the cellar.
Outside of a few hailstorms the only bad storm that I can remember was one spring when
a high wind blew through and blew our outhouse away.
After we moved from the farm there was a colored family that lived near us and the lady
was afraid of all storm clouds. Any time she saw a storm cloud on the horizon she would
go out to the woodpile, they still had wood heaters then, and get a double bitted axe and
stick into a log with the top blade pointing toward the cloud. According to her this would
split the cloud and the two halves would go around us thus leaving us in the clear.
It seems that she failed to get her axe into the log one morning. It was the morning after
the tornado that hit downtown Waco in 1952 at about 7:15 in the morning a tornado
dipped down and took part of the roof off our house. The porch roof was taken in one
section and carried over behind the house and left leaning against the side of the garage.
After it was all over I noticed that the light fixture that had been on the porch roof was
still intact and the light bulb had not been broken. I took the light bulb out and put it in a
socket in the house and it would still light up.
After some of the strange weather we have been having this spring with most of the
storms and heavy rains going around us I have wondered if Elviras ghost is out there
sticking her axe into a log to split the clouds.
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