You know you live in Kansas when the National Weather Service issues a hazardous weather warning for high winds and suggests you batten down the lawn furniture and garbage cans.
Much of southern Kansas is experiencing constant winds of 35 to 45 miles per hour and gusts to 60 as I write this. There are six schools in Wichita without power.
Most importantly for me, the picnic table on the deck (complete with umbrella) is on it’s side – again. You might wonder why I simply don’t take down the umbrella. Well, the reality is I can’t. The poor thing has been blown over so many times that the shaft is bent, making it impossible to lower the umbrella.
So instead, I just keep a running log of how far it travels as a way of tracking which windstorm was the most powerful. So far, last September is winning. I had to rescue it from the backyard of the neighbor three houses down the block. This morning, it has barely made it off the deck.
The good news of the wind is that it usually indicates that we’re on the backside of the storm front, making ice and snow less likely to be a major problem that appears to be in store for the already-battered Midwest.
One interesting facet of today’s winds is watching the antics of Shadow, the recently adopted cat, who hasn’t yet been able to settle in to being a housecat. He thinks daily patrol of the neighborhood is a critical facet of his mission on earth and insists on making regular trips outdoors, even when there’s 10 inches of snow on the ground and the wind is blowing 40 miles an hour.
Ah, well, back to the grindstone of editing your March edition of Kansas Farmer, which by the way will feature the stories of this year’s new class of Master Farmers/Master Farm Homemakers. It’ll be in your mailbox around the middle of the month.