Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

December 15, 2013

NOW HEAR THIS: Taking a trip on the Arctic Express

By LARRY M. JONES

I’m not sure about your place, but the weather last weekend was a real bone chiller down on the “pore farm.” Although I have no statistics on the matter, I felt that this little arctic blast was a bit premature for this time of year in North Texas, arriving at least a month or so early. January and February are a lot more likely to have such brutal cold.

Although we’ve had short periods of very cold weather in recent years, we haven’t had the brutal cold spells I have seen in the past. Whether caused by man or a natural weather cycle, we have experienced some degree of global warming in the past couple of decades. How can I be certain of this fact? I applied a time-honored method to my assessment – I haven’t had to chop a hole in the ice on my stock tank for the cattle to drink in more than 20 years. In times past, I watched my father do this with routine regularity.

This last cold spell was similar to one I saw as a child back in the early 1950s. The ground was covered with 3-4 inches of white stuff, but it wasn’t snow. It was worst case scenario – a sleet and frozen rain sheet of ice that was “slicker than a mink.” During this time, my Grandpa Jones lived by himself up the hill across our pasture. Having no telephone at the time, my father would walk to Grandpa’s house daily to check on him. On one such trek, he slipped on a steep slope near the fence along the road and was unable to stop. As he picked up speed, he told of seeing the lower strand of barbed wire on the fence just in time to duck under it at the last moment.

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