You Can’t know the wind

Last Monday was a wild weather day here, with sustained West winds all day of up to 47 mph, and prolonged gusts of up to 67 mph.  There were periods of whiteout from snow squalls intermingled with sunny periods and dust.  There were some things we needed at the store, so I hazarded a trip to Walmart at about 5:00, just when the wind was at its peak. I saw traffic lights that had come loose from their supports, dangling over intersections. I waited at a red light on the interstate bridge and the van took the full broadside brunt of the wind. I felt the van rock, and I was worried I might get tipped over. 

The wind was cold and horrible, full of dust as I ran into the store.  Of course, I left the grocery list in the van.  I wasn’t about to run back out to the van to get it, so I tried as best I could to remember what Husband had written .  I forgot only one thing, a jar of olives seasoned with smoked paprika. I had to stop at another grocery store anyway, so I thought I could probably get the olives there. Well, there were no such olives there, so I journeyed back to Walmart and struggled yet again in the wind, and I found the olives.  Husband was really hoping I could get these olives (more on the olives in another post). He was grateful, and I was really glad to be home. 

There is dirt from our front yard vegetable garden blown all over our front stoep and front door.  I have lived on the Great Plains most of my life and I don’t think I have been in wind like we had on Monday.  There is a lovely children’s book If You’re Not From the Prairie,  written by a Saskatchewan author, David Bouchard. (What we call the Plains Canadians call the Prairie.)  Here he is reading  it. It really captures life out here. 

What are your memories of wild weather?  Know any good poems, songs, or stories about the wind or weather?

46 thoughts on “You Can’t know the wind”

  1. So Long, Its Been Good To Know Yuh
    (Dusty Old Dust)

    Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

    I’ve sung this song, but I’ll sing it again,
    Of the place that I lived on the wild windy plains,
    In the month called April, county called Gray,
    And here’s what all of the people there say:

    So long, it’s been good to know yuh;
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh;
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh.
    This dusty old dust is a-gettin’ my home,
    And I got to be driftin’ along.

    A dust storm hit, an’ it hit like thunder;
    It dusted us over, an’ it covered us under;
    Blocked out the traffic an’ blocked out the sun,
    Straight for home all the people did run,


    We talked of the end of the world, and then
    We’d sing a song an’ then sing it again.
    We’d sit for an hour an’ not say a word,
    And then these words would be heard:


    Sweethearts sat in the dark and sparked,
    They hugged and kissed in that dusty old dark.
    They sighed and cried, hugged and kissed,
    Instead of marriage, they talked like this:


    Now, the telephone rang, an’ it jumped off the wall,
    That was the preacher, a-makin’ his call.
    He said, “Kind friend, this may the end;
    An’ you got your last chance of salvation of sin!”

    The churches was jammed, and the churches was packed,
    An’ that dusty old dust storm blowed so black.
    Preacher could not read a word of his text,
    An’ he folded his specs, an’ he took up collection,

    So long, it’s been good to know yuh;
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh;
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh.
    This dusty old dust is a-gettin’ my home,
    And I got to be driftin’ along.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. There was a grass fire on Monday about 15 miles east of here. A utility pole blew over and started a fire that burned about 800 acres. A rural fire fighter said the wind simultaneously blew snow and embers at them as they battled the fire.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ah, thanks for this story, Renee – I’ve just requested it from our library.

    We got the wind too, on Tuesday mostly – maybe not quite as strong as yours.. Found a shingle in the yard, so Husband was up on the roof finding other loose ones.

    Here’s one about rain – well, sort of…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. About 20 years ago I was missing the presence of an Irish Setter in my life. I found a woman in California (through a woman I know here) who had puppies. I also had a free airline ticket. So I actually flew to California with the dog crate, stayed overnight in this woman’s house and the next morning was scheduled to fly back. I had heard the phrase “Santa Anna winds” before but never thought much about it. It was unbelievable. In trying to get me to the airport this woman ended up having to Backtrack and take three different routes because streets were closed. One there was a car accident, one a traffic light had blown down and at the third place we actually saw a semi tip over. I’m hoping and assuming it was empty. Luckily the airlines were running late that morning and we did manage to get on board but taking off in those Santa Ana winds was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced on an airplane.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I got caught in a windstorm in November of 1989 that became notorious for packing the town of Mobridge with enough tumbleweeds so folks couldn’t open the doors to their houses because tumbleweeds were packed tightly everywhere. Snowplows ran up and down the streets, clearing a path through the tumbleweeds. Winds hit 60 mph at times.

    I was driving from northern Montana to home in that storm in an Isuzu Trooper. The Trooper was a light 4-cylinder SUV with a huge surface area, making it behave more like a sailboat than a car in that wind. Fortunately, most of the trip had that wind pushing me home. On the freeway I experimented. With the clutch disengaged, the wind moved my vehicle at close to freeway speeds.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I forget what the winds along the coast in southern France are called. In fall of 2000 a friend and I were caught in the wind and couldn’t stand up against them while looking for a place to spend the night. I bet at least one Baboon knows the name. Please help my negligent memory.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Got caught in the worst T-storm I’ve ever experienced back in the late 90s in the Upper Breaks of the Missouri River canoe tripping with my dad, uncle, and dad’s friend. It’s one of the wildest, remotest sections of that river. The wind was so strong it collapsed our tents and knocked a good-sized tree branch down that landed on my uncle’s tent. (Luckily, he was unhurt) I figure the winds were steadily over 50 mph that night, maybe higher.

    We had lightning strikes virtually every minute for about 6 straight hours overnight. Thunder sounded incredibly loud because we were in a canyon. That was the only time I seriously thought I would die.

    Rained so hard, the river rose fast and another group’s canoe got washed downriver (might have been helped into the water by the wind gusts too. Their mistake was not tying it down securely.

    And of course, who can forget the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 in MN?

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 3 people

  8. When I was working in Basel,occasionally we’d get a warm, dry wind called the foehn blowing down from the Alps. It was similar to the chinook we’d get once in a while coming down from the Rocky Mountains when I lived in Cheyenne.

    My first spring in Carbondale, I sat on our front porch and watched in awe and amazement as an approaching tornado turned the sky pea-soup green, and it seemed as if all of the air was sucked out of the air. I had heard of a tornado before, but never been anywhere near one, and had no idea how devastating they can be. Since moving to the Twin Cities in 1972, I have been too close for comfort to such devastation. When a giant tree in the boulevard in front of the house you’re living in is uprooted, that’s as close to a tornado as I ever want to be.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I remember the Chinook winds when living in Colorado.
      Barb, I don’t know how to link to the music videos like you do…would you please add The Wee Five”s Catch the Wind and Cast Your Fate to the Wind to our comments. Pretty Please? Thank you.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. I’ve always liked the chord progression of this song.

    2012 we were driving back from Mississippi. We stopped at a highway rest stop in Missouri and it was 104 degrees with a strong wind. There was a lot of motorcycles at this rest stop and I just couldn’t imagine riding a bike in that kind of weather. The hot wind just exhausted you when sitting; can’t imagine riding in it.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Olav Hauge poem:
    Eg er ein båt
    Utan vind.
    Du var vinden
    Var det den leidi eg skulde?
    Kven spør etter leide
    Når ein har slik vind.

    Translated by Robert Bly:
    I am a boat
    Without wind
    You were the wind.
    Was that the direction I wanted to go?
    Who cares about directions
    With a wind like that.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Completely OT. For the forth year in a row after declaring she didn’t care about dying eggs, YA showed up in the dining room just as I was putting everything out. She did half of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have to smile at all of the songs you’re finding, BiR, that are about rain. Renee’s region is officially in a drought. Is this your version of a rain dance?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Who Has Seen the Wind?
    by Christina Rossetti:
    Who has seen the wind?
    Neither I nor you.
    But when the leaves hang trembling,
    The wind is passing through.
    Who has seen the wind?
    Neither you nor I.
    But when the trees bow down their heads,
    The wind is passing by.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The town of Medora, west of here in the Badlands and right next to Theodore Roosevelt National Park is being evacuated due to a grassfire that has burned 9600 acres. It is the cowboy town. Daughter’s best friend’s ranch is on fire, too, and her dad and uncles are out fighting the fire.


  14. Yesterday morning
    An ill wind came.
    Blew your picture
    Right out of the picture frame.
    Even blew the candle out
    from underneath the flame.
    Yesterday morning
    An ill wind came.

    – John Prine

    Liked by 2 people

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